And We’re LIVE!

And We’re LIVE!

It’s almost hard to believe, and yet here we are, launching our e-commerce platform as a legitimate coffee roasting business. We couldn’t have dreamed, when we first dipped our toes into the proverbial ocean that is specialty coffee, that it would one day lead us here. But now, looking back, it’s hard to imagine it leading anywhere else.

Our coffee story isn’t particularly unique, when I take a step back to examine it closely. Like most, coffee began as a transaction. A simple solution to the bane of every college student’s experience – tiredness. Late night study sessions (and admittedly the occasional all-nighter) needed some fuel, and energy drinks were never particularly our style. Plus, coffee is a scholarly drink, no? Well, probably not what we were drinking at the time, but you get the picture.

I won’t disgust you with the specifics of our typical order from the big green giant, but suffice to say that the energy drinks might have been the healthier option. Back then, we couldn’t really stomach the idea of black coffee. I mean, what kind of masochist would do that to themselves? I think any specialty coffee enthusiast would agree that what we were missing in those days was a little bit of perspective. Luckily, it wouldn’t take us too much longer to get there.

In 2015, as I was finishing up my last year of grad school in Virginia’s beautiful Shenandoah Valley, a hip little cafe opened its doors and, consequently, my world to what I had been missing. This little shop packed a big punch and stocked some incredible roasters from across the region, all of which were prepared meticulously by a dedicated team of baristas. It was in this shop that our love for coffee really started to take form – not as a transactional necessity, but as a tasty beverage and (later) a labor of love.

Those who know me would most certainly agree that I have an all-or-nothing approach to my hobbies. Coffee quickly fell into the former and, before I knew it, I was consumed with well, consuming. I started to absorb any and all information I could find on the subject. Before long, terms like TDS, extraction, brew ratio, and bloom had become part of my standard lexicon. Brewing devices started to appear everywhere, and I began to experiment with grind size and brew ratios on a daily basis, dialing-in my preferences for any given coffee. I opened subscriptions with a variety of roasters across the country to fine tune my palette.

My foray into roasting was a natural next step and in 2016 I snagged a whirley-pop popcorn maker at our local thrift store. Roasting offered me a whole new body of work to ‘nerd out’ on, one that I’m still learning today. That is one thing about coffee that has always fascinated both of us, there is so much to learn and that body of work is growing and evolving every. single. day.

Our life’s journey has taken us to some pretty interesting places. We’ve lived overseas in both Europe and Eurasia, and have had the pleasure of traveling professionally to countries in Central and South America, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. Our growth and journey as coffee enthusiasts traveled with us on every adventure, giving us more perspective on the international traditions of coffee as a beverage and a tool for social engagement.

The latter point is an interesting one think about – coffee as a social medium. It shouldn’t be surprising, yet it is. No other beverage is as synonymous with the social experience. The cafe scene is largely the same, no matter where in the world you’re experiencing it. Pretty spectacular, if you ask me.

I won’t bore you with my general musings on coffee and cafe culture, but understand that one of our goals in starting Whink’s is to spread the word of good coffee, encourage the thoughtful preparation of coffee – one that recognizes the roots of the beverage and the many, many farmers and artisans who had a role in its creation – and to proliferate the engaging and accepting culture that goes hand-in-hand with your morning cup. In short, we encourage everyone to: grind fresh, brew thoughtfully, and enjoy with friends.

Friends, we are so excited to open our “doors” and bring you into our Whink’s family. We do hope you love what we have to offer and we are incredibly excited to share in this journey together.

Cheers,

Michael and Kayla

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