My story has little to do with my efforts or luck, and I certainly do not think of it as a score. This is more a story of the depth of decency, sympathy, and charity that I have so often witnessed in the coffee community as a whole. So many along my journey of over eighteen years have shared, taught, and assisted to help me get to where I am today. I have tried to do much the same to what extent I could.
In November of 2018 I lost my home and virtually all its contents, coffee and not, to the Camp Fire. We left with very little as there was a fire engine parked at the house and we had a minimum of 100 feet of clearance and in some places close to double that. It did not matter as this fire was a perfect storm of low humidity, dry brush at the end of the summer, very high winds, and smoke so heavy that they could not get aircraft in the air. There were so many offers from folks here on HB and elsewhere it would be a disservice to so many to try to list them all.
But as heartwarming and poignant as all the offers were, there is one to which I need to give special thanks. Back in January of this year, in a thread here on HB discussing conical grinders, I had mentioned that I had lost my Kony in the fire and that, while it did a great job, I had never recommended it to anyone for home use. I added that when I recover I hoped to be able to get a Monolith Conical for a number of reasons, but its quality and dedicated single-dose design were the main reasons since I have been single dosing for years.
Not long after posted in that thread I received a message from Denis Basaric, the owner of KafaTek. He offered his condolences about the fire and sent along his thanks that my wife and I along with our pets were all safe. He went on to tell me that he would be sending me one of the new MC3 KafaTek Monolith Conical grinders. He said that it might have some blemishes but would meet all the specifications and pass all the tests he demands of his grinders. As the first shipment of the MC3 had not even gone out it was a few weeks before the grinder arrived and it is everything you have heard about it!On the right is the amazing MC3 Monolith Conical. On the right is the Arzum Okka auto Turkish Coffee Maker, both resting on what little space one has in the "kitchen" of a motorhome. The Okka is astounding. Put in fine ground coffee, add sugar if you like, place one or two cups on the drip tray, select the brew strength and one or two cup brew, and it does the rest. When done, it even has a cleaning cycle! And, yes, the MC3 grinds fine enough for Turkish!
I wanted to do something in return for Denis's generosity so I offered to write some sort of review or article on my website concerning the grinder. A fairly empty offer, really, since he sells out of every shipment even before production begins. In that message I continued, "If you have not been to my website you may not know that I started it back in late 2000 when I first decided to start drinking coffee and making espresso at home." I went on to talk about the reviews I have done and I mentioned the "How to Solve Espresso Problems at Home" article there.
His response was, "I am aware of your extensive web site, it's a resource. Read it years ago when I was getting into the espresso craze."
When I started my website I had received information and was educated by the work of so many folks on the "old" alt.coffee, and people like David Bogie ("Bogiesan") Mark Prince (Coffeekid and Coffeegeek), and so many more. It was Bogiesan's "Espresso FAQ
" that initially motivated me to start my Espresso! My Espresso! website. Since I started my website I have received letters of thanks from all over the world and from all levels of home baristas as well as pros. The above comment from Denis will stand as one of my most cherished.
What I can say about all this is that through it all, from my beginnings until today, I have found the world of coffee to be almost 100% filled with decent, honest, and generous people, willing to help. It is that spirit I have carried on here as well on my website, happy to discuss and share information, to teach, to assist, and do so across all borders and divides which are all too often found elsewhere. I times such as these it gives one hope for humanity.