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Zero-Four-Thirty, Eastern Standard Time
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

We were in Surf City, North Carolina, getting ready to fortify ourselves before another grueling day at “the office.” As the thin, black liquid oozed into the stained carafe, we stood paralyzed in a bleary-eyed daze, a pair of zombies waiting impatiently for our morning fix.

We were roommates, two Marine infantry officers, perpetually sleep-deprived from the training, the planning, the preparations for war. Coffee. Back then it was little more than a bitter, caffeine-delivery system, something we started mainlining when we graduated college because that’s what we needed to stay awake.

Oh how little we knew, and oh how much we were missing.

Fast-forward a few years. A lot has changed. We’ve hung up our uniforms, we’re in the kitchen, and we’re making coffee. It’s artful and it’s pure, and as we pour the water through the beans from our favorite roaster, we’re both enjoying the delightful aromas of caramel, chocolate, and toffee. We’re just as sleep-deprived as ever—who isn’t these days?— but something about the ritual placates us, and just a few minutes later, the first sip is perfect.

Great coffee, the kind that reminds you first thing in the morning of everything else you appreciate in life, is about more than caffeine. It’s about the art, the ritual, and the special moments shared across a table with your family and friends.

And yet, if you’re like us, no one ever taught you how to make coffee properly or how to appreciate it, and when you stop in at your local coffee shop, everything is hidden away behind the counter, too far removed for you to understand.

No worries. That was us not too long ago. But through trial and error—and an absurd amount of mistakes—we’ve managed to learn. And now we want to share our journey with you. It’s a shame to waste these moments on bad coffee, and if you’re going to drink it every day, or if you’re going to serve it to other people, it may as well be good, right?

Actually, it should be better than good. It should be perfect.

Michael and Harrison

Surf City, North Carolina
February 2nd, 2013