“So that’s how you make coffee beans?” Learning from a Coffee Maestro

July 19th, 2012

Mr Mariposa Coffee, Jerry Caputo (left) surrounded by his many aromatic creations. Russell says, "mmmmm.....coffee."

Jerry is truly a Coffee Maestro. He told us not to call him a Master. He prefers to reserve that title for folks like Mr. Illy and Mr. Peet. Although Maestro is generally reserved for musical masters, after watching Jerry Caputo, owner of Mariposa Coffee in Mariposa, CA near Yosemite Valley, roast coffee with his special (and secret!) process, it was really like a watching a musician. The finesse in his touch, I didn’t even realize there was room for such rhythmic gestures. It was a little like watching someone practice tai chi. What do I mean? Watch this short video of Jerry putting his final touch to a newly roasted batch of Mariposa Coffee.

How did we find Jerry? While on a trip to Yosemite, we drove past a little shack on the main highway to our inn. We drove passed it several times, actually, before we decided to check it out. A few steps inside the small cabin, Jerry says (like we were local neighborhood folk), “I’m just about done with a batch here (or something like that). Wanna wait a few minutes…or come check it out.” We were technically tourists, and we thought to ourselves, “WHAT A TREAT!” Maybe locals get to watch this all the time, but we city folks who do love a good coffee experience were squealing with anticipation to see some real coffee roasting!

Jerry’s been making coffee the same way for decades. According to Jerry, 10-15 years ago when he first started Mariposa Coffee, there were probably roughly under 300 coffee roasters in the entire nation. And now, the total in California alone is likely in the thousands. The amazing thing is, Jerry still makes coffee the same method as he did when he first started, perfecting his technique here and there, taking a few hints from folks like Mr. Peet.

And if you can believe it, 1 lb of Mariposa Coffee will cost you under $10. And another thing you won’t believe, Mariposa Coffee does not yet have a website. We hope this is the start of a aromatic relationship!

 

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