Bio of Thompson Owen

Biography of Thompson Owen

I started working a coffee counter in 1985, brewing single origin coffees and making espresso that, if we were lucky, had a tiny ring of crema around the rim of the cup. While the coffee was roasted each week, we pre-ground it all, and set it in a freezer until we used it. What did we know? Not much. There was no internet, and only a couple flimsy books about coffee and tea.

I first roasted coffee in New Orleans around 1990. We had a Sirocco air roaster for samples, which I repeatedly burned to a crisp since I had the attention span of an anemic flea. But later on, when I had moved to Columbus, Ohio and could not get get nice coffee, I thought about roasting in a popcorn popper. There was no source for green beans on line, so I thought I would cobble together some html and do one myself. It was either going to be a one-time deal, or... Well 15 years later Sweet Maria's has proven to have some legs. Since then I have continued to refine and improve our ideas, travel and improve my ability to source the kind of coffee I get excited about. Coffee Shrub has been a further step to advance our ability to get great coffee, and sharing access to them with the coffee roasting community.