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The Art of the Happy Mistake

There are times that my mind is in a dozen places at one time. I’m working on social media, writing a few books, sourcing green coffee beans, working on accounting, answering e-mails and also…roasting coffee.  I’m busy helping a customer and I forget that I’m roasting coffee and to my dismay, the temperature of the beans are in the “darn, I’ve just over-roasted ten pounds of coffee” stage. I just use a different word for “darn.” Once in awhile, I commit what I call a “happy mistake.” I incorrectly believe that the coffee is ruined, we brew it, and I am happily wrong. I realize that I have committed a “happy mistake.” Here is one splendid example.

Today, I roasted our Brazil Peaberry to a French Roast- crazy dark- because I simply forgot about the roasting. Lisa, Joe and I brewed it in a French Press and we were in happy shock. Yes, there was the dark pungency of roasting to a French Press, but it tasted like the very pleasant bottom of the brownie pan- the slightly overbaked parts of the homemade brownies. The finish was wonderful and you’ll enjoy rich chocolate, molasses, and amaretto notes. Before we tasted it, I was ready to dump the 10 pounds into the garbage- I hate wallowing in my own self-pity. After we tasted it, I felt like an accidental genius. The bad news is that the 5 lbs. that we have now is the last of the Brazil Peaberry beans. The good news is that I’m confident that we will be receiving another shipment soon.

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Give yourself breathing room to make “happy mistakes.” Some of the best ideas come from failure. It’s impossible to grow without failing spectacularly. Sometimes your failures will turn you into an accidental genius.

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