Believe it or not, I, Paul Bonds, founder of BeanFruit Coffee Company, grew up hating coffee.
My first experience with coffee was making instant coffee for my dad as a kid - Taster’s Choice instant coffee to be exact. I grew up in Southern Mississippi where zero coffee culture exists and you bought a can of Folgers if you wanted “the good stuff.” It wasn’t until college that I even picked up a coffee beverage again and it was a milk, sugar, syrup, and sauce drink that featured espresso. I wasn’t in love with it, I just needed to stay awake to study for exams.
In 2008, my interest in coffee sparked after reading an article about specialty coffee, where it came from, and who it affected. I started trying coffees from a couple local cafes in the area and attended my first cupping at Mississippi Coffee Company in Canton, Mississippi. Mark McKee who was the roaster at the time was very passionate about coffee but even more passionate about sourcing sustainable coffee.
Between his inspiring passion and my first experience of a washed Ethiopia Yirgacheffe at that cupping, I had an epiphany that turned my entire perception of coffee upside down.