This is the third in our series of Field Notes from our Toad Warriors – the folks who hit the road and spread the Toad&Co ethos: Live well, do good and keep good company. They’re the people we’ve met over the years who embody the Toad lifestyle and practice what they preach. Jeff and Jen live in Santa Barbara, CA and are bonafide weekend warriors. Here are their Field Notes….
“For me, there is no other place like Jackson in the world. I haven’t found anything better. Except maybe a corner of Switzerland.” Such were the words of Stefan Grainda, the quirky, Jack-of-all-trades owner of Jackson Hole Coffee Roasters in Jackson, WY.
You can tell what kind of people run JH Coffee from the second you walk into the shop – it’s warm and inviting, smells incredible, and the slight din of a whirring machine lulls you into pure contentment. Metal tableaus of cowboy life line the walls and a mix of locals and tourists trade tips on which roads are snowed in and which runs are primo for an epic day on the slopes.
Stefan is a chatty man and more than happy to talk all things coffee with anyone who asks. He told us how he came to the U.S. eleven years ago from a long line of coffee brewers in the Czech Republic. He began his search for an American home in California, but soon decided that beach towns were too “full of laziness.” Instead, he followed his best friend to the mountains and moved his coffee business to Jackson.
Precision is key to good coffee. Stefan hand-roasts, hand-brews and custom-builds all the machines that line the shop. And he only uses the best organic coffee beans – strictly 100% organic. He’s proud of the fact that JH Coffee Roasters was the first coffee joint in town to go all-organic. He hand-roasts the beans in small batches, without a computer, the old school way: Everything by eye and smell. Everything by hand.
When Stefan isn’t brewing, he’s out playing in the Tetons. “It is wonderful. You work 3-4 hours until the snow builds up, and then you pack up and go.” He says the first time he saw Jackson, he knew it was his home. And after a simple yet perfect cup of coffee, watching the sun rise higher over the mountain range, we understood exactly what he meant.