I am a self-proclaimed coffee fanatic and seriously do not know (and for the sake of those around me, don’t want to know!) what would happen if I had to get through a day without my morning caffeine fix. 

And, not just any ol’ coffee will do.  I’m afraid that, thanks to both the years I’ve lived in Italy as well as the numerous lessons I’ve had from my coffee-roaster/professional barrista brother Jeff Clinard (who also just happens to work for one of the best coffee shops in town, Portola Coffee Lab, managing their super-informative Portola Coffee blog) I have become a full-blown coffee snob. I find it hard to settle for anything less than delicious coffee… freshly ground, preferably french-pressed… ahhh, that SMELL. Sends shivers down my spine!

I plan to do a series of photo shoots over the coming weeks featuring coffee – from the roasting process, to espresso machines and brewing, to latte art… all the good stuff.

But, first things first.  Let’s take a closer look at the source of it all. The bean…