2014

On the Shoulders of Giants

On the Shoulders of Giants Monthly Column

Todd Goldsworthy, ‘the coffee guru’ of Klatch Roasters, was getting desperate. He was now on the national spotlight at the 2014 Seattle SCAA Convention and vying for the U.S. Brewers Cup. The winner would represent the United States for the World Championships at Rimini, Italy in June. Heavy stakes against the best of the best.

The competition was underway and things just were not right! His entry, a micro lot of Panama Esmeralda Geisha, was not exhibiting the flavor profile he had fallen in love with.

“In L.A., I tasted dark berries with a very light citrus undertone. But in Seattle, the berries were not coming through and the citrus was way too prominent,” recalls the SW Regional Champion.

It was the water, and he knew it! So Todd desperately sought out some water filtration experts and was finally directed back to the competition and David Beeman.

“It only took a few minutes of explaining my problem before David told me he knew what to do! He came back with a gallon of water and I entered the prelims with my brew.”

It turns out that the water he was using was nearly free of mineral content at 35ppm.

The flavors Todd was seeking rang like bells with his new water supply. For the finals David prepared five more gallons. Unfortunately, when it was nearing time for the finals the water bottle was missing. Desperately, he sought David out again who again came through.

Todd is preparing for his trip to Italy now as the U.S. Brewers Cup Champion and had this to say, “I call David Beeman, ‘the Water God!’”

Coffee Water
When Starbucks wanted a water system that best enhanced their coffee, while also protecting their equipment, they called on David Beeman. By the time a system had been developed, the end result became known as Coffee Water.

I am not going to go on quoting the way out of the box adventurer, thinker, and inventor since what I am going share is pretty much all Beemanized.

Water can do a number on the equipment, from the pipes to the seals and mechanisms. Too little mineral content, usually caused mostly by reverse osmosis, causes metal to be leached out and absorbed by the water. That is not good! Too much mineral content not only clogs the arteries of water’s journey to the spigot or gruppe, but it also seriously affects the final product.

Todd, our champion, knew this, and David lived it!

It is a real challenge fit for a deep thinker. First, you have to filter and treat the water for its entry into the system. But over and above the filtering and balancing of mineral content to protect the equipment is the final step, the water’s journey through the coffee itself.

“When Todd began telling me his problem, I immediately knew what to do! I tested the water which had a very low ppm and added some calcium and sodium in finely measured dosing and got lucky on the first try.” David states with a bit of an ‘ah shucks’ humility.

After a lot of discussion and an extreme overload of getting educated by David, lucky is not the word I would use. David knows his water. The 100ppm he brought to the competition water was no lucky guess. Neither was the choice of chemistry.

In case you, like me have never put a correlation to the relation of the minerals that most effect coffee brewing, here is David!

“Calcium and sodium are very essential to the effects water can have on coffee. Not enough calcium and the coffee does not bloom and release its flavonoids. Too much calcium and bitterness becomes prominent. But the right amount will bring out sweetness. Likewise, the proper sodium additive works just like table salt for food either enhancing or overpowering the object of its affection.”

David goes on with words or phrases like water is not water, formulated water, ground water recharging, hyper filtration, blending back, and hydrologic cycles.

The Adventure Begins
David Beeman is the son of a lumberjack from northern Washington and a California mom with family ties to the gold rush and all the way to back to William Bradford of the Mayflower.

“I graduated early from high school and turned down a four year scholarship to UNLV for food service. I had a full page write up on me in High School for my talents as a chef, mainly because I was the first guy to take a cooking class at my high school. I paid dearly for that as this was prior to political correctness. I left home with a few dollars and a thumb to hitchhike across America.

I spent two years traveling around the western hemisphere, usually hitchhiking. I have lived with primitive Indians in central Mexico, The Huichols, for several months, and crewed on a sailboat for a year on what was supposed to be a two-year world cruise that ended badly in Costa Rica. I have stories that go on for hours about people, places, and things I’ve seen and done, but raising a family and grandchildren is the best of all.

I have encountered real pirates on the high seas and escaped with my life on that and many other occasions. When I returned home from traveling, I went to UCSB and got a degree in Sociology, which I promptly scraped and spent time in a medical program going for an acupuncture license. During this time I became interested in a new device called reverse osmosis water purification, which I found fascinating. However, the systems were not manageable, so I created my own!

David_BeemanWhen I combined my love of water with food, I discovered that everything I was being told in the water treatment industry about higher purity was contrary to what I tasted in food preparation. That led me to work with Starbucks on developing a flavor enhancing water formulation for coffee, which led me to invent or develop “Coffee Water.”

Oh, when I started my first water company it was in my grandparent’s garage and my startup capital was $200.”

Now, the Water God is a hired gun for corporate chains. He figures out the water supplies locally and then creates a filtration and mineralization formula to complement the equipment and food products.

I have a country club that has asked me to create a coffee program for them. I have David’s number and I’m not afraid to use it! Water in is not water out, and in most cases, it shouldn’t be.

I learned that from my new buddy Neptune!

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