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How Tinker Coffee is Making Great Coffee Accessible with Co-Founder Steve Hall (TP9)

It’s a complete coffee geek out on The Plunge Podcast!

I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but I love coffee. A lot. So when the opportunity arose to sit down with one of the co-founders of Tinker Coffee in Indianapolis I jumped at the chance. Steve Hall has had a varied career across multiple roles and industries. In this episode you’ll find out how he made his way into the coffee world, what Tinker Coffee is all about, and how they roast some of the best coffee I’ve ever tasted. Whether you are a coffee fiend like me, or are just getting into it, you’ll love this show. Detailed show notes with timestamps are below if you’d like to find a specific career or coffee topic to hear about.

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Show Notes

  • 4:00 – Steve’s career start in wine and sales
  • 10:00 – Moving to Chicago
  • 13:00 – Is getting an MBA worth it?
  • 15:30 – Moving to Indy, working with OneClick Ventures. Journey into marketing.
  • 22:00 – How Steve got into coffee
  • 25:00 – How long did it take to start Tinker Coffee?
  • 28:00 – The process for going full-time on Tinker. The creation of Thunderous alongside Tinker
  • 31:50 – Structuring his schedule to fit Thunderous and Tinker at once
  • 34:00 – Setting boundaries for yourself as an entrepreneur
  • 35:00 – The name Tinker Coffee
  • 37:30 – What makes Tinker different? The importance of sourcing
  • 39:00 – What is single origin?
  • 43:45 – How difficult is sourcing good coffee?
  • 45:50 – Roasting explained, the decision process when choosing beans
  • 49:00 – What is cupping? How is it done?
  • 52:30 – How your subjective taste affects your coffee business – Since you choose through cupping, which is you tasting, how do you make those decisions knowing they may be subjective?
  • 56:30 – How they track and improve their roasting – From complete beginner to advanced – What makes a good roast
  • 1:00:00 – First big win for Tinker Coffee – Their first sellable coffee
  • 1:03:45 – Coffee education, it’s importance for Tinker’s growth in Indianapolis – The importance of educating your market – If you are considering getting into coffee LISTEN TO THIS SECTION.
  • 1:07:30 – Making coffee accessible. Keeping elitism out, while appealing to the true coffee geeks
  • 1:09:00 – It doesn’t take a ton of effort to make a better cup of coffee. “If you are going to drink coffee, make a great cup of coffee”
  • 1:10:30 – Recommendation for someone just getting into coffee. Where to start, what to do, what to use. BEGINNERS LISTEN HERE.
  • 1:13:54 – Current Tinker coffee roasts
  • 1:19:00 – You can tell how serious a coffee shop is by how serious they treat their milk based drinks. Espresso is the big tell though.
  • 1:21:00 – Espresso vs. Coffee – What is the difference??
  • 1:24:24 – Where can you learn more about Tinker?
  • 1:25:36 – What is next for Tinker Coffee?

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