Wake Up and Smell the Coffee with Blind Master Roaster Gerry Leary

Close your eyes. Makes it kind of hard to read your screen, huh? You can implement a text-to-speech workaround, but after that, your senses are pretty much exhausted as far as this forum is concerned.

Master coffee roaster Gerry Leary, of Boulder, Colorado, would not be daunted by such an exercise. You’ve likely heard other DIY success stories citing a willfully blind eye with regard to all the things that could have gone wrong early on. Leary, who’s been blind since birth, may have blundered onto his life’s calling in a San Francisco cafe where he mistook a roasting machine for a rock tumbler, but after that, his route seems carefully plotted. He enrolled in a professional training program. Before taking over the lease to what is now the Unseen Bean Cafe, he tuned his ears to the precise number of feet constituting nearby foot traffic. He is one of the very few within his field to roast by sound and scent rather sight, noting that the flavors of any bean is subject to flavor variance with every new crop.

He’ll have to take someone else’s word for it that he’s besting the competition in the area of logo design. The Unseen Bean’s blindfolded, cup-sniffing guide dog strikes this viewer as apt on every level.

Ayun Halliday depends on her daily bucket of black snakes to get her through.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.