• The Social Side of Coffee

    The caste system of India, now constitutionally outlawed, has existed for hundreds of years.  If you need a refresher on this system, it divided society into four categories, or castes.  It was by birth, not work ethic, that you were assigned your place.  The “Untouchables” were the lowest class.  Just from the name you get the idea how society viewed them.

    I bring this up because societies around the world continue to have a caste system in one form or another.  See if you fit into one or more of these categories:

    A 20 something Middle Class Latino Millenial

    A WASP A Republican Baby Boomer Catholic

    Empty Nester DINK Caucasian Muslim

    Upper Class African American Goth Baptist

    You get the idea.  Where we go, what we do, who we do it with and how we do things is often dictated by one or more aspects of castes and categories.  The clothes we wear, car we drive, bike we ride, vacations we take, how we worship and who we hang out with all represent a slot in society.

    Have you noticed that coffeehouses in general tend to be the great socio-economic equalizers?  Of course, not all coffeehouses are the same.  The green mermaid machine and your funky local place may lean in one direction more than another.  However, take a look around in any of these spaces and you will usually see a cross section of humanity.  Two businessmen in expensive suits sitting near three 20-somethings who have tattoos and pierced body parts.  And, close to both of those tables is a bible study group of soccer moms.  The point is that none of them care that the others are in close proximity.  Coffeehouses tend to level the playing field and that, in itself, is quite wonderful.  

    A buzz word of the last decade has been “tolerance”.  Personally, I prefer the word “appreciate”.  In other words, all the potential combinations of who and what we are should be appreciated, not just tolerated.  

    Take a look around when next you visit a coffeehouse.  More often than not you will find much to appreciate.


    This post written by Randy Adamy 

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  • Jul 25

    Kilimanjaro Sunrise

    How the July Coffee of the Month was Created.

    Kilimanjaro Sunrise came about as an idea inspired by Mike, O’Henry’s Roastmaster, and our then Assistant Manager at Homewood, David.  About 12 or 13 years ago,  the owners created a Coffee of the Month program as a way to feature a different coffee each month of the year.  They would be coffees we felt were worthy of special attention. Many months of the year, the coffee selection has already been decided by virtue of the season (i.e. Christmas Blend, Valentine’s Blend, Easter Blend, etc.), however there are a few months of the year that we have the ability to feature something new and exciting for our guests and staff alike to enjoy. 


    David and Mike were both relatively new to the job and liked to experiment with various coffees at home and on the job. They knew that they liked Colombian Supremo for its balance, sweetness and medium body and acidity, while they liked the floral character, mild acidity and fruity aroma of the Guatemalan Guayab. Finally, they brought in Kenya AA for its citrus-like character and aroma. Over several weeks they played with various ratios and brew methods of the coffees, eventually settling on a specific recipe and profile. The question was whether to roast separately or to roast together as a blend? After several test batches in the roaster and cupping the results, they presented the idea to Randy (O’Henry’s owner) to try the blend. At the next managers meeting we brewed and tasted the final product with all of the managers on hand. It was a unanimous decision to move forward with their blend.  Next in the process came the name choice.  That’s where Randy stepped in and presented his idea to call it Kilimanjaro Sunrise alluding to the fact that they used Kenya AA as part of the blend. They felt it was a good fit to remind us of the beauty of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Kenya and to envision an aromatic and well-balanced cup of coffee in the morning sunrise we would someday hope to see.


    Blog entry written by Mike McElwain

    O’Henry’s Roastmaster

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  • Celebrating 20 Years of Coffee & Community


    The countdown is on for O’Henry’s Coffees.  This November we will be celebrating our 20th anniversary. It feels like yesterday that we were roasting coffee in the front of the store and serving Hot Henry’s to our guests. As we progress throughout the summer and into the fall, we will be remembering the past 20 years, enjoying serving our guests in the present, and looking forward in anticipation to the coming years we will continue to serve the community in Homewood, AL. 


    To help us show some O’Henry’s love, we are asking you to participate in a Photo Contest! Let O’Henry’s join you on your summer vacations or day trips throughout the city. 


    Here are the official rules:


        1. When you are out and about, take a logoed O’Henry’s item (cup, t-shirt, bag of coffee, etc) with you and snap a unique picture with that item in it. Be creative!


         2. Upload the photo to our Facebook page or print out a hard copy and drop it off at the 18th Street location in Homewood. If you make a print, please put your name and contact information on the back.


        3.  All photo submissions must be turned in by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, August 10th.


    Voting will begin on August 14th by “liking” the photo on our Facebook page or casting a ballot at the 18th Street O’Henry’s. Votes must be cast by August 31st.


    Winners will be announced on Wednesday, September 4th.




    Top three winners will receive O’Henry’s Gift Cards: 1st place $100; 2nd place $50; 3rd place $25. The three will also receive an O’Henry’s t-shirt.


    The winning photos will remain in the 18th Street O’Henry’s for the rest of the year.



    So, get going and take some O’Henry’s along the way! We are so excited to see what you all come up with!


    *ALL photos submitted in the contest gives O’Henry’s the rights to post on Facebook, on the website, and in our stores.*




    Voted Best of Birmingham

    Voted Alabama Specialty Retailer of the  Year.

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  • Aug 24




    Join us at O'Henry's Coffee Downtown Homewood   2831 18th Streen South

    Thursday August 25, 2011 from 8 am to 11 am.  The first 200 guests in this time frame will

    receive a free coffee, tea or espresso drink courtesy of The Alabama Department of Public Health. 



    O'Henry's Coffees is proud to support this event.  Put your sunscreen on and come enjoy a fresh cup of coffee.


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