by guest blogger Raina J. Johnson
photos by Elizabeth Dawson

I don’t know two things that are more universally accepted than coffee and story-telling. Both have stood the test of time. Even as technology advances, coffee and stories seem to remain timeless ways to bring people together for what is guaranteed to be a great time. Guests at Ex Fabula’s Secret Fabula were able to experience that sense of togetherness and community on Saturday at Stone Creek Coffee on 5th and St. Paul.

Secret Fabula Stone Creek (8) copyThis Secret Fabula gave us a behind the scenes tour of the cream-city brick building, while also fueling us with delicious coffee and pastries. Guests gathered upstairs and heard from Edith, customer service expert, who shared the history of Stone Creek Coffee and her experience as a Coffee Geek. Did you know that a 24-year-old started the company? From Edith’s presentation, we toured the official spot “Authorized for Coffee Geeks only,” the Stone Creek Coffee field lab. The lab is where coffee is tested and tasted for roast profiles – to provide customers the best coffee experience. Participants had a range of great questions about how Stone Creek Coffee ensures fair trade with their farmers and maintains quality standards from growing regions all over the world.

Tasting Room at Stone Creek Coffee

We all were styling in our hair-nets by the time we made it to basement roasting area. No roasting was taking place at the time of our visit, but we sure were impressed by the amount of machinery and coffee that surrounded us. There seemed to be a never-ending supply of huge burlap bags of coffee, weighing anywhere between 135 – 150 pounds each.

We returned upstairs to form teams and play a few rounds of coffee trivia! Did you know that in Italy, the price to espresso is regulated by the government because espresso is such an important part of daily life there? And did you know that Hawaii is the only U.S. state that commercially grows coffee?

Raina tells her story

Me on stage!

Finally, it was storytelling time! We had a great mix of eager volunteers to share their coffee stories. We heard from self-described coffee geek, Christian, about traveling to origin – which means he spends weeks at a time in beautiful exotic places throughout the world to maintain the true essence of Stone Creek’s mission: farm to cup. Kevin shared a quick story about a time he was in Italy and he ordered a latte incorrectly.  Next John shared with us a very expensive coffee habit he had while living in New York, a $15 per day mocha habit! We also heard a beautiful family story from Magda. She told us about her mother, who had a sort of coffee tradition with her children and now as an adult Magda continues in that tradition with her mother. As a former barista, I have plenty of coffee stories. I shared a quick story about how coffee found me one of the greatest loves of my life. Megan, Elijah, Lily, Jackie, and Scott also took the stage to share tales of not enough coffee, too much coffee, and everything in between.

What a wonderful way to close out Secret Fabula this season. Not a bad way to spend a little rainy Saturday afternoon. We’re grateful for the coffee, the stories and the memories we shared at Stone Creek!