Levi Maxwell is a violin seller and owner of Levi Maxwell Violins (400-7149, facebook.com/levimaxwellsviolins), based in Mason.
Explain your job and what it entails.
I buy new violins at a discount by buying them in bulk. I put the strings and bridges on and tune them up. I then sell them to aspiring musicians of all ages. I advertise mostly via Facebook and good old word of mouth.
How long have you had this job?
I have been selling violins on and off for a few years now but have been putting more effort into this growing business in the past few months.
What led you to this career field and your current job?
I would have to say that when the musician in me met the entrepreneur in me, this business was born.
What kind of education or training did you need?
Humbly, having a good ear comes in handy when tuning a violin as violins are one of the trickiest instruments to tune. I am also learning some basic violin repairs as I go, which I find to be an exciting challenge.
What is your typical at-work uniform or attire?
I am naturally laid back, so the fact that I own my own business is nice when it comes to work attire. I am able to dress comfortably and casually.
What was it like starting a business during the pandemic?
Levi Maxwell’s Violins didn’t really get much momentum until after the pandemic, so I was mostly able to avoid the trouble of a startup business when the world was stopping.
What do you wish you had known at the beginning of your career?
I think if I had known in the beginning that the violin business was going to catch traction the way it has, I probably would not have put as much time, effort and money into other ventures. But, hey, learning is part of the whole process, right?
What do you wish other people knew about your job?
One thing I wish people knew about what I do is how fragile a violin is and how delicate you must be with one. Although, when a repair is needed, the challenge helps me grow.
What was the first job you ever had?
The first job I had was working at Dunkin’ Donuts. I definitely have a sweet tooth, but I have to say I prefer handling violins over doughnuts as the temptation is just too strong for me.
What is the best piece of work-related advice you have ever received?
I would have to say that the advice that encourages me the most about my business is simply seeing a satisfied customer.
Five favorites Favorite book: The Bible Favorite movie:Ice Age Favorite music: Christian worship music Favorite food: Mexican Favorite thing about NH: The weather is never boring.
Put a few here and there, or make a big splash of color
As a boy I was surrounded by hundreds of spring daffodils every year. We lived in rural Connecticut, and the people we bought our house from had planted daffodils by the hundreds in our woods. The woods consisted of sugar maples, huge ones, with a sprinkling of ash trees, providing dappled sunshine. We had wide raked paths and all along the paths were daffodils in April and May. We would pick 50 or more at a time and bring them into the house and put them in vases everywhere.
So when I bought my house here in Cornish Flat in 1970, I started planting bulbs, too. Except for my years in Africa with the Peace Corps, I have probably planted some every year for over 50 years. It is now getting tough to find places to plant more, but somehow I manage. One trick I use is to put those little white plant tags pushed almost all the way into the ground (so I see less of them) each time I plant a new batch. That way I don’t inadvertently dig up some while trying to find a blank palette.
The first step is to buy bulbs. My local feed-and-grain store has them, as do garden centers and most grocery stores. You can order bulbs online if you want things beyond the common ones. But I like to try first to buy locally.
Next, find an appropriate place to plant them. If you are planting small, early-spring bulbs like snowdrops or glory of the snow, you can plant them in the lawn. Just poke holes in the sod for them. Their foliage dies back early. But if you plant daffodils or tulips in the lawn, you won’t be able to mow the lawn until their foliage has replenished the energy in the bulbs, which for daffodils is July 4 or thereabouts.
I like to plant a big splash of color in one place. Rather than dig small holes with a trowel or auger, I like to plant a minimum of 25 daffodils or tulips in a wide single hole. To do this, I lay out the bulbs on the ground where I want them, spacing them 3 inches or so apart. I like a planting of bulbs to be an oval or teardrop shape as opposed to a rectangle. That seems more natural, but do whatever pleases you.
Then I take a hand tool and draw a line around the space designated for the bulbs. I remove the bulbs, and dig out the soil. I don’t dump it on the lawn — I put it in a wheelbarrow or on a tarp so I don’t make a mess on the lawn. I discard any stones as I dig.
For depth, follow the directions on the package. Big bulbs like daffodils and tulips generally should be planted at least 6 inches deep. Little things like crocus only need to be 3 inches deep. If I dig down 6 inches, I then add some bulb booster or organic fertilizer in the hole and then loosen the soil for another 2 inches with my CobraHead weeder (or a three-pronged scratcher). If the soil is heavy clay or very sandy, I add a couple of inches of compost and stir that in.
Next I place the bulbs in the hole in a somewhat random pattern, not straight lines. I wiggle the bulbs around so that the base of each bulb is near the bottom of the loosened and enriched soil. Finally, I shovel the soil from the wheelbarrow back into the soil, being careful not to dislodge my bulbs. If the soil is really crummy, I throw some away and mix in compost to replace it. Bulbs need good drainage.
What about hungry animals that want to eat your flowers before you can enjoy them? Squirrels and chipmunks love tulip bulbs and have been known to watch from a distance as gardeners plant them — and dig them up almost right away. Some sources claim that adding sharp crushed oyster shells on top of the soil, or near the top, will deter them. I doubt that. Oyster shells won’t deter a tulip-hungry gray squirrel.
Wire mesh buried in the soil above the bulbs will deter squirrels, however. The problem is that when you cut it to size, the edges are razor-sharp. When I interviewed the White House gardener at the end of the Clinton years, he reported that they kept squirrels away from their bulbs by feeding them all the corn they could eat. A well-fed squirrel won’t bother to dig for tulips, he said. That’s not a good plan, in my view, it will attract more squirrels. I say, if you want tulips, plant them and hope for the best. Having a dog helps, too.
Deer are another problem. Deer love tulip buds and flowers, and will often eat them just before they open. Although there are deer repellent sprays, I think the best solution there is to temporarily surround beds of tulips with wire fencing. Chicken wire comes in 3-foot-wide rolls that can easily be supported with thin stakes and will keep deer away from your tulips.
Lastly, if you want tulips on your table, you might consider buying them. Local greenhouses near me grow them by the thousand and sell them through my local food coop at a fair price in season. Then you can focus your bulb efforts on things that deer and squirrels won’t eat.
The best bulb in deer country is the daffodil. They are mildly poisonous, so squirrels won’t eat the bulbs and deer won’t eat the flowers. There are over a dozen different named categories of daffodils, and a wide range of colors beyond yellow: white, orange, and even some with a green eye, or center. They will bloom early, mid-season or late in the spring. So buy plenty and enjoy a pest-free spring.
Featured photo: Plant with the pointy end up. Photo by Henry Homeyer.
This treadmill was in my grandparents’ garage when I was a child, and since my grandparents have both passed it has been passed around to a few family members. I have had it for about eight years. I can find very little information about this company or this particular item. It seems that at one point there was a sort of pulley system to work your arms as you walked, but not sure how I would even go about trying to replace such things. A friend of mine looked it up by the patent number, but even that didn’t yield much information about this particular style of treadmill. The base is somewhat heavy, but the handle is removable and it is still usable. I would just like to see if I can get more information to pass on to family members, so we can decide what should be done with this item. Any way you can help would be greatly appreciated.
I have to start off by saying what a history there is in treadmills. From prisons to health care!
What I didn’t find out was any further information on the company.
I think your piece is a neat piece but desirability would be low. Possibly a museum would like to have it, for example. This piece falls under the category of old industrial heavy items that take up a lot of room. Replacing parts for usage would have to be home done. I think you can always find make-do parts now to fix it.
Either way I don’t feel the value would be more than what you could get from someone else who likes it too. Possibly $100.
I thank you for sharing, Catherine, and now have more insight into treadmills myself. Really enjoy learning something new every day. I hope I gave you some additional help.
• Milford’s Trick or Treat on the Oval returns to the Oval gazebo area on Friday, Oct. 28, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Downtown businesses and nonprofits will hand out candy to trick-or-treaters as supplies last. Visit milfordrec.com for more information.
• The Bookery (844 Elm St., Manchester) is hosting a kids Halloween party on Friday, Oct. 28, at 5 p.m. There will be story time, sing-alongs, a costume parade, book signings and more. The event is free, but a space must be reserved. Visit bookerymht.com to access the Eventbrite page to reserve a spot.
• Celebrate the reopening of the Allard Center pool with a spooky open house on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the YMCA Allard Center of Goffstown (116 Goffstown Back Road). In addition to free pool activities like lap swim and open swim, there will be lifeguard swim tests, free family gymnastics, free open climbing, Halloween treats, a selfie station and more. Guests are encouraged to come in costume. Visit graniteymca.org for more information.
• Join the Fisher Cats for Trick-or-Treat at the Ballpark on Saturday, Oct. 29, at Delta Dental Stadium (1 Line Drive, Manchester) beginning at 1:30 p.m. The annual event will have a monster mash dance party, a spooky movie marathon, a costume contest and, of course, plenty of delicious treats. This event is free to attend and more information can be found on the New Hampshire Fisher Cats Facebook page.
• Beaver Brook Association (Maple Hill Farm, 117 Ridge Road, Hollis) will hold its Enchanted Forest family Halloween event on Saturday, Oct. 29, with arrival times starting at 4 p.m. Tickets cost $12. The event will feature “stars, stories, songs and s’mores,” according to the website, which bills the event as “non-spooky fun” with a wildflower trail featuring pumpkins, learning about New England wildlife and more. Visit beaverbrook.org for more information about this event.
• Nashua will hold its Halloween Boo Bash on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the bandshell in Greeley Park. The evening will feature a haunted house, a hayride, a bonfire and, at 6 p.m., a silly scary movie, according to the Nashua Parks and Recreation Department. See nashuanh.gov.
• Manchester’s Trick or Trot is on Sunday, Oct. 30, at Arms Park (10 Arms St., Manchester), with a kids’ run at 10 a.m. and a 3K at 11 a.m. Registration is $25 for adults ages 21 and over, $20 for teens and adults ages 12 to 20, $25 for kids ages 9 to 11 and $10 for kids ages 8 and under. Visit millenniumrunning.com to register in advance.
• Even more trick/trunk-or-treating and Halloween parties, movies and events can be found in the Halloween edition of the Hippo, which was published last week on Oct. 20. Find the e-edition at hippopress.com.
Wine and Whiskers fundraiser to benefit dogs in need
By Mya Blanchard
As of 2010, an average of 2 million animals were euthanized in the United States every year. This number has gone down in recent years to 920,000 thanks to people like Stephanie Kehas of Manchester, who earlier this year started Tailgait Transport and Rescue, a nonprofit to save the lives of countless dogs in need. To fund her mission, Kehas is hosting a Wine and Whiskers Fundraiser on Friday, Nov. 4, at the Derryfield Country Club in Manchester.
It was 14 years ago when Kehas started dedicating her Sundays to the Manchester Animal Shelter. Through volunteering, Kehas was able to bring comfort not only to the animals but also to herself.
“I call it my church [because] it’s just such a spiritual and sacred place for me. I get a lot of healing there,” Kehas said.
At the time she started volunteering, Kehas had been working at Elliot Hospital as a physical therapist, which has been her profession for nearly three decades. About 10 or 12 years ago, she became a traveling physical therapist, and was consequently no longer able to continue her ritual of volunteering. Realizing how much she missed it, she began volunteering at the local shelters in the states she found herself in for work, gaining connections in southern states like South Carolina, Texas, North Carolina and Georgia.
Of the nearly 1 million animals that are euthanized every year, half come from the South. Population control issues and surrenders mean that many of these animal shelters run out of space, causing an overabundance of animals to essentially be put on what Kehas calls “death row.” It was while she was on the road that she had an epiphany: “‘Oh my god! I could [totally be] driving dogs back right now’ — [and so] … that’s how it kind of all started,” Kehas said.
Kehas started tailoring her work schedule around her trips of collecting animals from the South and bringing them up to New England.
“Being located in New England, I feel like … I have the opportunity of creating a safe haven for animals to get out of harm’s way down south and bring them up north and just give them a chance,” she said. “I’ll have to stay overnight in a hotel or something, and I’ll bring these dogs into the hotel room. … They always end up on the bed with me [and] the look in their eyes … exuding happiness, love and gratefulness [is] why I do it.”
Not having a shelter of her own, the dogs that Kehas brings north end up going to other shelters in the region, which can be constraining. It is her hope that through the fundraiser, she will be able to raise enough money to open her own.
At this wine and chocolate event, attendees will be able to enjoy hors d’oeuvres while participating in auctions and raffles, to win prizes like a gift basket of 52 bottles of wine, or a “week of no cooking” package, consisting of gift cards from seven local restaurants.
Wine and Whiskers Fundraiser When: Friday, Nov. 4, 5:30 p.m. Where: Derryfield Country Club, 625 Mammoth Road, Manchester Cost: $35; purchase on Eventbrite More info: Visit tailgaitrescue.org, find them on Facebook and Instagram @tailgaittransportandrescue or email email@example.com
Featured photo: Kehas with Marcia, a chow mix from North Carolina. Photo courtesy of Tailgait Transport & Rescue.
The latest from NH’s theater, arts and literary communities
• Second weekend of Grease: The Palace Theatre’s (80 Hanover St. in Manchester; palacetheatre.org, 668-8855) production of the musical Grease, which will run through Saturday, Nov. 12, continues this weekend. Catch a show this weekend at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 28, and Saturday, Oct. 29, or at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29, and Sunday, Oct. 30. Tickets start at $25.
• Last weekend of Shrek: Catch Shrek the Musical, a production by the Epping Community Theater at the Epping Playhouse (36 Ladd’s Lane; eppingtheater.org), this weekend. The production, which ends its two-week run on Sunday, has showtimes at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 28, and at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29, and Sunday, Oct. 30. Tickets range from $15 to $20. Sean Bushor, the production’s Lord Farquaad, discussed his process for getting into the role (and the difficulty of having to do a fair amount of running around while on his knees) in the Oct. 13 issue of the Hippo; find his interview starting on page 11.
• Exhibit and a performance: The Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St. in Manchester; 669-6144, currier.org) opened the nationally touring exhibit “State of the Art 2020: Locate,” which will be on display through Feb. 12, 2023. The exhibit “explores how different people see themselves in our society … the artists shown here explore how relationships, families, neighborhood and even hidden forces shape us as individuals,” according to the museum’s website. Pianist Jacqueline Schwab, whose newly released album is I Lift My Lamp, will perform in response to the exhibit in the Currier’s auditorium on Sunday, Nov. 13, at 2 p.m. Admission costs $30 and registration is currently open.
• Make your own art: The Currier also has classes, online and in person, for adults in November, including Drypoint Prints with Kate Hanlon on Saturday, Nov. 5, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The cost is $165; see currier.org.
• Author on stage: Stacy Shiff, author of the new book The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams and previous books The Witches and Cleopatra, will be at the Music Hall Lounge (131 Congress St. in Portsmouth; themusichall.org) on Wednesday, Nov. 2, at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $52 and include the book.
Randy Rainbow Author, comedian, actor, producer, singer, writer and satirist Randy Rainbow is bringing his show, Randy Rainbow: The Pink Glasses Tour, to the Capitol Center for the Arts Chubb Theatre (44 S. Main St. in Concord; ccanh.com) on Friday, Oct. 28, at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. As of Oct. 24, available tickets started at $48.25 plus fees.
Craft fair season
We have another fall weekend of crafts and arts fairs on the schedule, and some of this weekend’s have a decidedly Halloweeny vibe.
• Hocus Pocus on Hanover will take place at the Spotlight Room (96 Hanover St. in Manchester) on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission costs $5 online, $6 at the door. Described as a “spiritual fair featuring readers, healers, artists and metaphysical goods,” the event is presented by Soul and Shadow Emporium (22 Hanover St. in Manchester). See shadowandsoulemporium.com.
• The Bizarre Bazaar at Prayers of Nature Studio (33 Howard St. in Wilton) will run Saturday, Oct. 29, from noon to 7 p.m. (during the Wilton Main Street Association’s The Haunting of Wilton event) and will feature a “bootique” filled with art, gemstones, decor, artisan jewelry and apparel, according to a press release. The day will also feature divination readers and Laurie from the Eclectic Green Witchery. See prayersofnature.com.
• The Nashua Halloween Crafts Fair, held by Bazaar Craft Fairs, will take place on Sunday, Oct. 30, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at 10 Spruce St. in Nashua. The event will feature 40+ crafters and vendors and trick or treating for kids (who are encouraged to come in costume), according to the event’s Facebook post.
• VFW Post 8641 in Merrimack (282 Daniel Webster Hwy. in Merrimack) will hold a craft fair on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Know of an upcoming craft fair? Tell us all about it at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NH coffee roasters discuss how they craft the perfect cup of joe
To understand and appreciate specialty coffee is to experience it. I didn’t know what a coffee cupping was prior to writing what you’re about to read, but when Kevin Clay of Mill City Roasting Co. invited me to partake in just that, I nonetheless felt compelled to accept his offer.
As I’d come to find out, a coffee cupping is kind of like a wine tasting — but for coffee beans. And as far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing better than that crisp smell of freshly ground coffee beans ready to be brewed in my morning’s cup of joe. I knew that I’d be in for a treat.
I arrived at Mill City’s Londonderry facility just in time to witness Clay pour three seemingly identical — but, in actuality, very different — freshly roasted coffees into a series of three small cups on a table. Two additional cups, one empty and one filled with water, accompanied them.
“They’re all going to smell and taste like coffee,” Clay told me, “but there’s definitely going to be subtle little differences in the taste and the flavor.” I must admit that this was where a trepidation on my part began to creep in — what if they all just smell and taste like the same cup of coffee and my senses overlook the intention of this exercise? I was pleasantly proven wrong.
Following Clay’s lead, I picked up a spoon and gently removed the residual film on the top of each cup, rinsing it in the cup of water in between. I then placed my nose right up against each coffee to test its aroma, starting with a Brazilian roast before following suit with a Colombian roast and an Ethiopian roast. After that, it was time to do some tasting.
“Basically, you want to aerate it as you bring it over your palate, [which] tastes things differently in different parts of your mouth,” Clay said. “You should get different characteristics.”
Tasting each of the three coffees one by one — slurping them from my spoon like a sommelier might slurp wine — I was surprised to find that, yes, I actually did pick up some variations, albeit very subtle. The Colombian coffee, for instance, tasted slightly sweeter and cleaner than the Brazilian coffee, while the Ethiopian coffee gave off a sensation that a dry wine might give your palate, a kind of full-bodied mouthfeel.
As Clay would tell me, this process of cupping is a popular industry technique among coffee roasters. It helps him and others make decisions about which coffees to purchase in larger quantities to prepare for roasting. It’s also an effective method for them to check on their own consistency by way of sample-sized roasts.
“Coffee, no different than wine, country to country and even within region to region of a given country, is going to have differences in the characteristics because of the micro-climates,” he said. “Everything that we do is focused on having the best cup of coffee that we can.”
Our coffee cupping exercise complete, I sat down with Clay to get his insight on the growing specialty coffee scene in New Hampshire. What follows are even more stories of how local coffee roasters and cafe and coffee bar owners have joined the specialty coffee movement, as well as where you can go to get that freshly roasted cup of joe.
A changing landscape
When Clay founded Mill City Roasting Co. in 1996, things were a bit different.
“The industry has really changed,” he said. “When we first started, our major competitors were New England Coffee out of Malden, Massachusetts, and then Green Mountain Coffee was the biggest one on the block. They’re still here and do a lot of business in our market, but mostly in convenience stores. … A lot of that specialty business is really gone.”
Starbucks, meanwhile, had yet to really make a stamp on the East Coast, only just opening its first store in Washington, D.C., a few years prior.
“Starbucks was primarily on the West Coast at the time, and they were really a phenomenon,” Clay said. “We used to travel out west to find out just what those guys were doing that was so different, because there really weren’t cafes here. There was a Gloria Jean’s around that used to sell bulk coffees and they had an espresso machine, but they really weren’t there to sell coffee drinks. They were selling sweet stuff.”
Clay estimates that you probably could have counted the number of coffee roasters in New Hampshire on one hand — such as around three, maybe four — back in the mid-’90s.
“When I first started in ’96, I thought to myself, Manchester is going to have espresso cafes on every corner in the next five years and we’re going to be right in the middle of it,” he said. “That didn’t happen.”
But what has happened — albeit, somewhat slowly and gradually — is a growing trend in specialty coffee roasters at home. Their stories for jumping into the coffee roasting world may vary, but they all had one thing in common: a desire to ditch the mass-produced stuff in favor of a really fresh, high-quality cup of coffee.
“When my husband and I ended up moving to New Hampshire, there just really weren’t coffee shops around, and if they were, it was Green Mountain Coffee or Dunkin’,” said Emeran Langmaid, founder of A&E Coffee & Tea, which operates a roastery in Nashua and a cafe in downtown Manchester. “Having that intentional coffee … was something that was very missing on the landscape. It was missing the point of development of the connection between the grower, the producer, and its quality. … And also, the sustainable elements of coffee and having a social impact, because coffee can do that.”
In Milford, Union Coffee Co. is another great example of how that connection can be made. Current Union owner and head roaster David Cianci had been working in the Peace Corps in Paraguay, eventually going from there to Colombia, where he was introduced to the work of coffee farmers.
“That’s where I got into coffee. … [I was] working on a coffee farm and understanding the coffee harvest, and just the processing and what it takes to get it from the plant to a product that’s ready for export,” Cianci said. “We were purchasing whole-bean coffee [at Union] … but then, you get to a point running a cafe when you’re just using so much whole-bean roasted coffee and you’re paying a lot for it, that it makes sense to start to finance your own roasting equipment. You do that and then it becomes a whole other revenue stream of selling your coffee.”
And on that note, Cianci said there are all different styles of available roasters.
“There are fluid bed roasters, which are pretty much like big warm pans that coffee sits in, and there are air roasters, where … you’re basically using hot air to roast the coffee,” he said. “The super-traditional one is what we have, which is a drum roaster. It’s either stainless steel or cast iron, and there are heating elements below it, and the drum spins around and the coffee cooks. After that, you reach a certain point where it will split open and you drop it out of the drum.”
A&E operates two Diedrich brand drum-style roasters, Langmaid said — the smaller of the two, a black roaster nicknamed “Black Betty,” is reserved for smaller and more complex coffee batches, while a much larger golden-colored roaster nicknamed “Big Honey” is used for larger batches. The differences, Langmaid said, have to do with each roaster’s air flow.
For some local roasters the coffee journey has been a little more unconventional. Mike Brown of Hometown Coffee Roasters in Manchester recalls first dabbling in coffee roasting with a popcorn popper he bought at a secondhand store.
“At the time, I was drinking Dunkin’ or just coffee you get at the grocery store, and I never thought it was all that great, so I just kind of started researching coffee in general and I came across an article on how you can roast coffee at home,” Brown said. “So I started roasting out of a little popcorn popper in my garage and then it turned out to be a great cup of coffee, even compared to the stuff you find on the shelf at a large grocery chain.”
Fast forward just a few short years and Brown now operates his own coffee bar on Old Granite Street in Manchester, also wholesaling to dozens of accounts including some local Hannaford Supermarkets. And in case you’re wondering, yes, he has graduated from the popcorn popper to a Diedrich brand roaster, capable of producing two dozen-pound batches at a time.
A deeper mission
Coffee is the seed of a fruit that, not unlike the apple, comes in all kinds of varieties.
“With apples, obviously sometimes they are green, sometimes red, sometimes they are sour, or some are better for baking. They have all of these different characteristics. Coffee is exactly the same way,” Langmaid said. “We’ve always had coffee come basically from all of the main growing regions around the world, so [that includes] Central and South America, Africa, and then the Asia-Pacific.”
According to Cianci, where coffee is grown, what altitude it’s grown at and what kind of harvest season a farmer has experienced are all important factors to consider when purchasing coffee.
“After coffee is picked, there are different ways to separate the coffee cherry from the bean that’s inside of it,” he said. “With natural processed coffee, it’s like a raisin, where it’s picked and put directly into a drying bed to dry in the sun. … That’s going to be where you get a lot of potential for those really funky interesting fruity flavors. Because the bean is in contact with the cherry, it has higher carbohydrates and sweetness content in general.”
Coffee roasters typically get their hands on the beans — known as green beans, not the vegetable but the industry term referring to unroasted beans — in one of two ways. Most producers, Langmaid said, are part of member-owned cooperatives and will sometimes sell their beans under their own name.
“The pros of doing that is if it’s a good quality, you can establish a name for yourself, and then you can negotiate higher prices with the buyer,” she said. “The drawback is if you don’t have those connections, or people just don’t pick your coffee, then it can just sit there. … The alternative is to sell coffee that’s just all blended together from all the producers, and that is sold on the co-op level so it’s sold by the co-op name.”
Langmaid said that A&E will purchase its beans both of these ways, via blends or what’s called single-origin, meaning there’s only one coffee from one place in your cup.
As for Union, Cianci said that about 70 percent of all their coffee is acquired through direct purchase agreements with farms in countries like Colombia and Guatemala.
“The fewer intermediaries there are, the more money is going to the farmer, the actual producer of the coffee,” he said. “That’s the bottom line.”
It’s understanding the importance of those relationships and maintaining a sense of transparency, Clay said, that makes purchasing single-origin green coffee beans so paramount.
“I’ve stood at a co-op … and I’ve watched a guy bring two or three bags of coffee beans on a donkey in Colombia. They take a sample of the bag and they put it out on the table and grade it, and he, that farmer, gets paid on the consistency and quality,” Clay said. “What I love about Colombia … is that the Colombian Coffee Federation is actually owned by the farmers. … So I look at that and I think, OK, they really have an opportunity to impact their lives and their income. People would not comprehend just how much work goes into it.”
From bean to cup You’ve probably heard the terms “light roast,” “medium roast” and “dark roast” when it comes to coffee, but what do those mean when it comes to the drink’s production process? Emeran Langmaid of A&E Coffee & Tea said it all has to do with a roast’s time and temperature. “A lighter coffee is just in the roaster for a shorter time period, and potentially at a little lower temperature,” she said. “Then, the longer you leave the coffee in the roaster, the higher the temperature you go. … Generally speaking, a lighter coffee is going to be a greater perceived acidity, so the more you develop that in terms of roasting, the more you diminish the acidity and develop sweetness as well. You’re caramelizing your sugars from fruity components into more lactic, chocolate or caramel components.” David Cianci of Union Coffee Co. in Milford said there are two major events in a roast cycle: “first crack” and “second crack.” “‘First crack’ is when the beans will reach a point where they’ll split open and a burst of water vapor comes out. You’ll hear them cracking, almost popping like popcorn,” he said. “After that, if you leave the coffee in long enough and you roast it dark enough, it will go through ‘second crack,’ where it will almost puff out a little more, even more like popcorn. … We actually use roasting software to track all the data from each roast, and when we hear the beans crack, we’ll mark that in the data.”
Just about everybody I spoke with for this story agreed that specialty coffee is on the rise in the Granite State, even just within the last few years. And that doesn’t only apply to the roasters themselves, either — it’s also on the consumer side.
“When I originally started roasting coffee about six years ago, I always wondered if specialty coffee was popular in New Hampshire … but I’ve come to find out that there’s a real desire for it and there’s a desire for consumers to want to learn about it,” Brown said. “I’m right there in the shop every day roasting coffee and I have at least two or three people a day coming over and asking me questions about it. And even to my surprise, a lot of people know a lot about it, but then there’s also a lot of people who just think of it as a cup of caffeine to wake them up in the morning. But then once you educate them on the journey that it takes from seed to cup, they are mesmerized by it.”
I was admittedly one of those people once upon a time. You can go into the coffee aisle of any major grocery store chain and see the roast date printed on any bag of whole bean or ground coffee. Sometimes that date is many weeks or even a month or more before the day you’re there.
“The stuff we do on our website is usually shipped the day it was roasted,” Clay said. “So, freshness in coffee is huge, and you’re just not going to get that at Dunkin’ or at Starbucks.”
Langmaid said that, while the espresso coffee shop culture remains most popular among younger generations, she believes the effects of the pandemic have altered that.
“Obviously a lot of people had to start drinking coffee at home and experiencing it in a different way,” she said. “There’s a trend, I think, across the board of being a home barista. And that isn’t necessarily getting an espresso machine, but maybe it’s just taking a few minutes to make your coffee at home, and investing in a good grinder. It’s kind of a swing in terms of how people are purchasing coffee and how they are experiencing it.”
New England Coffee Festival A two-day event celebrating specialty coffee culture, the New England Coffee Festival debuted in downtown Laconia earlier this year. It’s presented by Wayfarer Coffee Roasters and packed with local speakers, workshops, vendors, samples and even a competitive “latte art throwdown.” “Our goal … was to have a community event that brings coffee professionals and coffee consumers together, and really to build relationships and get people to try locally made products,” Wayfarer Coffee Roasters co-owner and festival organizer Karen Bassett told the Hippo in May. “We want to kind of give awareness to what specialty coffee is, and how there actually really is a lot of really good high-quality coffee right here in New England.” According to Bassett, the inaugural event was a huge success, drawing around 5,000 attendees to the area and featuring more than 50 local vendors. Plans are already underway for the festival to return for a second year in 2023, to be held on Friday, May 19, and Saturday, May 20. That event will feature even more hands-on workshops and outdoor vendors, as well as a latte art throwdown in front of a grand audience on the Main Stage of Laconia’s Colonial Theatre.
Local specialty coffee roasters
Here’s a list of local cafes, coffee shops and small-batch roasters offering specialty house roasted coffees. Do you know of a coffee roaster based in the Manchester, Concord or Nashua area that’s not on this list? Let us know at email@example.com.
A&E Coffee & Tea
1000 Elm St., Manchester; 95 Northeastern Blvd., Nashua, 578-3338; aeroastery.com
Established in 2001 by Emeran Langmaid, A&E was the first USDA-certified organic coffee roaster to come to New Hampshire. The company sources all types of single-origin coffees from around the world with an emphasis on sustainability. In addition to a cafe in downtown Manchester, A&E operates a roastery in Nashua where bagged beans and teas are sold.
Coskun Yazgan’s family has been roasting their own coffee beans for more than three decades at Caffe Kilim in Portsmouth. Arriving in downtown Hampton in late 2019, Blue Harbor Coffee Co. became Yazgan’s own space to create his own unique coffee blends and baked goods. The small-batch roaster of artisan coffees sources its beans from all over the Coffee Belt, including Central America, Africa and even Papua New Guinea.
Bonhoeffer’s Cafe & Espresso
8 Franklin St., Nashua, 883-6879, bonhoefferscafe.com
Just steps away from Main Street in downtown Nashua, Bonhoeffer’s serves its own house-roasted direct trade coffee, plus a food menu of crepes, breakfast sandwiches and burritos, paninis, wraps and salads. Profits from the sale of Bonhoeffer’s roasted coffee go to the cafe’s sister nonprofit organization, Hope and Life for Kids.
Breaking New Grounds
50 Main St., Durham, 868-6869, bngcoffee.com
Founded in 1993 in Portsmouth, Breaking New Grounds has been a go-to spot in Durham for its in-house roasted coffees since 1997. Beans are often roasted three to four times a week and have origins in multiple major growing regions in Central and South America as well as Africa.
With more than 2,000 coffee varieties, Cindia Jackson’s is known for featuring one of the largest coffee lines around. According to owner Jim Flowers, the business is named as a tribute to his mother, who became interested in coffee way back in 1949, at the age of 12 — working as a waitress with her mother, who was a cook, Jackson took it upon herself to add vanilla, maple syrup, honey and other sweet ingredients to brewed coffees. It’s with that creative spirit that Flowers and his wife have carried on her legacy. Coffees are roasted just a block up the road from the Cindia Jackson’s retail shop on Amherst Street in Nashua, with just about every flavor imaginable. There’s even a “Booze Brew” line of more than 30 alcohol-flavored coffees (which, of course, are non-alcoholic).
Based in New Hampshire Lakes Region, Clarena’s Coffee is known for sourcing its beans entirely from women-owned farms in Colombia and Brazil. Locally, you can find custom blends and roasts at Dancing Lion Chocolate (917 Elm St., Manchester).
326 S. Broadway, Salem, 912-5381, coffeecoffeenh.com
Coffee Coffee owner Barry Goldman has been roasting coffee beans from all over the world since 1966. Located on South Broadway in Salem near the Methuen, Mass., state line, the shop has a special organic coffee roaster Goldman uses to roast thousands of beans from around the world every day. Coffee Coffee even makes its own coffee ice cubes, blended with several different types of roasted coffees.
Established by the Yorke family in 2008 in their hometown of Derry, The Coffee Factory roasts its own beans on site to produce a full line of hot and iced coffees and espresso drinks. The spot also offers breakfast and lunch sandwiches, and regularly maintains a schedule of open mic events.
Critical Mass Coffee
Ryan Connor was a 22-year veteran of the engineering industry before he and his wife, Leah, got into coffee roasting, originally as a hobby. Founded in 2018, Critical Mass Coffee is an organic coffee roastery based in Manchester that sources its beans from all over the world’s major growing regions. In addition to operating an e-commerce website, Critical Mass Coffee sells to some area restaurants, cafes and independent retailers. They’re also a featured vendor at the Made in New England Expo, due to return to the DoubleTree by Hilton Manchester Downtown on Saturday, Dec. 3, and Sunday, Dec. 4.
163 Main St., Salem, 458-7172, farmhouseroasters.com
Roasting its own beans from a variety of growing regions, Farmhouse Roasters always offers fair trade, organic and other certified coffee options. Its cafe features a full line of hot and iced drinks in addition to breakfast and lunch sandwiches, baked goods and more.
Claudia Barrett’s experience in specialty coffee stretches back more than 30 years. Flight Coffee Co. got its start more than a decade ago with one small commercial coffee roaster in the garage of Barrett’s Bedford home. Since then, her company has expanded — now offering everything from specialty coffees and espresso drinks to bagels and pastries — and has experienced recognition at the national level, winning multiple coffee competition awards and being featured in the coffee industry trade magazine Roast several times. In 2013 Barrett became the first Certified Q Grader in New Hampshire, a professional coffee cupper accredited by the Coffee Quality Institute. She would soon launch a coffee roastery on Harvey Road in Bedford, eventually turning an adjacent space into what she called a “satellite cafe.” Last year she moved all operations to a new flagship space across town, taking up a portion of the former Harvest Market store on the corner of Wallace Road and Route 101.
Granite Ledge Coffee
Christopher Evans got his start in the coffee world when his beans were roasted in iron skillets, brought to temperature in an electric oven. Over the last few decades, Granite Ledge Coffee has grown to now offer all kinds of specialty roasted coffees sourced from farmers across the world. Coffee by the pound is available for sale at the Concord Farmers Market, which wraps up its outdoor season on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Capitol Street.
Hometown Coffee Roasters
80 Old Granite St., Manchester, 703-2321, hometownroasters.com
Mike Brown started Hometown Coffee Roasters as a hobby in the garage of his Bedford home, eventually expanding it into a commercial roastery. In October 2018 he moved the business into his current space in Manchester, where he also launched a coffee bar by the summer of 2020. Brown sources his coffee beans from all of the major growing regions, including Central and South America and Africa.
Horseshoe Cafe (Kozuma Coffee Co.)
171 Main St., Newmarket, 292-5280, find them on Facebook @horseshoecafenewmarket
Norihiro Kozuma, who’s originally from Japan, and his wife Sarah of the Kozuma Coffee Co. opened the Horseshoe Cafe back in 2017, after Norihiro became interested in home coffee roasting. The cafe features a variety of hand-selected artisan coffees roasted in house, along with a menu of small-batch baked goods and pastries, and sandwiches on scratch-made breads.
59 Route 27, Raymond, find them on Facebook @javajoesraymondnh
Paul Lynn of Raymond launched this drive-thru shop, which offers specialty coffees, teas and various breakfast items, in 2015. Lynn built the 300-square-foot drive-thru himself and roasts his own coffee beans in house, which include Colombian, Sumatran and several other varietals. Java Joe’s also features a full line of espresso drinks, including macchiatos and chai lattes, and egg and cheese sandwiches available on English muffins, bagels or croissants.
Using a traditional drum roaster, Sam Brest of King David Coffee Roasters can produce up to 30 pounds of roasted coffee at a time. Brest got his start in the coffee roasting industry back in the early 2000s, owning his own sandwich shop in Nashua for about 14 years before. His beans are only single-origin, coming all over the major growing regions of Central and South America, Africa and Indonesia. Brest also operates a commercial kitchen, producing and selling his own kettle corn.
This Rye coffee bar and roastery is unique for highlighting multiple growing regions in Colombia — it’s the brainchild of Max Pruna, who himself was born and raised in the Colombian city of Medellín. Pruna’s coffee roasting journey began in his own home garage before he opened La Mulita in September 2019. In addition to serving specialty Colombian coffees and espresso drinks, La Mulita partners with several local businesses to offer food items like bagels, doughnuts and scones.
Lucas Roasting Co.
7 King St., Wolfeboro, 605-5484, lucasroasting.com
Offering both single-origin coffees and gourmet blends, Lucas Roasting Co. is a small-batch roastery in Wolfeboro that also features a small walk-in cafe space where you’ll find a hot and cold beverages as well as assorted food items.
Miles to Go Coffee Roasters
Chester, 887-4343, milestogocoffee.com
Ed Karjala of Chester turned his hobby of home coffee roasting into a business in late 2018. Miles to Go Coffee Roasters, run by Karjala with the help of his wife, Christi, will usually have six or seven different coffee products available — some are single-origin, while others are blends of two or more origins. Bags of Karjala’s coffees are available for sale at the Chester General Store (2 Haverhill Road) and via his website.
Mill City Roasting Co.
Kevin Clay has decades of experience in the specialty coffee industry, having founded Mill City Roasting Co. in 1996. Sourcing its beans from several major growing regions across Central America, South America and Africa, Mill City Roasting Co. operates a production facility in Londonderry, roasting and selling its coffees under the brand names Cafe Du Jour and Java Tree Gourmet Coffees. Coffees are sold in several restaurants and stores across southern New Hampshire and, as of 2020, now available for sale direct-to-consumer through an e-commerce website.
Based in Derry, the family-run Natalie’s Coffee has been roasting fresh gourmet coffee on demand since 2001, according to its website. You can also find their coffee used exclusively at Janie’s Uncommon Cafe (123 Nashua Road, Londonderry).
New Hampshire Coffee Roasting Co.
7 Sumner Drive, Dover, 740-4200, nhcoffee.com
This small-batch coffee roaster sources its beans from all of the major growing regions around the world. At the start of 2020, the Barretto family of Dover took over all of the company’s operations. You can find New Hampshire Coffee Roasting Co. in several area restaurants and specialty stores, as well as for sale online or at its Dover factory outlet.
Porcupine Coffee Roasting
Amber White had been roasting her own coffee beans on and off for a few years as a hobby prior to transitioning into a commercial business. Porcupine Coffee Roasting, she said, started during the Covid lockdowns of 2020 — White is now mainly based online, although she is a featured vendor at a few local farmers markets in the summer, and you can also find her coffees at Sweet River Farm (175 North Road, Deerfield). Currently in her roastery, White has beans sourced from countries like Mexico, Colombia, Sumatra, Peru and Ethiopia.
Established in 1992, Port City Coffee Roasters sources its own beans from multiple growing regions around the world with an emphasis on sustainability. In addition to offering coffees at its own cafe, Port City Coffee Roasters partners with area restaurants and cafes that use its roasted beans.
100 N. Main St., Concord, revelstokecoffee.com
Revelstoke Coffee came to downtown Concord in December 2018. Owners Alex Stoyle and Lyndsey Cole became inspired to open their own shop following an overnight stay the previous year in the Canadian community of Revelstoke, a small city roughly between Vancouver and Calgary. With a menu of freshly roasted coffees and teas, along with a rotating lineup of baked goods and breakfast sandwiches, Revelstoke Coffee is a shop built on the themes of travel and discovery.
Riverwalk Bakery & Cafe uses an old-school Turkish drum roaster to produce its small-batch roasted coffees. According to owner Rachel Manelas, a wide array of different beans are roasted, with origins from Colombia and Brazil to Ethiopia and Kenya. Roasted beans are available for pickup or can be shipped out through Riverwalk.
Stone Hammer Coffee Roaster
Chris Wible started experimenting with small batches of test roasts in the late spring of 2021, officially launching Stone Hammer by the end of that summer. An avid cyclist, Wible offers several single-origin coffees that are bike-themed in name, and he’ll make local deliveries via bicycle. Other spots where you can find Stone Hammer’s coffees include Georgia’s Northside (394 N. State St., Concord) and The Country Spirit (262 Maple St., Henniker) — both eateries also incorporate Wible’s coffees into their menu items.
Union Coffee Co.
42 South St., Milford, 277-3181, unioncoffee.co
A stone’s throw away from the Milford Oval, Union Coffee Co. came to town in 2014. Prior to joining the Union team in 2017, current owner David Cianci spent two years with the Peace Corps working with farmers in South America, where he developed an understanding of the coffee harvest and the processing of the beans. About 70 percent of Union’s coffee beans are acquired through direct purchase agreements with farms in countries like Colombia and Guatemala.
Wayfarer Coffee Roasters
626 Main St., Laconia, 527-8313, wayfarerroasters.com
A producer of small-batch house-roasted coffee blends with two cafe locations in Laconia, Wayfarer Coffee Roasters sources its beans from all over the world. In addition to their cafes, you can find Wayfarer’s coffees in more than 30 locations across central and northern New Hampshire, and they ship all across the country through their online store. Wayfarer co-owner Karen Bassett also organizes the New England Coffee Festival, which is due to return to down town Laconia for its second year next May.
Established in 2005, White Heron is known for roasting a wide variety of its own organic coffees, sourced from several different growing regions.
White Mountain Gourmet Coffee
Formerly operating a cafe on Pleasant Street in downtown Concord, White Mountain Gourmet Coffee is now exclusively an e-commerce website and wholesale specialty coffee roaster. Its own roasted coffees are available in several restaurants, country stores, cafes and gift shops across the state.
William & Sons Coffee Co.
William & Sons Coffee Co., which came to Loudon in 2021, originally began as a small boutique roaster in the city of Porto Alegre, Brazil. A variety of roasted coffees are available, sourced from regions in Colombia, Tanzania, Rwanda and other countries.
Witching Hour Provisions
905 Main St., Hopkinton, 505-8107, witchinghourprovisions.com
Witching Hour Coffee began as a small-batch roaster in the fall of 2020. By the following summer, the business became a regular vendor at local farmers markets before Witching Hour Provisions would open in Hopkinton that December. In addition to offering freshly roasted bags of its coffee, the shop sells a variety of home and personal care products.
Woodshed Roasting Co. started in 2010 with a small sample roaster and has since grown into a retail storefront that’s open five days a week. Its coffees are also available in several restaurants, stores and other businesses in the Granite State.
Featured photo: Photo courtesy of Critical Mass Coffee.
The Witch of Weston Tower will haunt McIntyre Ski Area (50 Chalet Ct., Manchester) today through Sunday, Oct. 30. Take a scenic chairlift ride to the summit of McIntyre Ski Area and travel the treacherous trail to the Witch of Weston Tower to see some of “the most spooktacular views of Manchester,” according to a press release. On Saturday, there will be Trunk-Or-Treating, a costume contest and more. The cost for lift ride and the witch is $20 for ages 13 and up, $10 for ages 6 to 12, and free for kids 5 and under. Bring money for food trucks, face and pumpkin painting, live music and more. Visit mcintyreskiarea.com.
Friday, Oct. 28
Tonight is the Halloween Howl in downtown Concord. The event runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Main Street and feature community trick-or-treating along Main Street with a “Not so Scary” dance party with Nazzy, costume contests, games and family activities. Visit intownconcord.org or see the listings starting on page 11 in last week’s issue, which includes Halloween fun for all ages.
Saturday, Oct. 29
The New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival returns to downtown Laconia today, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The one-day street festival celebrates all things pumpkin. Attendees can enjoy live music, a “pumpkin palooza” cornhole tournament and a craft and artisan show. For the kids there will be a climbing wall, face-painting, pumpkin bowling, a costume parade, jack-o’-lantern lighting and more. Visit nhpumpkinfestival.com.
Saturday, Oct. 29
The Wilton Main Street Association will hold its The Haunting of Wilton today. The event kicks off with scary stories at the Wilton Library at 11 a.m., followed by a costume parade down Main Street at noon, trick-or-treating with downtown merchants from 1 to 2 p.m., a murder mystery clue game with downtown merchants from 2 to 3 p.m., and a costume dance in Main Street Park with a DJ and more. See visitwilton.com.
Sunday, Oct. 30
Spend Halloween Eve at Spooky World Presents: Nightmare New England, which is open this weekend Thursday, Oct. 27, and Friday, Oct. 28, with available times starting at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 29, and today, Oct. 30, with available times starting at 6 p.m., and tomorrow, actual Halloween, with times starting at 7 p.m. See nightmarenewengland.com for ticket information. Find out about what it’s like to be one of the actors serving up scares at a haunted house in Katelyn Sahagian’s story in the Oct. 20 issue of the Hippo, where you can also find information about other area haunted attractions. Find the e-edition at hippopress.com and the story on page 10.
Wednesday, Nov. 2
Winemaker Amy LaBelle is hosting a decorative focaccia making class at LaBelle Winery (14 Route 111, Derry) today at 6 p.m. Learn how to make focaccia dough from scratch and how to use vegetables and herbs to create a piece of delicious edible artwork. Tickets cost $45 and can be purchased on LaBelle’s website labellewinery.com.
Save the date! Nov. 12, Salute our Soldiers Gala The 11th annual Salute our Soldiers gala will be held in person on Nov. 12 at the Sky Meadow Country Club (6 Mountain Laurels Drive in Nashua) beginning at 5 p.m. The gala recognizes and celebrates the contribution of women in the United States military. The gala, which has been virtual since 2019, will have a cocktail reception and a surf and turf dinner, an address by Catherine Smart, a policy analyst with Applied Research Associates and veteran of the United States Army Military Police, and entertainment by nationally recognized singer and impressionist Tony Pace. Individual tickets cost $200 and a table for up to 10 people costs $2000. To purchase tickets or to learn more about this event, visit VetsCount.org/nh/nashua-gala-2022.
Christian Cheetham, a teacher at Alvirne High School in Hudson, has been named New Hampshire’s 2023 Teacher of the Year. According to a press release from the New Hampshire Department of Education, Cheetham was presented with the award during a surprise celebration on Oct. 24. Selected out of 44 nominees, he will now serve as an ambassador for teachers throughout the state and is in the running for the title of National Teacher of the Year. “I think kids and adults are desperate for real experiences,” Cheetham wrote in his application essay. “Technology is robbing us of our humanity and I strive every day to bring the humanity back. … In my opinion, our students are desperate for real mentoring relationships.” Cheetham also wrote that his motivation as a teacher is to teach students how to live their lives in ways that truly make them happy, according to the release.
QOL score: +1
Comment:Cheetham will join New Hampshire 2023 Teacher of the Year semi-finalists and finalists and other distinguished educators in the state at a Leadership in Education Banquet in December to celebrate their accomplishments.
New Hampshire Housing has put its NH Emergency Rental Assistance Program on pause after the U.S. Treasury announced that New Hampshire will not receive any additional resources to continue the program beyond Dec. 29. According to a press release, new applications will not be accepted as New Hampshire Housing reviews pending submitted applications, the level of federal funding available and the status of New Hampshire’s existing requests to the U.S. Treasury for additional funding. Visit nhhfa.org/emergency-rental-assistance for updates.
QOL score: -2
Comment:More than $230 million in assistance has been provided to more than 23,000 households across the state through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program since March 2021.
Library for all
Nashua Public Library has opened a new sensory-friendly space for adult programs and events. According to a press release, the library consulted with community organizations that provided information about how to create a more comfortable atmosphere for visitors who are neurodiverse or on the autism spectrum or living with an intellectual or developmental disability. “We recognized that we weren’t serving the neurodiverse community as well as we could be during our adult events,” library director Jennifer McCormack said in the release. “As we learn more about their wide range of needs, we’ve started taking steps to ensure that everyone can enjoy and benefit from our programs in an environment where they can thrive.” Events and programs held in the space are presented with softer lighting, less noise, moveable seating and other sensory-friendly considerations. Visit nashualibrary.org.
QOL score: +1
Comment: The library is looking into additional ways to support the neurodiverse community in the future, the release said, such as offering sensory kits for adults to borrow during library visits; providing a social script with details and illustrations to help adults on the autism spectrum understand what they can expect when visiting the library; and hosting sensory-friendly film screenings.
QOL score: 83
Net change: 0
QOL this week: 83
What’s affecting your Quality of Life here in New Hampshire? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With the Celtics starting out 3-0 local optimism continues to be very high. And while it’s just three games, I will say they have done the most important thing they needed to do to show they will be picking up where they were when last season ended: attacking the basket over firing lazy threes. So the season started out as hoped.
Now some thoughts on the opening of the NBA season.
Six Biggest Stories To Start The Year: (1) LeBron James will pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the all-time NBA scoring leader sometime after the new year. (2)How long before it implodes in Brooklyn? (3) Zion is (finally) back and the Pels have him. (4)Drama, drama, drama in Laker-land.(5) When will the DraymondGreen departure happen at Golden State? After the sucker punch heard round the Chase Center, the Warriors signaled the end is coming by investing big money in young guys AndrewWiggins and punch-ee JordanPoole instead of saving some for when the tiresome Draymond’s deal is up at the end of the year. (6) After giving away its future, will pairing bigs Rudy Gobert and KAT work in Minnesota?
For the record, if passed, Kareem will have held that record for 37 years after surpassing previous leader WiltChamberlain’s 31,413 in 1985-86.
NBA 101: Who has committed the most personal fouls in NBA history?
Risers: Following a terrific year as a surprise young team last year until big injuries took their toll, Cleveland can’t be called a dark horse. Especially after adding a 25-point-per-game scorer in DonovanMitchell to their rising young core led by DariusGarland and soon to be star EvanMobley in a big trade over the summer. But they’ll be a riser to be reckoned with.
Overrated: 76ers: The Big 3 of Joel Embiid, James Harden and the underrated Tyrese Maxey will do damage in the regular season, but unless more is added to the roster at the deadline I don’t see it in the playoffs for them. Having said that, give Harden credit as he looks like he’s lost the many extra pounds he was hauling around last year. Combine that with taking less to stay in Philly than going for every extra penny in free agency. It says he wants to be part of the solution. Now if he actually starts trying on defense he’ll earn a tip of the cap from skeptics. Which as regular readers know includes me.
L.A. Lakers Saga: What they do depends on two things: (1) The health of ever fragile AnthonyDavis. (2) Last year’s disaster wasn’t all his fault, though he did get blamed for all of it. But until RussellWestbrook gets a clue that he is not (and never has been) an actual point guard things won’t get better for him or likely the team either. It’s LBJ’s ball, so learn to incorporate what you do well into playing off the ball over dominating it.
Dark Horses: The East — Toronto. Ever whiny Nick (Good Night) Nurse gets a lot out of his players and basketball chief Masai Ujiri is good at finding unheralded talent. The West — New Orleans. Solid Big 3 and BrandonIngram is better than almost everyone knows. All they need is luck in the health department.
Sorry, Scal, JaysonTatum is not quite in the Top 5 players in the league just yet. And while it’s subject to change based on performance, here’s my Top 5 in top-to-bottom order: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Steph Curry, Nikola Jokic, LeBron James and Kevin Durant. I didn’t want to put Jokic here until his team does something. But consecutive MVPs said to do it. Tatum, Luka Doncic and JaMorant will be the next three to crash the party as Ja really came into his own last year as a dynamic force. Going for 49 on opening night backs that up
NBA 101 Answer: Since he played 20 years in the NBA, it makes sense Kareem has the most fouls ever with 4,657. By contrast, Wilt, who never fouled out of even one game, incredibly is not even in the Top 250 players of fouls committed. This is even more incredible given that he almost never came out of the game. Overall he had just 2,075. His rival BillRussell committed 2,593, which ranks 181st. LeBron is 210th with 2,531, and second all-time is KarlMalone with 4,578.
What a way to start a career for JalenWilliams. The 12th overall pick out of Santa Clara’s NBA debut for Oklahoma City lasted all of six minutes before he took one in the head leading to surgery on his orbital bone around his right eye that’ll have him out for the foreseeable future.
Former UMass-Lowell coach and current TNT announcer StanVanGundy is not the only (semi) local playing a role in the NBA this year. There’s the guy we called “Little” Stevie Clifford because he looked about 14 when he was a fledgling assistant on BobBrown’s and KeithDickson’s staff at Saint Anselm in the ’80s, who’s back in Charlotte as HC again there. And on the bench for the bad guys when Boston played Miami Friday night was one-time Plymouth State hoopster DanCraig.
Incidentally, if Tatum wants to be the best player in the league he can get there if he learns to channel his emotions and frustrations into mental toughness to play (and lead) through adversity. Step 1: Stop being a crybaby when you don’t agree with calls and just play.
OK, one more, I love BillRussell as much as anyone and like the idea of the year-long tribute. But the song by the rapper in the Riddler getup (see Batman’s adversaries) on opening night was overkill. A great player and dignified man, but come on, he wasn’t Gandhi.