I’ve been drinking coffee since I was no more than 5-years-old. I used to sit on my grandmother’s lap drinking coffee at 6am in the morning on cold winter days. We’d watch the sunrise, she’d make me a cup of coffee and I was allowed to put as much sugar in it as I liked. That was usually three heaping spoons. And sometimes she’d even give me a fruit pie to have with my coffee.
To this day coffee is a big part of my life. Every single morning begins with the opening ritual of listening to music and slowly savoring a cup of coffee while thinking on the day ahead. When I was in prison I used to think about the things I missed…the things I hoped one day to experience again. One of the things I thought about a lot was sitting on a porch with a cup of hot, black coffee and a piece of pumpkin pie on an October evening. I used to think of that constantly and mentally project myself there for hours at a time. Now, I can actually do it.
When my friend Acey Slade started Dead Sled Coffee with a couple of friends, he asked if I’d be interested in making my own blend. This was a no-brainer and I said absolutely!
The Making of Damien Echols Tzadkiel Blend
We went to the facility where coffee beans were being roasted in a giant machine and the smell of coffee perpetually filled the air. If you like coffee, you would have loved this experience because the smell was so rich you just wanted to eat it. We began by taste-testing coffees of different origins. Then I chose the ones I liked best and combined them in a ratio that I liked. That’s how I created my first coffee blend – Damien Echols Tzadkiel Blend.
I learned some things about coffee while doing this. For example, a way to tell if a coffee is of good quality is to let it sit until it gets cold. If it still tastes good cold, it’s good coffee. But if it doesn’t taste good – not good coffee.
I decided to name my blend after Tzadkiel, one of my favorite archangels to work with. He’s one of the archangels who presides over the astrological sign of Sagittarius, my birth sign, and represents freedom, benevolence and mercy. I also designed the talismans on the packaging.