Coffee Crawl Part 1: My Conversion to Coffee.

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a strict tea girl. Chai tea to be exact. That was, until I discovered Tinker Coffee Co.

I met the Tinker guys out n’ about in Indy, and started popping into their charming building on 16th St. during my free time. In true Hoosier hospitality form, they never failed to ask me if I wanted a cup of coffee…which I politely accepted, despite my distaste for it.

After the third time this happened, I actually began enjoying the taste…even craving it. And now I completely blame the Tinker guys for my coffee addiction.

Although I’d like to think brothers-in-law Steve Hall and Jeff Johnson started Tinker Coffee Co. solely to convert me into a coffee drinker…in reality, they opened the specialty roaster to make amazing coffee that is available and accessible to everyone. They focus on roasting some of the best coffees in the world and promoting the educational side of specialty coffee.


Jeff Johnson and Steve Hall

So what do you need to know about Tinker Coffee Co.?

1.) They know their stuff. This has been Jeff’s dream since high school when he began researching where coffee came from. Even through his 10-year career in tech and finance at IBM, Jeff was researching and studying coffee. Meanwhile, Steve was traveling the nation working at a vineyard and being a wine salesman (not jealous whatsoever). After moving back to Indy, Steve was brought into the business and began learning as much as he could about the process. They take pride in differentiating themselves by roasting the coffee beans to the point where you really get to taste where the coffee comes from, without losing the individual nature of the bean.

*Important note: Tinker Coffee Co. doesn’t operate as a cafe, but strictly a coffee roaster. All of the beans are roasted on-site and available for purchase in-store, online, and at local restaurants and businesses.

2.) They care about the growing culinary scene in Indy. Across the nation, there are subcultures of “coffee people” all striving to make the best cup of coffee possible. Jeff and Steve recognized the great momentum around eating good food and drinking good drinks in Indy, but they knew our coffee culture wasn’t nearly as strong as it could be. So they set out to change that. With a combined passion for roasting and education, and a goal of helping Hoosiers appreciate what they’re putting into their body…Tinker Coffee Co. was born.


Photo Credit: Camryn Walton

3.) More importantly, they care about the consumer. These guys are passionate about coffee, and have set out to share their journey with anyone willing to listen. Cupping classes are hosted throughout the week, in which consumers are exposed to the same process Jeff and Steve go through when roasting, naming and classifying a brand new batch of beans. They’ll teach you where the beans come from, walk you through the roasting experience, and end with a unique coffee tasting. At the end of the day, Jeff and Steve want you to know that with a little extra work, you can make a really fresh cup of coffee, without following an intimidating process.

So how can you share in my recent addiction?

  • Follow Tinker on social for the latest updates. Insta: @TinkerCoffee & Twitter: @TinkerCoffeeCo
  • Schedule a coffee cupping class here.
  • Pop-in for a bag of coffee beans.
  • Sign up for their (brand new!) subscription service here.
  • Join them tonight (6/5) for First Friday @ 6-9pm, where they’ll be showcasing local artist Mallory Hodgkin.
  • Anxiously await the Tinker cafe (not just the roaster) that is “on the horizon.” Stay tuned!

Now that I’m a convert, I’m going to explore a few other coffee roasters in town and take you along my “coffee crawl.” Be on the lookout for my next feature: Bee’s Coffee Roaster!

Written By: Camryn Walton

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