Java Joe part 2

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Java Joe

Part 2

Machina  (It.) – “the machine”

by Dahni

© 2017, all rights reserved

Good Top of the Morning to you! Time for a cuppa!

Today’s series begins with what the Italians call, machina, [pronounced: mah-chee-no] “the machine.” It takes the best mano “hand”  of the best hand to bring out the best flavor of the best beans and Joe was and the best mano (“hand”), and the best machina (“machine”), to do it.  Beans begin when what they are called, “green.” Then temperature is used to roast them to perfection. Each bean and each batch can have many variables and nuances of flavor. It takes a master; an artesian, the mano (the “hand”), to do this.  This was Joe. But there was much more and there is much more to this.

“green” (un roasted), beans

under roasted – purrrfectly’ roasted 🙂 – and over roasted (“burnt”), beans

The Original ‘Java Joe’ loved his own coffee!

One has to know what the various coffees and blends of coffees are supposed to taste like. Joe knew. And he knew all the popular nomenclature of coffee like latte, cappuccino and espresso and etc. Joe knew what they are supposed to taste like and how each are supposed to be made. I will offer proof of this as this series continues.

But Joe mostly liked expertly roasted, rightly ground and with the right equipment (machines), like brew pot and espresso machines. Remember, when he came back to Rochester and having been in Hawaii and he tasted and favored Kona, when he got back here, no one had any decent coffee. So, he decided to roast his own. He liked his own work and coffee or espresso, he drank his coffee black. He found no need or reason to screw up a good cup of coffee or espresso, by adding sugar and cream and frothy milk poured out in some fancy-schmancy artsy fartys design, which is more for show than for just plane-O good coffee. But Joe accommodated different tastes. Again, more proof about this too, as this series continues.

All in the coffee business use some type of machine, but did you know, most of the familiar, store-bought and big name coffee companies, don’t actually roast their beans, they bake them. They would say it is part of their brand’s consistency in taste and quality control. Joe would say, they just “burn” the beans. He would be reluctant to use the word roast, when the beans are all mostly baked. I came to understand exactly what he was talking about. As he taught, I learned. As I learned, my sense of smell and my palette evolved—got trained, got educated. Since Joe started, coffee (micro-roasted coffee), took off in the Rochester area. There is an area around Henrietta that as you drive by, you can smell it being cooked. It is actually being baked and I learned from Joe, to tell by the smell in the air, just like Joe said, it is being over-roasted, or as Joe often said, “burnt.” Some people might think this is just strong coffee being produced. No, it’s just coffee being burnt, just like it tastes after it sits all day on a warming plate. You who know what that tastes like, know exactly what I’m talking about! More about that later, as this series continues.

But Joe decided from the beginning, to use some other machina (“machine’), like what, I dunno, like a COFFEE ROASTER?! 🙂

Joe found and developed a unique roasting method: turn-of-the-century style coffee roaster.  This is turn-of-the-century style roasting with the highest quality beans available, to micro-roast coffee in small batches. This unique roaster enables your coffee to be expertly roasted, using a direct flame process, instead of convection ovens.  Joe was, one of the only roasters in the United States who actually roasted– not baked – coffee.  This method of roasting takes much more skill to produce – but all coffee lovers, tasters and aficionados believe, it yields, unsurpassed flavor!

Choose your figure of speech (simile or metaphor), but Joe was, “like” a machine or he “was” a machine, when it came to roasting coffee! The Master Roaster and Grandfather of Fresh Micro-Roasted Coffee: Java Joe.  In 1975, long before anyone even thought about micro roasting, Joe was in Hawaii clearing an old abandoned coffee farm with machete in hand.  He literally learned and understood coffee from the ground up. OK, that was kind of pun-ny’, but it works. 🙂

When Joe returned to his home town of Rochester, NY years later, he was way ahead of anyone in this field and the present social phenomenon, surrounding coffee.  He was amazed at the attention to detail, the time and money spent by the finest restaurants.  He was even more shocked to realize that virtually no consideration was given by these same restaurants, to the last thing a customer has to remember their dining experience there by, a cup of coffee!  Well, my friends, the visionary Java Joe enlightened many of theses chefs and owners. Today, there are not a few of the finest restaurants in this area that have not served his coffee. And there are others that due to him, do roast their coffee. Others, do roast their own coffee in this area, but not as good as the One and Only, thee original, Java Joe! To my great delight, Joe taught many his craft and his namesake still offers Joe’s coffee at, Java’s Café and many other places locally.


Click the image to visit their site

16 Gibbs Street, Rochester, NY

For those that are local, you can still buy a cup or bags of beans, still roasted, literally, with Joe’s machina, Joe’s “machine”! And his mano (“his hand”), is still evident, in the hands that roast coffee, the hands of those he taught and taught well!



Dahni at The Gathering Place

Next time: ‘Macinato’  (It.) – “the grind”

Categories: Art, Being Good at What You Do, Coffee, Comfort Food, Cooking, Education, Entertainment, Family & Friends, Food, Home, Inspiration, Java, Java Joe, Life, Pursuit of Happiness, Saying Goodbye, The Gathering Place, Toast this Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Java Joe part 1

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Java Joe

Part 1

Mano  (It.) – “the hand”

by Dahni

© 2017, all rights reserved

Good Top of the Morning to you! Time for a cuppa!

I have thought about writing this for months and it is because, I’ve thought about this man for months. Both his life and his passing has deeply affected me. I have much to say, much I want to tell you, much I want to share with you and yes, much I want to teach about much that he has taught me. So, it is my hope to pay my teacher, a master teacher, the respect and the credit he deserves. And it is my greatest hope as he has done for me that I can impart to you, some of the art and mastery of the world’s second most traded commodities, coffee!

So I begin with a series, simply called, Java Joe. And it and this series begins with, what the Italians call ‘Mano [pronounced: mah-no] – “the hand.” In this sense, this hand, belonged to the man, affectionately known as, Java Joe.

Java Joe – Joseph J. Palozzi

Born February 1949

Died March 11, 2017

When you have a cup of coffee, you might think of it or call it a cup of Java or simply, a cup of Joe. Whether you realize it or not, you are paying respect, every time you have a cup, to the one and only, the original, Java Joe.

Java Joe, or a.ka. Joseph J. Palozzi and Joe Palozzi and just, Joe, was a legend. At least many of the stories surrounding his life were legendary. To be a legend in one’s time or in one’s mind, the story or stories are sometimes popularly regarded as historical, but unauthenticated. I don’t believe Joe thought of himself as legendary in his own mind, but he was to many, a legend in his own time. Even to write this, I found it very difficult to find many facts about his life, from public places. Even his obituary did not give his date and time of birth. All I could track down was the Month (February), and the year (1949), when he was born.

I had heard rumors of his passing for about 2 weeks, before I started writing this. Life being what it is, it took me awhile to track down and verify that he did indeed die, March 11th, 2017, after a long fight with lung cancer. Now you may not believe or understand this, but his death deeply saddens me because, beyond his ‘legend’ status, and all he accomplished, he was for my part, my friend.

You may not know me and Joe may never have even thought of me as his friend, but to me, for my part, he was my friend. To me, he was my teacher, a master teacher and I remain, a devoted student.

I first met Joe by way of his coffee, at a local coffee bar owned by two friends of mine, Nick and Connie Reda. They bought all their coffee from Joe. One time, I went with Nick on a trip to resupply his coffee stores. Nick introduced me to Joe.

I believe I understood who this man was, the first time I met him. His language was colored with expletives, his opinions set and to many, he may have come off as harsh and bristling. He certainly was set in his ways, but as the old adage says, “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover.” Underneath the covers of some of the most intense blue eyes I have ever seen, was the man, perhaps many never saw. I got Joe. I got him from the beginning. I might not approve of his salty language or his political opinions, but he was at least, if not a formally highly educated man, he was certainly, a highly self-educated man. You cannot separate the man from what he does. Joe did coffee. That’s who he was to me and what he did.

There have been many tributes to Joe about his legendary adventures. Some will talk of his love for music and even his once owned café, Java’s Café. Java’s Café was right in the center of downtown Rochester, NY, a mid-sized city and right next door to Eastman Theater. Eastman Theater was gifted by George Eastman of Eastman Kodak, then just Kodak. The theater was built-in quality and with culture outreach as any other larger city like, New York City. So, Rochester had something great bestowed upon it that rivaled cities many times its size. And Rochester, to this day, is home to so many incredible artists and musicians that the world have never heard of and may never will. Now it is just my opinion, but I think if you spread all of them out, all across the United States, city and town by city and town, each of them would have, could have and should have, been world renown. I could say the same thing about Joe. His name and his perfected coffee bean roasting prowess should be known all over the world. He got pretty close to that happening, but like the musicians of Rochester, for most and for Joe, it just didn’t work out. Put Joe and artists, and musicians all together in a small mid-sized city and the chances of success are reduced exponentially.  But to the locals and visitors, go to almost any pub, bar and grill that offer live music and you will be blown away at how good these artists are here! Go to many of the areas finest restaurants and you would have most likely ended your meal with a cup of the original Java Joe’s coffee. But very few, ever seem to make it out of here.

Rochester, once known as Image City had three of the top companies in the world — Kodak, Xerox and Bausch & Lomb.  So yes, there was a lot of talent here, which had offshoots of such things as the digital press (a football size printing press), that could print 10,000 + pieces, each custom designed and all in about an hour. Adobe spun out of here, the digital camera, and, why even the personal computer and many other things had their origins here. My thoughts are the area had great talent, but poor management. None of these big three are anything like they once were. Same for music here. Most musicians need good management. It seems to have been lacking here, for many things, for a long time. You could fault Joe as not being a good businessman or lacking good management skills, but like many artists and musicians here, these do not diminish, the quality of their art: of Joe’s art!

I will leave it to the legendaries to tell of how Joe came to Rochester to roast coffee, but I do know he had spent time in Italy and in Hawaii, areas known for their expertise in the art and science of roasting coffee and the other, rich in volcanic soil, where Kona grows. Now where do you suppose Joe learned about coffee? Italy and Hawaii would be my educated guess, but if it was just from books so be it. But I do know personally, that when he came back to Rochester, after he left Hawaii, he noticed a very peculiar thing. One of the last things you might recall, about a fine dining experience (in some 4 star restaurants here), would be the cup of coffee served at the end of the meal. Joe noticed it was all over roasted or burnt coffee. And we are now, talking about the birth of, micro-brewed coffee. Yes, Java Joe was its grandfather, its patron saint if you will. So, Joe finds and builds a roaster from a nineteenth century design.

A vacant spot opened up next to Eastman Theater in the heart of downtown Rochester, NY, and Joe moved in, roaster and all. He started roasting and selling whole beans in Java’s Café to the public and he roasted the coffee, for several fine dining establishments. He sold simple foods and deserts when so many patrons kept asking him to. The café had the look and feel of something like a blend of bohemia, hippies, beatniks and a more modern culture, slightly offbeat, but colorful emergence.

Local art for sale or those pieces gifted, adorned the walls. There was a corner bay window with pillows spread about the floor. There was a piano, for any that would care to tune it and play it and there were many that did. The interior was a lot of rustic dark wood, old floors, old walls if not filled with art, were lined with advertising of some culture, art, music etc. thingy happening somewhere. And there was Joe, in the center of it all, OK-ing it all, drawing all these different people and roasting coffee.

My first visit to Java’s Café was one in which I will never forget. Musicians dressed in tuxedos carrying their instruments, business people, local dignitaries, young and old, rich and poor all stood in line and set together or near each other. Music is said to be a universal language which draw many together that may not ordinarily be together. Coffee does too. Where art, music and coffee may be subjective and uncertain, where so many make conclusions based on opinion, there is the technical side of art and music and coffee, which attest to their mastery. And behind every masterpiece, there is a master. Joe was a master!

Java’s Café was and still is a place where art and artists of the Rochester, NY area merged and converge, conversed and voice and were given and are given voice, but this tribute is for Joe’s passion and for all of that it is, coffee.

I met Joe in 2001 through another friend that used to buy coffee from Joe, for his small café, also in Rochester. I certainly have not known Joe the longest or even close to the detail and intimacy of others, but he was my friend. Me to Joe? I don’t know what Joe thought about me, but he did remember me and he always treated me with respect.

“There was a phrase heard again and again while interviewing those that knew Joe Palozzi, endearingly and enduringly known as Java Joe: “That was just Java.” Whether people were describing how he golfed barefoot — something he picked up when he lived in Hawaii — or how when he would deliver coffee to restaurants that he loved, he’d walk into the cooler, grab whatever he wanted cooked for him, be it lobster, steak, you name it, and still charge you for the coffee.”

By Katie Libby, March  29, 2017

To me, Joe summed himself up personally, in the following.

“When you taste our coffee I personally guarantee it will be the best coffee you ever tasted.”

 Java Joe

Now you would probably expect him to say this as would any other roaster about their coffee. You may think it is his opinion. And you may think that it is just my opinion,  if I agreed with him. I certainly do, agree with him and opinions are subjective and uncertain, but there is more to this statement and there is more to Java Joe than whether you or I agree with him or whether you like this coffee and I like that other coffee.

As this series continues, despite its many variables, there is a formula for making great coffee and it is based on science, the mastery of the art and expertly executed; time-tested techniques. Joe was a master artisan! Grab a cup of Joe and I’ll see you next time.


Dahni at The Gathering Place

Next time: ‘Machina  (It.) – “the machine”

Categories: Art, Being Good at What You Do, Coffee, Comfort Food, Cooking, Education, Entertainment, Family & Friends, Food, Home, Inspiration, Java, Java Joe, Life, Pursuit of Happiness, Saying Goodbye, The Gathering Place, Toast this Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

High School

by Dahni

© 2014, all rights reserved

Nostalgic3Hickman_logoWhen we gather, as friends and family do, we may talk about the good old days (as every generation does). These good old days often, center around high school. These were some of our most memorable, inspiring, confusing, exciting and probably every other adjective thrown in, for every emotion, we often faced NEW or with such great intensity, in about the three years it took us to graduate. We were discovering our voice and place in life, for perhaps, the very first time. We were preparing, for  adulthood, manhood, womanhood and hormone-hood!  🙂

Soon, we would be on our own and we could hardly wait to move out of the homes of our parents, our caregivers or the family units we grew up in, for most of our 17 or 18 years of life. Yes, we were preparing to be on our own, have our own place and make our own rules.

We learned new rules and were preparing to move off and on with our individual lives, independent of all others (so we thought or pretended). Choice and change in high school was both exhilarating and frightening, often at the same time. Many ‘firsts’ happened for many of us in high school like: a driver’s license, our first kiss, first love and more. Some of our experiences there were great, some good, some not so good and some, many of us have forgotten or would like to forget. High school was appropriately named. There was no higher school. We were as high as we could go. Some of us, also found, other ways to get high, in high school.  🙂

But, high school was, as high as we could go. After high school, a continued education institution was, generally called a college or a university. But most of us all had a high school. My high school was, simply referred to as, Hickman High School, Hickman High or just Hickman.

David H. Hickman High School, in Columbia, MO, was my high school. It was the high school of our younger sister and our older brother. His two daughters also, attended Hickman. But for our family, it began with our mother and father that most likely met at Hickman and well, the three of us, the children of Calvin and Laura Jean, know how this turned out!  🙂

But Hickman, was not always so named or at its current location.

Public secondary education began in Columbia during the 1880s with the founding of Columbia High School in 1889 at Eighth Street and Rogers. Columbia High School (CHS) began as a two-year course study. In 1895 it increased to three and then four, the following year. Later, it would go back to a three-year high school 10th-12th (sophomores, juniors and seniors) . In 2013, Hickman became a four-year high school again and remains so, still today.

“Overcrowding caused the demolition of the old school and the construction of a new three-story structure at the same site. The new building included the district’s first gymnasium, and the first athletics and music teacher were hired. 1912 saw the first edition of the school yearbook, the Cresset. The school mascot, the Kewpie, appeared for the first time in the Cresset associated with the basketball team “…whose loyalty to the school and to the Kewpie motto, Keep Smiling,’ has won the State Championship.” 


Continued growth made it necessary for a new high school. In 1927, Missouri Legislator and educator, David Henry Hickman, donated his country estate. His namesake high school would replace the former Columbia High School, but it carried with it, many of its traditions including, the ‘Kewpie‘ mascot, the colors, ‘purple and gold,’ and the yearbook, the ‘Crescent.’ The former downtown property became, Jefferson Junior High School (7th – 9th) until 2013, and then it became, Jefferson Middle School (6th-8th), as it is today.

Hickman continued to grow since 1927, in offerings, clubs, stage and musical productions, recognition, athletics, awards and it remains, to be one of the finest high schools in the United States. Far above the national average, many of its graduates go on to college.

In the 1950’s, Hickman saw the end of racial segregation and was integrated with Fredrick Douglas High School. The influx of more students, necessitated a building boom! More classrooms, special education, vocational work, laboratories, a gymnasium and a swimming pool were added in 1955. This would not be its last expansion!


Some former Notable Hickmans’

Gary Anderson, became a NFL running back with Tampa Bay Bandits (1983-1985), San Diego Chargers (1985-1988), TampaBay Buccaneers (1990-1993), and the Detroit Lions (1993).
Matt Bartle, Missouri state senator
Charley Blackmore, DJ, Creator, owner and webmaster of
John M. Dalton, Former Governor of Missouri
Gerry Ellis, Running-back for the Green Bay Packers
Jane Froman, singer/actress
Arlan Gaus, singer/musician blues started – the ‘Blue Slingers’ (my best friend in high school)
Scott Lincoln, After college, Scott moved to New York and worked as an actor in off-broadway. He met a man backstage, who congratulated him on his performance then proceeded to offer him a job on television. The man happened to be Alan Alda and the job would be for ‘Mash.’ Scott moved to California and though never the ‘leading man,’ he knows and has worked with almost every famous actor in the industry. Sometimes credited or not, he is one of the most respected and hardest working actors in the industry. Same age as myself.
Ken Griffin, keyboardist, composer
Kate Hanley, Virginian politician
Dahni Hayden, New York artist, composer, photographer, poet, writer and “The world’s most interested man.” Note: this may be shameless self-promotion, but someone has to do it.  🙂
Jeff Harris, Missouri state representative
Peter Hessler, award winning writer and journalist
Marni Jamie, local ceramic artist in the Columbia are. Same age as myself.
Kenneth Lay, CEO of Enron during the Enron scandal
Rob LaZebnik, writer and co-executive producer for The Simpsons
Claire McCaskill, U.S. Senator (She was one year ahead of me in school)
Scott Murphy, U.S. Congressman from New York
Blake Tekotte, Professional Baseball Player for the Chicago White Sox
Sam Walton, Founder of Wal-Mart

Who knew, this Sr. Class President, would one day become the world’s richest man!










James “Bud” Walton, brother of Sam Walton and Co-founder of Wal-Mart
Markus Wiechel, Swedish member of parliament


It is interesting that Hickman once educated the future and for a time, the richest man in the world (Sam Walton), one of the most scandalous people (Kenneth Lay), and the “world’s most interested man,” yours truly!  🙂


Time Magazine’s 2014, Person of the Year CENTURY!


Kewpie – From the ‘Crescent’ 1914





The Kewpie doll has been the mascot of the school for the last 100 years.

Hickman is the only known school in the world with a Kewpie as its mascot.

The name dates back to the basketball season of 1913 -1914 at what was known then as, Columbia High School. Apparently, the school secretary owned a Kewpie doll, as they were popular figurines then, and she kept it on her desk.

At one of the first basketball games in December 1913 she placed her Kewpie doll in the center of the court, and the entire game was played around it without it being broken.

This was somewhat remarkable since the dolls were very fragile. Because it survived the game and brought a victory, it was thereafter considered the good luck mascot.

Whatever the true reason, for selecting this mascot might have been, one HAD to have or QUICKLY develop some tough athletes with a kewpie for your mascot. Hickman for many years, excelled in several sports.


School Song


On, Sons of Hickman (a.k.a. Kewpies on the March)

On, sons of Hickman
Thru every year,
Praise her and honor her,
And greet her with a cheer,
We’ll shout it!
Kewpies are on the march,
Faithful we’ll always be,
Purple and Gold we’ll carry
To victory!

The school song was written by Mr. C. M. Stookey, a music instructor at Hickman High School in 1944. It was originally called ‘Kewpies on the March.’ The song is featured on the third page of the 1950 Cresset.


School Cheer


Strawberry Shortcake, Gooseberry Pie,
Are we it? Well, I guess yes!
We’re the Kewpies of H-H-S!


Legends and Strange Facts


As mischievous youth are wont to do, especially at graduation, odd things often occur. Our mother told us that when she graduated (in 1946), a goat was somehow placed on top of the Columbia water tower. No one is quite sure how they got it up there, kept it up there until it was recovered or WHY? Poor goat.

Steam/utility/waste water tunnels were connected together underneath the downtown section of Columbia and underneath the University of Missouri. I know this because I have been in them. From the University of Missouri, they connect with every single building and to their power plant. These tunnels are concrete and eventually, connect to older tunnels made of brick and have arches, downtown Columbia. Legends have it that underneath Hickman, a tunnel or tunnels connect to the old Columbia High School (Jefferson Junior High School/Jefferson Middle School). Many tales both confirmed and unconfirmed, exist concerning the famous ‘Hickman Tunnels.’ Many versions say that the tunnel(s) is or are, in a state of complete or partial disrepair. Others state that it/they is/are still intact. But there is a huge underground facility I can tell you that for certain. Or there was from  the fall of 1969-1972 when I was in school there. I am sure this area was below the maintenance area/boiler room was more than large enough to accommodate then, over 2,000+ students and staff. Perhaps it was part of the utility maintenance area (boiler room) and built and used for storage? Maybe it was constructed as a storm or fallout shelter? Whatever its purpose was and if or if not connecting any tunnel or tunnels, it was a great place to skip class as was above the ceiling overlooking the auditorium!  For reference to what I mean, think of Phantom of the Opera or watch ‘Home Alone II:)




On March 26, 1987, President Ronald Reagan made a special trip to Columbia, Missouri to speak at the National Governors’ Association-Department of Education Conference as well as Fairview Elementary and David H. Hickman High Schools. Hickman had received the Department of Education’s Secondary School Recognition Award, and with six students having been named Presidential Scholars since 1964, Hickman ranked in the top five percent of the nation’s schools. In his address to the assembled students and faculty at Hickman, President Reagan praised the school’s academic quality, saying, in part, “If America is to be what it should be in the 21st century, then it’s going to need a lot of schools, good schools. And Hickman, I’m pleased and proud to tell you, is one of the best.” During the presentation, President Reagan was made an honorary Kewpie and given a school sweatshirt as a gift.


Categories: Education, Entertainment, Family & Friends, High School, Inspiration, Kewpie, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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