Jonathon C. Bean grew up in a home on the wrong side of Grass Creek. For reasons that were never fully made clear to him, his parents relocated to the Pacific Northwest from the Kansas City area some years before he was born. They were simple, hardworking, honest folk that instilled in their offspring a passion for the Royals, coffee and their strong Midwestern Values. His formative years were spent in a nurturing environment, sheltered from the Mariners fans, wolves and et cetera that likely skulked in the periphery.
At an early age, Norma Jean and Maxwell noticed that Jon-Jon had developed a strong affinity for coffee. He begged them to take him out to sample the coffee from different coffee establishments. He amazed them with his palate, able to discern and describe each note of flavor hidden within a sip of coffee. For his fourth birthday, he asked for a coffee maker, by his seventh, he had amassed several different models of drip coffee makers, French presses and percolators. He eagerly arose early each rosy-fingered dawn, to head down to the kitchen and brew a pot of coffee before his parents awoke. His natural curiosity led him to experiment with many different methods of coffee preparation. Through trial and error, he was able to discern the best approaches for each method, developing within him a sort of intuitive knowledge about how to get the best results.
Shortly after he turned fourteen, he began working at a local coffee shop. The owner, Mr. Folgers, was blown away by his coffee-making abilities. It seemed as though, every pot he brewed was good to the last drop. After a few weeks, Mr. Folgers met with Johnny's parents. Over coffee in the living room of the Bean's house, listening to a Royals broadcast, Mr. Folgers told them he believed that they should send Johnny to Colombia to study under the tutelage of Juan Valdez, the foremost purveyor of coffee wisdom and knowledge in the western hemisphere. They hesitated. He was the best part of waking up and they couldn't even begin to imagine their lives without him in their home.
They awoke the next morning to find his newest concoction waiting for them. A Cholula, lemongrass and ginger infused cappuccino, with hints of garlic and thyme. They took a sip. They immediately looked at each other, knowingly. They asked Johnny what he thought about furthering his coffee education under the direction of Juan Valdez.
Señor Valdez immediately noticed Johnny's elite potential, but he also knew that Johnny had not yet even unlocked the tip of the iceberg. He rode Johnny hard, causing him to reject his studies, balking at the reins señor Valdez tried to use to guide him. All Johnny wanted to do was make coffee, he didn't care about boring shit like soil pH, sustainable coffee bean harvesting or any of that other crap. He wanted to leave, to go back home.
The next morning, señor Valdez chellenged John to prepare the morning coffee. Eager to prove himself to his mentor, Johnny created the greatest pot of coffee he had ever made. Señor Valdez took a sip, it tasted like ambrosia. He nodded towards a pot of coffee that he had made earlier. Johnny poured himself a cup. He looked down at the black liquid, brought it to his lips and tasted it. Suddenly he was remembering all of the great things that have ever happened to him, his parents, his first coffee maker, the nineteen eighty-five World Series. He wiped a tear away from his cheek. He realized that he still had much to learn about coffee.
Many years of diligent study followed, but in the early hours of one rosy-fingered dawn, while John was checking the previous night’s box scores and drinking coffee, Juan Valdez abruptly declared that his training was complete. That he had taught John everything he knew about coffee, stating that the pupil had exceeded his master.
For the next several years, John wandered the Earth, traveling to remote parts of the world, visiting other cultures, learning their methods of coffee preparation, and sharing his knowledge with them, in kind.
After he had studied coffee from every possible angle, learning all that one possibly could about coffee, Jonathon returned home. He realized that he needed to share his knowledge with the world. He wrote books, taught workshops, wrote weblogs. The coffee-drinking public rejoiced when they discovered his work. They began to question the long-held, old school ideas they had once held about coffee. Eventually, the obstinate, old guard at the head of the coffee industrial-complex took notice. They felt threatened by this Johnny-come-lately and conspired to brew up some trouble for him.
One day, Jonathon Bean received a seemingly, innocuous envelope containing a letter with a heart-felt plea for help. A local coffee shop needed some help getting their business off the ground. A devoted reader of Jonathon's works was having trouble implementing his methods. Jonathon Bean was swayed by the letter-writer's pleas for help.
He arrived at the place of business the next day in a powder blue suit, a Royals flag lapel pin affixed prominently upon his lapel, and a freshly brewed cup of black coffee in his hand. He opened the door. He was met by a masked assassin holding a gun. He saw a muzzle flash and then everything went black. Coffee mixed with blood pooled on the floor of the entryway.
The leaders of Big Coffee ordered their henchman to place Jonathon's remains in an enormous commercial-grade coffee bean roaster. His remains were roasted, ground and placed inside a coffee maker. The henchman, assassin, and the top members of the coffee industrial-complex elite all laughed about what they were doing. They joked about how they had turned Jonathon Bean into the very thing he had dedicated his life to becoming. Vaingloriously, they boasted about how easy it was to dispatch of their rival.
A henchman passed coffee mugs out to the group, as they gathered in a circle. They passed the pot of coffee brewed from the remains of Jonathon C. Bean around, each pouring themselves a libation. They made a toast and brought their cups to their lips in unison. At the very moment they tasted the brew, a loud CRACK sounded and a bright light flashed, like a flash-bang, temporarily blinding them.
When their eyes had reacclimated to their surroundings, they were startled to see the final incarnation of Jonathon Coffee Bean, royalcoffee, standing before them. Appearing larger than life, his fierce, brilliant eyes appeared to be able to pierce into their very souls, seeing the darkness concealed within.
They stood affixed in place, unable to move, color slowly draining from their faces. As the room seemed to close in around them, involuntarily, they attempted to loosen their ties. They trembled, hair rising on the backs of their necks. The sweat dripping down the assassin's hands caused him to lose the grip of his mug. It shattered on the floor.
Like roaches when the light flicks on, they frantically scurried about, in all directions, clawing at locked doors, scratching at shuttered windows. There was no escape. There was no place to hide.