Great Moments Start With Great Coffee, Wylie J's Coffee - A Story Told In Every Cup

Interview with Charlie Bingham - A story of sharing wonderful memories and coffee with friends.

September 10, 2018

Interview with Charlie Bingham - A story of sharing wonderful memories and coffee with friends.

I first met Charlie about 4 years ago at Burns Tobacconist the local cigar and pipe shop in East Chattanooga Tennessee. Charlie has a wealth of knowledge and offered great advise in the selection of cigars and what to look for when purchasing. I would consider Charlie to be an expert in the field. He has worked for Burns for over 12 years and has experienced many different brands of cigars. He is somewhat of a collector himself. He has also been a coffee drinker for many years and has experienced many different types from many of the regions around the world. Charlie is one of those guys you cant help but like. He is always offering to help give advice when asked for it by the many people that come into Burns. I have visited quite a few different cigar shops over the years and I find most of the patrons to be great people who seem to share a passion for great cigars, gourmet coffee, food, motorcycles, cars and many of lifes little enjoyments. While at Burns one day I was talking with Charlie and sharing with him about Wylie J's Coffee, and the concept that there is more to a cup of coffee than just a hot drink. There is a comradery amongst coffee drinkers which goes beyond. There is something about the magic that happens from simply brewing some beans.

Here at Wylie J's Coffee we believe that know matter how you like your coffee or what your favorite blend is, all coffee drinkers have at least one thing in common, a story told in every cup.

The following is an interview with Charlie Bingham and his wonderful coffee experience, His story he shared with me and a chance for me to share his story with all of you. 

Wylie J's Coffee: To start the interview off I brewed up some of Wylie J's Vintage Blend Coffee. Roasted from 3 different types of beans, an elegant traditional blend that glides smoothly over your palette leaving notes of light smokiness, offering hearty flavors and elegant aromas. As a medium roast it is one that offers complexity and even those that prefer cream or other additives to their morning cup seem to enjoy this coffee just as it stands. 

Wylie J's Coffee: As I said, I have know Charlie for about 3 or 4 years. The whole time I known him he has always been a hard worker, so I asked him to share some of his background with us.

Charlie: I had started my career working for a company called Dupont> I worked there for about five years and soon became tired of shift work. Changing schedules, working days then nights throughout the month can take a toll on your mind and body. From there I went to a company called Combustion and managed to get a position in the Research and Development department. The job seemed to be a good fit. I was there for 20 years. At the end of my term there the company was bought by another and they dismantled the research department. 

Wylie J's Coffee: I be that was an unexpected change, especially after being there for 20 years. What did you do then?

Charlie: From there I went to a chemical company called Sulfix. I worked there for another 10 years, While there the physical demands of the job started to wear on my body, I would have to go up and down three flights of stairs several times a day. Over a ten year period as I was getting older I started to develop arthritis in my knees and would end up having surgery on them. After surgery I could not continue to work there do to the physical demands. Luckily while is was working for Sulfix I had found Burns. I started off as a customer and from there I would come in and help out when needed for events or if someone needed to be out for a day or two.

Wylie J's Coffee: You started out as customer and then began to work as a fill in or extra help when they needed you?

Charlie: Yes that's right. I would help them out when they where in a bind and needed some extra help. After doing this for a little while I got to know everyone that worked there and most of the customers coming in. As I built a rapport with everyone, they had asked me if I would be willing to come in and work for them on a regular basis. So I thought about it and decided I would do that for 2-3 years and then retire. Well it has been 12 years now and I still enjoy working there 3 days a week. It was a good fit. I mean where else can you talk to people, help them with the selection of cigars and make people happy. It has become more of a passion than a hobby at this point.

Wylie J's Coffee: Well it sounds like you have lived a pretty full life. What would you say your greatest accomplishment has been?

Charlie: That's a tough question. I would have to say without a doubt it would be my family. I was an only child and my parents had always placed and importance on making sure I grew up with high values. You know what I mean, treat people with respect, pay attention to your elders, a mans word is gold, because that may be all he has someday. If ii had to sum it up, Integrity would best describe the beliefs I was raised with. I have tried to pass this on to my children and grandchildren. Understanding the importance of being honest, and living life to the best of your ability.

Wylie J's Coffee: It sounds like you have taught them well. I find we need more of there sort of beliefs and teachings for our younger generations to grasp a hold of. These are definitely great rules to live by.

Wylie J's Coffee: Charlie what was one of your fondest memories you have from your childhood?

Charlie: That is a good question. I would say it was my first date. I liked this girl that a friend of mine had gone out with a while back. They had broken up so I asked my buddy if he would mind if I asked her out on a date. Sure he said, no problem. So I did. Now you want to talk about a nervous wreck, That was me. I had never been out with a girl in my life. So I asked her to the movies. The date went well and when I brought her home I was so nervous. I went to lean in for a kiss, now mind you I had never kissed a girl in my life. I had no idea what I was doing. You can imagine the multitude of thoughts that were running through my head at the time. But the important things to know is I got my kiss. I didn't give into my fears and just walk away. But you talk about being nervous. 

Wylie J's Coffee: Wow! What a great story to share. I can relate to that. I have always been nervous around girls. But the first kiss is a great memory no matter how nervous one gets.

Wylie J's Coffee: Do you remember your best cup of coffee and where you where at?

Charlie: It had to be in Maui, I had a cup of Hawaiian Kona Coffee. It was so flavorful and smooth.

Wylie J's Coffee: Yes the Kona is a great coffee. We offer the Hawaiian Kona Coffee in a 100% pure origin. It is very rich and smooth. I truly enjoy it.

Wylie J's Coffee: Charlie tell me about your story with your mentor and how coffee played an important role in this

It started out having a need for car repair. There was a little place down the road from where I was living and I had started taking my car there for repairs. The gentlemen who owned the repair shop and I started talking and built a rapport with one another. He asked if I wanted to work part time and learn how to repair cars. He took me under his wing and began to teach me how to work on cars and fix them. From there we became good friends and started doing other things together. One of the things we found ourselves doing was camping and going hunting together. We would get up early in the morning and grab our gear to get ready to go in our hunting trips. We would pack our tents and other gear we needed. One thing my mentor would always pack would be his coffee maker and coffee. 

Wylie J's Coffee: When you were hunting together whose job was it to make the morning coffee?

Charlie: It was my job to always get he stove going in the mornings. He would already have the other items like the coffee and breakfast ready and waiting for the stove to get going. Every morning when hunting we would sit down and enjoy breakfast and coffee before we went out for the day. It was a time of sharing and strategizing about our adventures, where we would hunt for that day and just a time of comradery. I can still remember how the coffee tasted. In fact the Wylie J's Vintage blend brings back those memories and has a similar flavor. Now we didn't have any fancy coffee maker, none of this pour over or single cup stuff, just and old camp percolator coffee pot. I guess after all is said and done the coffee was goo but the time of sharing with one another was what made our hunting trips so special. 

Wylie J's Coffee: Do you still get to go hunting and enjoy time together?

Charlie: Unfortunately my friend has now passed on to a better place. He became ill and he was diagnosed with COPD and the Doctor gave him only a month to remain with us. 

Wylie J's Coffee: I am so sorry to hear that. I know it is hard losing someone that is close to us. Those that we have shared so many memories, adventures and life stories with.

Charlie: Yes it was a hard thing. We had been friends for over 25 years, almost like a big brother to me. I considered him my family, my friend. His story still lives in me and before he passed he had asked me to come over to see him. I went over and we talked a bit. Then he looked at me and said, Charlie I would like to give you what ever I have that you would like. I have several hunting rifles and other items that you may be able to use, Please feel free to take whatever you would like. Well I was in a little bit of shock at this point and I really didn't need or want anything. But I thought about it for a moment and then I liked at him and shared with him the one thing I would love to have was the old camp coffee percolator. It was the one thing that meat the most to me, the memories we shared,  the adventures, the stories and the comradery. Those times meant so much to me throughout my life. The fact that this man in the beginning didn't know me from Adam and took the time to invite me into his world, teach me, and share great memories was a blessing. I still have that old percolator and still use it whenever I go hunting. When I smell the aromas and taste the first cup in the morning it brings back wonderful memories of the stories and time we shared together. I miss my friend and think about him often, but I always know he is watching over and I guess you could say we are still having coffee together.

Wylie J's Coffee: Charlie I would like to thank you from my heart for sharing such a great coffee story with me. It is stories like these people need to hear and share with others. Stories like this are meant to inspire us to lift our heads off of our pillows in the morning and get out of bed. Life never seems as long as we thing it will be. I believe everyone has the ability to love life to the fullest. If we wake up in the right frame of mind, set some goals for ourselves and take the action needed to accomplish those goals we can all live our dreams.

Charlie, Thank you again for taking time with us this morning and sharing a wonderful story with us. I know life can be hard and we can feel like we have been hit by a truck sometimes. However I truly believe great memories, sharing those memories and helping others along the way, make life better for us all.

I would like to thank all who have taken the time to read this wonderful story. I hope it warms your heart and inspires you as it has me. Always remember there is something magical about those coffee beans. Coffee is not just coffee and most of all, There is a story told in every cup.

Thank you for visiting :


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