Tom Petty’s Quest For The Perfect Cup of Coffee

On October 2, 2017, the world lost legendary singer-songwriter Tom Petty, writer of iconic songs like "American Girl" and "Mary Jane’s Last Dance".

This week, Petty’s biographer Warren Zanes shared a heartwarming story with Rolling Stone magazine about one of Petty’s lesser-known interests: coffee.

Apparently, Petty always had coffee ready when Zanes came over to talk and conduct interviews for his biography. When Zanes complimented the coffee, Petty talked for 20 minutes about the cuppa with, as Zanes puts it, "the level of engagement he reserved for subjects like Fender Telecasters or the Beatles."

The short version of the story: One day, Petty went driving with his wife Dana and stopped at a roadside diner. He had a "close to perfect" cup of coffee, and went to the manager to find out what it was.

That coffee must have been some exotic roast, right? Some special handpicked beans from a bearded barista? Nothing of the sort, in fact: It was just good old-fashioned Maxwell House.

Zanes goes on to explain how Petty did everything in his power to replicate this perfect cup. He bought two diner-style Bunn Automatic coffeemakers for his home ("he didn’t want to find himself waiting for a cup of coffee," Zanes says) and continued to perfect the brewing process.

"That coffee, I came to believe, was his Rosebud," writes Zanes. There are plenty of lovely details in the story, and it offers a glimpse at Petty’s creative process and views on life.

Anyway, you’re probably craving a cup of coffee right about now - we certainly are. So brew up a cup of Maxwell House (with a twist, if you want), put on a copy of ‘Damn The Torpedoes’ and pay tribute to a rock ’n roll legend.

Banner Image: Samir Hussein / Stringer


After a battery of tests and misdiagnoses, I was finally diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease twelve years ago, and thus began a long battle with trial-and-error medical treatments. I changed my diet several times, even though my doctors didn’t seem confident it would change much (it didn’t), went to physical therapy for pain-related issues, and took so many different pharmaceuticals I can’t even begin to recall each and every one. My days were foggy due to side effects from pharmaceuticals, such as steroids, that made me feel worse than I did before I even took them.

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