Chicago 'Coffee Guru' Killed by Falling Coffee Machine

A man known in Chicago as a "coffee guru" was killed last week when a brewing machine he was working on fell on him, crushing his head.

Jim Karr, 48, was a well-known figure around Chicago's high-end coffee establishments and was a local expert on restaurant brewing technology.

But on Saturday, May 24, Karr was working on a commercial coffee machine near the City's Grant Park when disaster struck.

Chicago Police report that as Karr was working on the machine he lost his balance and grabbed at the machine as he slipped. But instead of keeping him from falling, he pulled the machine from its place and it fell on him when he hit the floor.

The machine fell across his body and impacted his head and chest killing him.

Karr, the director of brewing technology at Chicago-based Intelligentsia Coffee, was taken to Northwestern Hospital but soon died there.

His friends and colleagues in Chicago mourned his loss saying he was a "legend and mentor to the entire specialty coffee community."

Karr was known for his brewing machinery expertise all across the country, too. One fan in San Francisco said in tribute to the man, "In terms of the work Jim did, he was one of the very few in the country that was known as being a top expert at what he did."

After the accident, Chicago's Dark Matter Coffee posted a notice at its website saying, "Our friend, Jim Karr, legend and mentor to the entire specialty coffee community, passed away by a freak accident ... He was an inspiration."

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com


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