Let me tell you a secret. I am not going to pretend that I have been passionate about coffee all my life, or that I was brought up on fantastic fresh daily brews …. I didn’t really start drinking coffee until waitressing as a student, something to help get through a long shift. It was from an espresso machine and tasted pretty awful. I didn’t really care or know any different back then.
The first truly delicious cup I had was made by the guy who later became my mentor. My attitude changed when I experienced its potential as a culinary experience. At the time I was working in a quality focused but fast paced café environment. I focused on my own barista skills: grinding, packing, levelling, tamping, cleaning, flushing and extracting that 25 second shot, whilst purging, steaming, wiping, polishing, pouring and serving within the next 25 seconds. Quality at speed was my main concern.
However, following a trip to origin, and then becoming involved with the Speciality Coffee Association, I took a much more ‘stop and smell the roses’ approach to coffee. I studied and explored it. Learnt to roast and cup. Then, during periods of maternity leave, I took time to just experience it, leisurely working my way around coffee origins and roasters whilst experimenting with different brew methods and techniques. I drank much less coffee during this time, but enjoyed it more than ever.
So these are my extremes, and this is where I ask
What kind of coffee drinker are you?
Perhaps even on a scale of 1 to 10.
1 being – I just need the hit – doesn’t matter where, when, with who, how, or how it really tastes.
10 being – Stop and smell the roses – taking time out, focusing on and enjoying the brewing ritual, making yourself comfortable, savouring the flavour, thinking about the story and the journey of the beans and the people that made it taste the way it does.
Most of you will be somewhere in between. A morning wake up ritual? A break in the working day? Perhaps enjoying the warmth of the mug most. Maybe it’s a welcome ice breaker in a business meeting or just a chance to catch up with a good friend?
It was a good friend of mine who once told me to stop and smell the roses in life. I realise now that to stop and smell the roses can indeed bring great pleasure….Even more so than waking up and smelling the coffee.
So what kind of coffee drinker are you?
We would love to hear about your favourite cup of the day…