company - education - coffee

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Guest barista at barismo

Guest barista, you heard it here, we'll be doing some guest slots here on bar over the next few months. The slow season feels like a good time to follow through with this idea.

First up will be Jake from ERC (Dec 4th). Jake is the coffee manager for ERC and Pavement (opening soon). Next up will be Jacob from ERC @ BU (Dec 8th) followed by Judson from Hi Rise Cafe (Dec 11th). Judson finished first in the Espresso competition at the Fri 13th Jam, Jacob was runner up in the latte art competition. We'll have several guest barista who are familiar with our coffee first up but the idea is to share a different perspective. We will be inviting other barista and already have confirmations. Keep in mind, most guest stints are not usually local shops to local shops so this is a bit of a novelty. We will post the schedule the week before each guest.

The idea is to have a dialogue with barista. We have a lot to offer and getting outside perspective is a good thing. The idea is to let barista work on a coffee bar where the customers are very supportive and the culture is open to creative brew methods. If the larger coffee culture is going to change, it has to change on all fronts, not just those that serve our coffees. Coffee needs to get away from this latte centric phase some shops locally are pushing hard for. We probably don't need a focus on the 4 shot 20oz latte and syrups as much as we need to get back to the basics, the coffee itself.

Sounds strange and I know many people won't get it, but that's the risk in this. In a worst case scenario, only a few barista are interested and the effect is pretty minimum. At best, we learn something and barista walk away with a little initiative to bring back some of the ideas we are using on our bar. We get to hear outside perspectives of the challenges in cafes and that helps us build a more comprehensive approach to how we further the concept of creating demand for better coffee.

The issue here is simple. We want to share a portion of what we know and build the local community even if it means helping people who do not work with us or our coffees. Our goals are larger than the old timer's territorial politics. To get better, we all have to move a step forward. If that means we have to lead, so be it, antagonize a bit, sure, why not? There is always a risk in doing something about quality rather than just talking about it.