Flat White Long Black: My Life in Coffee

Recently my time as a barista came to an end. At least for the foreseeable future. But this has been a huge part of my professional life for the past two years. Not to mention the personal aspects that coffee touches on in people's lives all over the world. So this is something I have some fairly deep reflections to roll off.

More than a job or a beverage, coffee and the cultures surrounding it have rather woven through various parts of my life. Often in unexpected ways. Coffee has sort of been a thing that was there at very many momentous points in my life quite by accident. Coffee has been the occasion for a lot of introspection, interaction, growth, and self discovery. A fact which, I think, points at coffee's importance not just in the places coffee is enjoyed, not just society, but frankly in humanity.

So over the next weeks I'll look at a few topics that were really important parts of my life in coffee. I'll look at how these threads arrived in the fabric of my life. The case will be made that coffee really is as universalizing as anything we're likely to encounter. Wisdom that coffee has been the occasion of in my life to gain will be examined. And the parts of these blogs will be as follows:

  1. Cappuccino: About getting hooked on coffee, finding a measuring stick, and defining vague terms.
  2. A Machine That Turns Coffee into Proofs: About drinking coffee in college, the kind of places I love to drink coffee, and the idea of the coffee house.
  3. Your Daily Commute: About how coffee entered my professional life, the one time coffee saved my life, and the best things working at Starbucks did for me.
  4. The Bux: About how Starbucks works, what I hate and love to do as a barista, 
  5. Intellectual Cross Roads: About the specific Starbucks I worked at and why it was unique, what kinds of work atmospheres I like, and the ways coffee brings people together.
  6. Italy and Cultures of Coffee: About what I learned traveling through Europe with coffee, how cultural values are reflected in coffee, and how it coffee is a plastic object in culture.
  7. The Moka Pot: About brewing methods, the design of brewers, and the art of making coffee.
  8. The Best Way To Wake Up: About what coffee does for coffee drinkers, about the seriousness I take being a barista, and the things I think are really ideal for the smooth operation of a cafe.
  9. Dialing In: About what I like in a shot of espresso and in a cup of coffee, how I personally dial in, and the things principles I believe in management.
  10. Being a Barista: About what the best baristas do, what I want barring to be, and how I think I tend to work in a cafe.

That's what I'd like to start with. No telling how consistent I'll be with getting this kind of information out. Even so, talking about my time in coffee has been something I've wanted to communicate for a long time. I think it will also surface some other topics I'm interested in talking about at greater length. Additionally, expanding this table of contents should be easy because coffee is multifaceted and this is hardly exhaustive.