16/03/2017

Barista Life #3 – The Potential as a Female Barista

Now, this is a really interesting topic i have been researching on.

Well, i’m not into feminism, I’m more believe in sex equality. Yet, after my brief research, female, might have an advantage over male as a barista.

Go on Google, you can read tons of blogs and articles talking about the overwhelming male baristas completing in the world barista championship while there are many women working in coffee too ( Why are almost all the world’s top baristas men ? — Rachel Grozanick, 2015). It might be our human nature in gender roles that women are less tended to compete in general.

But wait, I’m viewing this issue in a more factual aspect this time. There’s another night i was in a sensory class, the lecturer told me that we need much more female barista in the industry because women are genetically taste better than men. I’m really interested to know if that’s true.

As a barista, taste is really an important quality. In order to brew a better cup, we have to first have a good sensory to judge, not other’s, but our own coffee in the first place. Therefore, a good barista, as well as a good cook, should be very disciplined in diet and whatever is put into mouth. Cigarettes, alcohol, spicy and heavy-tasted food are usually avoided. Barista are very demanding in the detailed flavor of a cuppa. That’s why having a good sensory usually means a better start as being a barista or working in coffee industry. This was what we called talent.

In ancient time, our ancestors took food from the nature. Human then developed a protective mechanism against poisonous plants naturally. That is why human in general is sensitive to bitterness. It is already coded in our genes. Survival for the fittest, right ?

Males are born to be responsible for hunting and preying, while females are responsible in protecting the family. In terms of food, mothers were tended to taste the food before letting their babies to eat, in order to ensure that it was safe. That is also why female are more sensitive to taste. They have their motherly role to play, which wouldn’t crease through generations.

In coincidence, there are a lot of scientific investigations dig into the taste difference between the two sex. Scientists discovered that there are supertasters and nontasters in the world. 

How we perceived taste are programmed into our DNA. There are approx 25% of the world population are supertasters. They have a higher density of papillae on the tongue that contain taste buds.“ Supertasters in general get everything more intense. “ says Linda Bartoshuk, a professor with the study of supertasting. The other 30% of the world population are nontasters, which is totally opposite to supertasters. They are not sensitive to bitterness, or even do not taste much bitterness. Most of the rest are in between.

The important point to be noted is that a relatively higher proportion of females are supertasters. Such an ability are common to be found particularly in Asian women than other men.

See ? We have such a huge potential as a good barista ! I must admit that being arista as a career is still more of a masculine job in our stereotype, especially in Asian culture. Most of the existing researches didn’t put the context into coffee but I do think it’s a really interesting topic to talk about in the future.

Like the movie X-men, it’s like an alliance. Calling for people who have the same ability to come together. ( Winked ) Cheers !

Vanessa Lee

Founder of Forbidden Project since 2016. A Law & Bus degree graduate who chose to go into the coffee world. Passionate, stubborn and rebellious to traditional concepts. Recently working as a barista trainer. Active competitor in various coffee events.

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