- by Vanessa Lee
Coffee, has become a drink since 1500s or even earlier. It has long been the magical and devil drink since people discovered the possible addictive effect of caffeine. Then, after the second wave of coffee, espresso based coffee started to prevail, to the whole world. Coffee, then became the must-do to start one’s day. The consumption of coffee beans has never been such tremendously high. Cafes and coffeehouse are everywhere.
We consume. Large coffeehouses sell hundreds of cups everyday. It takes 2 minutes to buy a coffee and 4 , 5 minutes maybe to finish one. We began to take coffee for granted.
But not me.
I have never taken it for granted. It takes 3 -5 years for a tiny seed to become a coffee tree and successfully flowering. Then, another 9 -11 months for it to become coffee cherry. One coffee cherry has only 2 beans, sometimes only one ( which we call it peaberry ). You can’t even imagine how much effort is put to produce a single pack of beans. They are precious and truly are treasure form God.
Well, I am not going to write a thousand words here to give a lecture explaining to you what is specialty coffee. The idea is that, coffee, before it became the evilly black drink in front of you, it had already been through much more than you can imagine. Each of them has their own unique story. That’s why I always say coffee have their souls. From a little seed to plant, tree, flower and finally cherry, It is an amazing miracle that the beans finally reach us, as a barista, and you, who are enjoying them.
While technology is so advanced nowadays, scientists tried whatever they can to understand these magical beans. Maybe their chemical form or they effects with human. We also use a lot of different devices to try to control the output of coffee, as well as the quality. Enjoyment seems to become some numbers and some points on graphs / statistics. Even so, until now, the mystery of coffee still hasn’t fully unveiled, at least not that easy ( And it won’t be) .
But a good cuppa is never a number and it can never be just some numbers.
We, as a barista, is an agent between the beans and customers. We are responsible to understand them, to communicate with them. And then to present them, in their most beautiful way. That’s why I also believe every barista is a good storyteller, but of course in the language of coffee.
I don’t know what coffee mean to you. Maybe your morning booster ? Your casual drink with friends ? Whatever it is, be grateful the next time you take the coffee in your hand.