Barista Magazine

FEB-MAR 2014

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Page 13 of 87

EDITOR LETTE R generations BACK IN MY HOMETOWN of Berkeley, Calif. for a few days before New Years, I dug right in to one of the things I love most: geeking out about coffee with my dad. I always bring interesting coffees with me when I visit my folks, and it's a rare gift-giving holiday when I don't set my dad up with the latest coffee gear. For Christmas this year, he got a Kalita—he's wanted one since Erin McCarthy won the World Brewers Cup Championship with one. Dad saved the first brew session for my visit, and almost immediately upon returning from the airport to my childhood home, we got right into it. My dad's like a lot of baristas in that he loves gadgets, whether tech stuff and computers or coffee and bar tools. He pulled out his collection: his Baratza grinder, grinder brush, Hario carafe, gooseneck kettle, and scale. He looked carefully at the three coffees I'd brought, each from different roasters and producing countries, and then broke in to his Kalita and filters. We used Stephen Leighton's online Has Bean tutorial for our first run; it was fun, lively, and informative, and gave us plenty of freedom to experiment with ratios and times. Halfway through, I stepped back to enjoy the moment: watching my dad hovering over his scale, iPhone in hand with the stopwatch feature going, pouring in a careful, straight stream to the center of the grounds in the Kalita. (I've got to get him a flow restrictor—good thing there's always Father's Day.) He was 100-percent focused. I'll be honest though: This is hardly the way I brew coffee on the regular in my own home. We love a good French press, or a quick and dirty V60. We've been using our Brazen Brewer for the last few months because it's consistent and fantastic; it makes producing great coffee easy. Sure, on the weekends we'll make a Chemex, and we AeroPress, especially when we travel. When we're working though, we are appreciative of the brew methods which make terrific coffee with minimal steps. I love watching my dad's intense concentration when he makes coffee, just as I can't take my eyes off a passionate barista working a brew bar with ardent deliberation. It is a joy to watch a coffee professional or enthusiast labor over coffee this way. Every single time. I'm bringing all this up because I've been thinking about our generations in coffee, of the 14 barista magazine BARISTA M AGA Z I N E new baristas who sometimes think they can't live without their scales, and the generations before who never had them when they were learning. There are the living legends we profile in our regular column, "Master Q+A," who studied coffee in another way entirely (be sure to read our interview with Bill Fishbein, founder of Coffee Kids, in this issue on page 78 for some wonderful insights about how his education began). The truth is, we were all beginners once. There was a moment when George Howell made his first espresso, and I'm betting it tasted terrible. It's the perseverance that's important, however you go about it. As long as the fire in your belly stays lit, from your time as a young barista to becoming a green buyer, a roaster, a café owner, a professional barista—as long as that's there, you're good. You're still a student. We all are. I've been thinking about what's to come in our industry—it's that time of year, after all. I predict we're entering a sea change in what defines the coffee professional, one where people don't wake up one day and find themselves in coffee and loving it, as so many before have, when they took that barista job in college just to make some extra cash, and then realized coffee made them happier than anything they were studying in school did. So many of us past the age of 30 fell into coffee somehow. I predict people will increasingly seek out coffee as a career moving forward, though. They'll use the many reputable coffee academies to get their foot in the door, and, most importantly, be inspired by you guys—you pros who work bar every day and create a sense of magic. That magic is there when I watch a barista brewing my coffee with absorption and love; it gets transferred to me in the process. It's getting passed on to lots of future coffee professionals, I think. They watch you work and think, God, I want to do that. Whenever I go back to Portland after spending time in my parents' Berkeley kitchen making cup after cup of coffee in myriad ways, I'm inspired. I put the French press away and get my scales. I take time; I immerse. Life's busy though; I won't do it every day. The beauty is, I don't have to. Those who came before me make it easy to find a brew method that works with my schedule, and those that came after are producing, roasting, and brewing coffee that inspires. We're in a pretty breathtaking moment in time in our industry; it's good to remember that. Publisher Kenneth R. Olson Editor Sarah Allen Art Direction Demitri Fregosi Powers Photographer Suzanne Wong Business Manager Cheryl Lueder Copy Editor Erin Meister Advertising Sales Sarah Allen 800.296.9108 Contributors Dan Cole Robb Klassen Kellie Kreiss Kerry Maloney Emily McIntyre Erin Meister Chuck Patton Kelsey Snell Jeff Wenzel Editorial Advisory Board Christopher Nicely Abel Alameda, Menotti's Coffee Shop Joshua Boyt, Metronome Coffee Lemuel Butler, Counter Culture Coffee Trevor Corlett, Madcap Coffee Company Roukiat Delrue, World Coffee Events Sonja Grant, World Coffee Events Gerra Harrigan, InterAmerican Coffee Heath Henley, Dose Coffee & Tea Jannicke M. Johansen, 3FE Rita Kaminsky, Linea Caffe Troels Poulsen, Kontra Coffee Daniel Streetman, Irving Farm Coffee Colin Whitcomb, Madcap Coffee Company Barista Magazine 4345 NE 72nd Ave. Portland, OR 97218 phone: 800.296.9108 fax: 971.223.3659 e-mail: Barista Magazine is published bimonthly by the Barista Magazine Company, LLP. Subscriptions are $30 in the United States, $45 USD in Canada, and $60 USD for the rest of the world. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Postmaster please send address corrections to: Barista Magazine, 4345 NE 72nd Ave., Portland, OR 97218. ISSN: 1944-3544 Copyright 2014 Barista Magazine. All rights reserved.

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