Friday, July 21, 2006

Back On The Bar

I am pleased to announce that I am back to working as a barista at Mangia Bevanda. -Jason Coffee is still in progress. I have not pulled the plug on it, but it is slow going. I still need some supplies, as well as a strategie for approaching existing operations about improving their quality through taking my training course(s). There is a brand new drive-through operation near-by, and I am considering approaching them first. It's a start-up, so there may be an interest.

Most places here have been mis-trained by the local roasting company known as Daybreak Coffee Roasters. The roasting does a pitiful job at hightlighting origin flavors, or being tasty at all, for that matter. As the local "big coffee company", most people here tend to see them as "high quality" and regard the company as knowing about barista skills (which, by the way, they do not).

I am trying to get my name out there so that it becomes associated with establishments with highly skilled employees who know a thing or two about what they are doing.

In time, other shops will realize the need to either catch up, or suffer the loss of business to other more quality-driven shops.

At least, that's the theory.

In the mean time, I'm starting a local coffee club to help increase consumer awareness. My side-car roasting endeavor has the same purpose. People who know me know how obsessed I am with coffee and have asked my opinion on what I think is good. It's difficult to live in a place and have nowhere to point to as a shining example of coffee nirvana yet hold the high standards that most of us in the Third Wave side of the industry do.

I have been asked if I would sell roasted coffee, and I decided that if there is a demand, I may as well do it as a side-project. It's nothing special, and it's completely under the table. Also pretty much non-profit. It's all going back into buying more green coffee to sell again. Really small scale stuff, but there isn't a single good roaster here, and I'm confident that what I can do at home is far better than anything offered here.

Unfortunately, Mangia has asked if I would supply them coffee. I am not a roaster. I am a barista who is dabbling in roasting to help increase consumer awareness of specialty coffee. I wish people would realize this and stop thinking of me as a coffee supplier, but at the same time, this means there is a demand for truly great coffee in Lubbock... and that's a beautiful thing.

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