Hello, my name is Jason Gonzalez, and I am a barista. There’s something I need to admit to myself, to admit to all of you…Talking about brew methods is boring. Dull. Flat. Stale. Tedious. Trite. I’m not interested. Which is funny, because I love brewing and tasting coffee. Yet, I find the conversations that we tend to have about actual brewing methods miss the point of specialty coffee entirely.
A recent Jay Rayner article stirred me up a bit recently. Nothing surprising or even weird, just another article having a poke at speciality coffee. Now, I don’t think that speciality coffee is uniquely persecuted... but it is my field, and I’ll defend it’s validity.
I’ve been in Speciality coffee for two years and five days. Hoorah. So this is something of an anniversary post for myself and my goals in coffee. I’m also gearing up for the UK Barista Championships and this post touches on my theme: How can I add value to coffee?
It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything. I’m very lazy, you see. I’d like to do a fortnightly thing. I won’t promise anything. Anyway, while I’ve been on hiatus, tons and tons has happened in our little coffee world. Most importantly (well… for me), I won the UK Cup Tasters Championship and came 8th in the world. Boom. I consider myself qualified to write about coffee now. Everything I wrote before this piece was unqualified drivel. Sorry about that.
In coffee, I’ve noticed that baristas lie to their customers… often. Probably not every shop… but more than you might think. Not only that, but lying is often represented as a good idea. I used to work in a shop that wouldn’t steam hot milk above a certain temperature. Now, I’m not going to argue the merit or folly of that choice in this blog post. The thing that bothered me is that we wouldn’t steam the milk extra hot, and we told the customer that we would. A lie. A simple one, but a lie nonetheless.