i worked a really fun shift at the Division cafe yesterday. great people on both sides of the counter - tons of fun. it's challenging to switch between the cafes still - but i'm also starting to get more and more positive out of it. it not only keeps me fresh, but i'm starting to be able to identify the really good things and figure out if and how they can be transfered. neat.
today i had a great talk with one of my favorite people in the coffee business. Andrew Barnett is the owner/roaster of Ecco Caffe in the bay area and a truly great guy. every time i talk to him i learn something new, and much of the time my conversations with him clarify thoughts in my head as well.
we talked a whole bunch about the issue of taste, and the lack of understanding of the importance of coffee quality and taste above and beyond all else. on a related topic, we also talked about the implications of this on all aspects of the industry - not just baristas but also roasters and brokers and growers. in the end, the conversation turned to Transfair and Andrew really nailed one thing for me. he talked about how he supports Transfair and thinks they're doing great things but that they need to start focusing on quality. and he made the (now obvious to me) link between Transfair and Cup of Excellence.
hmmm... a whole lot to think about there.