I would like to thank everyone for the overwhelming support I've received regarding my thoughts on “The Ethics of Being an Artisan”. But there's an obvious part of that we have yet to discuss...
Words like “specialty, artisan, craft,” and the oh so popular “third
wave” are thrown about too loosely. There is a moment where adopting
certain language and terminology advances a specific set of ideals or
standards within the industry. But as it is for most industries, once
these words are adopted, they have little truth to them beyond carefully
There are those within the coffee industry with an astounding level of
knowledge when it comes to coffee science and specific minutiae in
regards to the chemical breakdown during the entire roasting and brewing
process. So how does one illustrate and differentiate between the
concepts of Theory vs. Practice compared to Practice vs. Execution?
Utilizing mellifluous phrases and dropping a bit of scientific jargon
sounds impressive – maybe you can conduct seminars, and impress a number
of industry folk, but are you an artisan?
Being at the top of your craft is not a statement about experience or
knowledge, nor is it an indication of your passion or a reflection of
the quality of ingredients you source. It is a statement about
execution. Scientific sounding speeches and clever marketing cannot hide
poorly executed coffee. What you deliver in the cup tells a story about
what you do and what it took you to get there...but it's only the
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