Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Being an Artisan: the truth is in the cup

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 crafted marketing.

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 beginning.

Article on LinkedIn

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