lets revisit the blog

it has been a year since i’ve written anything on the blog. Brandell has been finishing up nursing school, and since her needs for our shared laptop trumped all of mine, i knew i wouldn’t have been able to keep any schedule, but now that she has graduated (HELL YES), i will have some time to get back on a writing schedule.

speaking of writing, lets revisit why exactly it is i started a blog. the short answer is to get rich and famous with my super original thoughts and other various forms of content. jk. really, writing forces me to think. if i take the time to put my thoughts down “on paper”, i have to analyze what it is i really think. its a way to process stuff out loud without having to do it “out loud”. the friends that i am closest with often have good long conversations where we really dig into stuff, and i really enjoy and benefit from those talks. writing is a way for me to do that on a regular basis, and because i am doing it myself, i can do it as much as i want. the short time i was writing on a schedule, i really got a lot out of it. i’m excited to get back to it.

i’ve got a list of topics on my mind that i have been mulling around the past year. Brandell and i are expecting our first child, so parenthood is kind of obvious. i’ve been listening to serval podcasts to doing some reading about race, and trying to be more sensitive and aware of what it means to be different races in America, and i look forward to diving deeper into that. church as always been a subject that i talk and think about often, so i will do some writing about that. there will be some writing about coffee as well, since i love it an stuff.

as far as a schedule, i don’t want to out anything too rigid on it, but i think once a month is a goos start, hopefully moving to every other week. if you are reading this, i welcome you to keep me accountable to keep writing. accountability is one of the reasons i decided to make my writing public. so, please, feel free to check up on me and see how its going.

thanks again for being here.

header photo by Alejandro Escamilla on Unsplash

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Kansas City Coffee Culture

over the past few months, some friends and i made a mini documentary about Kansas City’c coffee culture. it started as just a day of planned coffee shop hopping around the city to shops i hadn’t been to, wanted to visit, and some favorites ive come be be fond of over the past visits to the city. i invited my friends Cooper and Kaycee to follow me around and document the day. they were in search of a “passion project”, and i thought this would provide an opportunity for a video project that they would enjoy doing.

after our 3rd stop, we knew we werent going to make it to all the cafes on our list. this we a bit of a bummer, but we made the most of it and still had a good time, got some great shots, and were able to interview some really cool people. it was also about this time that we started discussing the idea of pivoting the project from a day of coffee shop hopping, to a more in-depth look at what KC’s coffee scene really had to offer. after some discussion and a bit of a game plan, we decided to move in that direction and start making plans and setting up interviews with coffee people in the Kansas City area.

all together, we made 4 total trips to KC to shoot interviews. it was an absolute blast to get to make this video. as a coffee guy, i got to chat with some people that i really look up to and got to learn things about KC’s coffee culture that i had no idea existed. for example, we talked with several people that work out of a place called About The Coffee. this place is host to 6 different entities. there is Marty Roe who runs About The Coffee, a baristas pro shop, Service Call, a coffee equipment technician service, and Workbench Coffee Labs, which is place where several people teach SCAA classes and pathways. Pete Licata, 2013 WBC Champion, also has his office here where he and his partner Holly Bastin operate Licata Coffee Consultants and their website, Roast Ratings, and website that rates coffees through a couple different methods. Current SCAA president Tracy Allen has his office here where he handles his SCAA business, and operates his coffee consultation business, Brewed Behavior. thats a lot of stuff going on under one roof. this place is huge and every time we turned a corner or opened a door, i was floored by all of the stuff they were doing out of this space. the pro shop of About The Coffee would have been enough for me to play in all day, but there is the garage where Service Call does all of their repairs and custom work, the cupping lab, the TWO competition set-ups, the roaster training room, and seriously so much more. i want to live in that place. i could spend weeks in there just playing with stuff.

one of the things that is both awesome and a bummer about KC is just how dense the coffee scene is. its awesome because great coffee is in just about every corner of the city, and finding good coffee is really easy. its a bummer because we only scratched the surface with all the people we interviewed. we had to leave out so many people doing awesome things in coffee just because of the amount of people there are that deserve to be included. it was a harsh realization for us making this that we were going to have to leave people out. luckily, we were able to talk with several people who have worked in coffee in KC for 20+ years, and they were able to give us a great overview of what is going in Kansas City. and because the coffee scene is so tightly knit, we were able to hear about all of the great things the people that we left out are doing.

anyway, that was a bit of backstory. here is the video. we so hope you enjoy it.

why bother with latte art?

in this bit of writing, i am going to explore for myself why i think latte art is important. im sure these are ideas that have already been thought and shared by coffee professionals more seasoned and accomplished than myself, but the purpose of this is to force myself to really wade through my mess of thoughts and experiences in order to bring myself to my own conclusion, for the time being at least.

to start, i absolutely believe that latte art is worth learning and doing at almost all coffee houses/shops, but only if that team is going to do it well. what i mean by “well” is pursuing latte art with the mindset to always by trying to improve. this does not mean that every person on staff needs to be able to pour a double swan breathing fire in a 2.5 oz cup. it does mean that you teach your staff how to steam milk well and how to manipulate the foam created during the process in conjunction with the coffee you are pouring it into. learn the basics and give your staff the encouragement and freedom to experiment and play with latte art.

img_3972latte art has had a larger impact on my coffee journey that most get to hear about. i was fist served latte art by a barista at a cafe in Kansas City called Broadway Cafe. this was in April of 2012, and it absolutely blew my mind. i come from a town that has only ever had chain coffee shops and mom & pop shops that tried to mimic the Starbucks model of service, so going from that to a vanilla latte with a freaking flower on it was an amazing experience for me. not only did it look amazing, but having milk that wasnt burt to shit and had that buttery micro-foam all mixed with great espresso was incredible. its worth noting that this was before i was interested at all in specialty coffee. i just really remember lighting up and having what i will remember as one of the most delicious things i have every tasted, and doing something as simple as either not putting a little design on that coffee or covering it with a lid would have made that experience less exciting for me. visual presentation in incredibly important in food and drink service, and while taste is the bottom line in our ideas of what we call good or bad, presentation will have a much larger effect on that bottom line than we often give credit, especially for those who arent as “into” coffee as coffee people are.

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thank you Julia for this awesome photo

i dont say all this to suggest that we should “do” latte art to try and wow people into working in coffee. i say this because there are customers everyday and almost every coffee house that have never had latte art served to them, and we have the opportunity to set them up for a really great customer experience by serving milk drinks that look great. we are visual creatures and we almost always eat with our eyes first, so it should be natural that we who serve food and drink should want to make them look like they are worth drinking.

so to simplify this a bit, i want to list out some reasons why i think latte art is worth it, in no particular order.

  1. it is incredibly fun to do
  2. it is enjoyable for customers, new and returning, to receive a drink with a design, simple or complex
  3. it builds the hype in that moment for how the drink will taste
  4. it is a way for staff to bond and have healthy competition between themselves
  5. its opens doors of opportunity for the greater coffee community to connect, bond, and also have some healthy competition
  6. it is an avenue for baristas to be creative in their mundane tasks of “just making lattes”
  7. it is a way for baristas to put their “signature” on drinks they make, often finding their own style of pouring
  8. it is exciting for customers who are new to “specialty” coffee
  9. the added effort and time it takes to learn latte art will often add perceived value to a customers drink, often leading to more tips for the barista
  10. it encourages great milk preparation

this list is not exhaustive, nor are the thoughts perfect, but they have come through my short time of working in coffee. i am sure the list will fluctuate and change as i become more seasoned in my coffee journey. but this is where i sit in this moment.

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latte art hits really close to home, and my first experience with it was recent enough that i can still remember how it made me feel. i think that at Breathe we have a real opportunity to share that experience with whole heaps of people, because Hays has never had a coffee house like ours, or a coffee house that did latte art well. it it both incredibly fun and fulfilling to watch and hear people react to latte art for the first time. one of my favorite things about working in coffee in a place like Hays is seeing people have those interactions with coffee that i did when i first started pursuing good coffee. latte art really gripped my attention for a while, and learning to do it has been so much fun.

 

where have i been and the 2016 election

so for those of you who have enjoyed reading what i have to say, though i doubt there are many, i am sorry for the absence. not posting for a few weeks has been the culmination of a few things. firstly, i didnt feel that i had anything all that important or worth while to say or write down. second, i started a seconds job about 4 weeks ago and have been working about 50 hour work weeks since, so my free time has been limited. also, my wife is a nursing student and has needed our only computer for school work.

something to look forward to though is a film project i am getting to work on with some friends of mine. we are making a mini doc about coffee culture in Kansas City. it will be dropping in late December of this year.

i dont want to talk politics, so i am not going to. but i do have something to say that is related to the election. i will love you no matter who you vote for. it is ok to disagree about politics. politics are incredibly complex and there are many different ways to think about and approach politics. it is great to discuss them, but it is not ok to reduce an entire person down to their political beliefs. something that i want to communicate to everyone i engage with on this topic is that no matte who they vote for or support, i will not dismiss them on that basis alone. thats not something that i feel either candidate or those who support them strive to do. this is understandable though. these are often issues that we hold close to us and can easily fall into heated debates with friends and family about things that are often out of our control. so thats it. its not much, but i feel it is incredibly important to let those whom you disagree with that you do not hate them and will not hate them for their politician of choice. it is ok to disagree.

enjoy being a customer

having been in on the startup of Breathe, i dont see it the way our customers do. when i walk into the shop, my eyes dont go where the customers do. ive spent so much time behind the bar that i am almost “too” familiar with the space.

in the realm of specialty coffee, more and more focus is being placed on the customer experience. i think those cafe owners that are heading this direction are taking cues from fine dining restaurants. there is a great series on Netflix called Chefs Table that highlights restaurants that have Michelin stars and gives the chefs some time to talk about their history in cooking and their current presentation of food. its often said by the chefs that one of their goals is to do more than just serve tasty food, which they do. they are trying to create an experience for their customers through the food they serve. i see lots of coffee shops also looking to create experiences for their customers.

the way in which i think specialty coffee shops are taking cues from fine dining restaurants is through the intentional cultivation of great customer experiences. i love the effort that these places put into making sure that the people who come and give their money and time in exchange for their food or coffee get more than what they expected. on top of getting an excellent cup of coffee, you are getting excellent customer service from a knowledgable and friendly barista, excellent ambiance in the shop, and in some cases, a pleasant ordering experience. more and more shops are paying attention to the little things that affect the customer experience. are the chairs comfortable as well as being aesthetically pleasing? is the menu clear and easy to read? is the shop easy to navigate while slow and or busy? how does the arrangement of the furniture affect the flow of traffic?

i think the shops that do this best are the ones where you dont notice that this these things matter to you as a customer. its obvious when an aspect of a shop is out of order or doesnt function well because those things negatively affect their experience. i think there is a quote that says something along the lines of “the best design is the one you dont notice”, with the inverse of that being that bad designs stand out and are noticeable. i think this is true for the customer experience.

i was watching a video that James Hoffman put up on YouTube, and in the video he was saying that he doesnt get to just be a customer at coffee shops anymore, and while saying that it seemed that being a customer is something he quite enjoys. i can relate to that, not for the same reason as James though. in Hays, i dont go to any other shops than Breathe. i dont get to enjoy the customer experience that our shop has to offer. that bums me out because i think i would really enjoy the experience that we seek to provide. when i heard James say what he did, it really struck a cord with me and made me really value the good customer experiences i have had. we dont get much of that in Hays, regardless if its coffee or food, and i think will be key in building coffee culture here.

so next time you go get coffee or out to eat, take a second and look at your experience as a consumer and see if it appears as those working are just performing a list of duties or care about your time there and at least try to make you have have a positive experience. those that take the time and put in the work to provide a great experience for you enjoy doing it. for them, going above and beyond is the standard. in my mind its what really separates good coffee shops from great coffee shops.

the current state of coffee culture in Hays – September 2016

i want to document the growth and development of coffee culture in Hays from my perspective. im not sure how often i will update this or take time to write down my thoughts on the current state, but as someone who is trying to cultivate and create this culture in Hays, i know that there will be updates and changes.

so, before Breathe Coffee House was in Hays, “good” coffee did not really exist. we had a Starbucks on the college campus, a chain coffee shop called Mokas, and a small local roaster. Chains are chains and im sure you are familiar with what they produce. when i heard about the local roaster open, i was excited as i didnt know that anyone else in Hays cared about or wanted to do good coffee. in the past year or so they have been around, i see lots of room for improvement, but to be fair i am comparing their coffee to places like Oddly Correct, Ruby Coffee Roasters, and Verve, places that are excellent and have been roasting coffee for far longer. so maybe im being to critical in my examination, but i my defense i think the people of Hays deserve that level of quality coffee just as much as the people who live in KC or on the west coast. i think that people in Hays shouldnt feel like they are settling for a lesser quality cup just because they arent in a meto area.

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much thanks to Jared Tadlock for the rad photo

Brandell and i will be in Hays for at least another year, and it might not be a lot of time, but i think i can help start to create this culture. for Hays, i think it starts with just doing the basics really well. at Breathe, we dont know how to roast coffee, so we found someone who as already really good at it to provide us our coffee. thats where Oddly Corrects fits in with us. those dudes out there are awesome and have been an absolute dream to work with. they brought me into their space to train me on espresso and milk preparation and i think they did a bang-up job. they gave me a really solid foundation to build on. on top of great coffee, we knew we needed to do milk really well. we werent, and still arent, super concerned with latte art. we knew that as long as we steamed the milk well, that would be enough to get people attention. dont get me wrong, we still teach our employees latte art, or at least the basics, but its not a big deal if we all cant pours swans and perfect rossetas. milk steamed “properly” is enough in Hays, for now. i dont think it will be too long before we start making a much more intentional push to get better at latte art. i know the effect it had on me when i got a latte with a flower on it, and i want to share that experience with the people of Hays.

currently, the few coffee shop owners here is Hays see each other as competition and dont express any desire to work together at any level that would build a coffee culture. this is a major bummer, and one of the keys to developing a community of coffee lovers. i would love to see a few coffee houses in Hays that work as neighbors. this same mindset if help by all other business owners in Hays. we have 2 breweries, but again, they dont work together to build a beer drinking culture. they just do their own thing and hope they sell more than the other guys. food culture in Hays sucks. being so close to one of the owners of the coffee houses, the future doesnt seem so bright. of the 2 places in Hays that serve coffee and arent chains, the idea of working together as neighbors isnt something that the owners really want to do right now. maybe its naive, but i believe that a rising tide raises all ships and that there is more than enough room for more than 1 good coffee place to thrive. Hays has 3 supermarkets, 20+ bars, about 5 mexican restaurants, 3 Subways, 2 McDonalds, and tons of other businesses that all do the same exact thing and are doing just fine with a population of about 20,000. now i dont know business all that well, but seeing what other cities have been able to do with coffee culture and amount similar businesses in Hays, i have hope.

you dont have to bridge your job to ministry

i tried for a long time to figure out how i would bridge my career to ministry, meaning how i would link my work with a church. ive since learned and believe that the number of people who are “called” to do this is far fewer than many of us think.

first, a bit of background.

my drive to combine my work with ministry lead me to pursuing work in full-time ministry, meaning i wanted to work in/for a church. i first tried doing an “internship” at the church i was attending hoping to learn about the roles of the pastors and preachers and how a church operates. it turned out to be just a summer of doing some dirty work like pulling weeds and setting up for and volunteering for VBS. it was not what i expected to be and i didnt really learn anything. the fault lies almost entirely on me as i did not convey exactly what i was expecting to get out of the “internship” and the church didnt have an “internship” “program”. i just asked if i could intern and they said yes.

next i lived in a house with 7 other guys that was organized by one of the local college ministries. it was fun, awesome, and again not what i hoped and expected it to be. it was at the Lighthouse, as we called it, that i formed some of the best and strongest friendships that i will ever have. it was also at the Lighthouse that i decided, with the help of some very wise counsel, to marry my wife. it was great, but not what i expected.

after i got married, i decided to give formal christian education a try. i attended Liberty University online in the biblical studies program with the hopes of becoming qualified to work in a church. as it turns out, im terrible at online school. i didnt fail out or anything, but it was hard and im procrastinate pretty bad, so just leaving all of the learning and studying up to me isnt the way that i learn best, unless im really excited about the subject, like coffee. it was also during this time that i discovered that i dont really want to work in a church. i loathe church politics and want nothing to do with them. i saw some people that i know well basically get the boot from a church instead of getting help. that basically sucked any desire i had for working in a church, at least in Hays, completely dry. this is also about the time that coffee started to become more of a passion than a fun hobby.

so then the search for a career was on. i settled on a trade, carpentry. i attended a technical college and learned both framing and finish carpentry. it was during this year long program that i discovered the joy of hard work. for a long time i looked for jobs that allowed me to do the least amount of actual work so that i could be on my phone or just do nothing. if im being honest, it was a pretty rapid change of mind in how i think about work. its like a switched was flipped. i grew tired and bored of just sitting around doing work that i cared nothing about.

so here is why i dont think you have to try and figure out how to bridge your work with ministry or church. i think that God wants you to do ministry through your work. i think that most of the time, God wants us to serve and praise Him through working in excellence, and not solely through prayer and worship services. our actions are the way that we reflect what we believe the most and i can think of no better way to honor the Lord than through our work. ive done nothing more than work since i graduated high school, and i bet that is true for most people as well. i could grapple with how to tie together my work and ministry or a church, or i could just work hard and pursue excellence as if i am working for the Lord. the world needs every person in every line of work to work this way. you can honor God through more than church services and giving away you work to a church. you can work hard and well and let that be one of the ways you are faithful to God. this is what i feel most called to do. this one of the ways i most connect with God, especially when working in the service industry. serving people food and drinks really drives me to work hard for them, to make absolutely sure that they have a good experience. thats how it connects for me.

what i am trying to say is that you dont have to try and connect your job to a ministry or church in order to honor God in your work. you can “just” strive for excellence in your work, which is what God already calls us all to do.

Colossians 3:23-24: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”

Barista Parlor – Sunyirga – Kalia Wave

roaster: Barista Parlor

coffee: Sunyirga

  • country(ies): Ethiopia
  • region: Warka 
  • cultivar(s): Mixed heirlooms
  • processing: Natural
  • elevation: 1800-2000 masl

roast date: 8/8/16

days off roast: 10

brew method: Kalita Wave – 185

recipe: 19g coffee to 300g water / 1:16.5 ratio

standouts: Floral, sugar, sweet

details: fist of all, a huge shoutout and thank you to the homie Hannah Koshgarian! she is a barista at the famous Barista Parlor and had a friend that was coming through Hays and she asked her to come into Breathe and drop off this coffee. Amanda, thank you for coming in and making the drop off. Hannah, thank you for sending the coffee.

this coffee is making a solid bid for my favorite coffee of the year. really strong floral and sugar notes in the aroma that follow into the cup. the cup is well balanced with a light, tea-like body. im finding that pour-overs make the cup really light. this coffee has a high acidity on the Kalita and was really bright and clear. the flavors really jumped out. it really reminded me of flowers and doughnuts. i couldnt get away from the doughnutiness. this i a coffee that leaves me wanting more and craving it after ive gone to long without it. it really gets me excited to drink it. it was a very pleasant surprise as i wasnt aware that Barista Parlor was roasting coffee, and the usual voices i listen when looking for new coffees to try hadnt said a peep about them. this coffee rules.

also, the packing is insane and unlike anything i have encountered. i was told that when i finish the coffee to save the box and rip it open because there is more printing on the inside. i cant wait.

get you some!

Hannah Koshgarian on twitter! (she is hilarious)

season of trust

this season of life that my wife and i are in is probably the most stressful we have had yet. while i finished my schooling last year, Brandell still has 3 full semesters of nursing school to finish. i went to trade school here in Hays last year to learn carpentry and cabinet making. finding work in the industry has proved far more difficult than i thought it would be. while working at Breathe Coffee House has been a great joy, it has also been really hard financially.

Breathe Coffee House is a non-profit ministry that I have been lucky enough to be a part of. Patrick McGinnis is the owner and has let me be a fairly large part of this dream of his. Pat has had a calling to open a ministry house to engage the community of Hays for over a decade. several times over the last 10 years he has had people and money in motion to make this thing happen, but never quite got it off the ground. i have known Pat for about 6 years. he is much more than a boss to me. he did my wife and i’s pre-marital counseling, performed our wedding ceremony, and has been a mentor to me. when he first shared the vision of what he wanted to do, and that he wanted to do it through a coffee house, i asked what i could do to help, and he gave me a good amount of responsibility. one of the things he wanted to do was bring people in through great coffee. he wanted to say firmly that his place had the best coffee in town. we believe we have achieved that, though we may be a bit partial. and this is, at the core, my role at Breathe and how i fit with Pats vision. im the coffee guy. on top of coffee, i help Pat achieve his goal of engaging and serving the community of Hays. my “job” at Breathe is to do that though coffee and any other way Pat sees fit.

because Breathe is a non-profit, the pay isnt great. let me state for the record that i am thrilled to be payed at all to get to do something that i really care about. i am extremely grateful to Pat for giving me a job.  that being said, my wife is a full-time nursing student, and nursing school is no joke. trying to work at all while in nursing school is often not encouraged due the number of clinical hours, number of tests, and amount reading and studying required to maintain a C average. basically, Brandell cant work enough hours to help pay bills for us while in nursing school. so providing financially falls on me. i dont mind at all working or being the sole money maker in the house. especially in the future, i would love work to be an option for Brandell once we have kids, and not something she has to do. but as i have found, Hays isnt hiring many people in my trade at the time, or something about me isnt what people are looking for.

whatever the case, this season has reminded us that we have no choice but to trust that God cares for us and will provide what He deems as our needs. maybe this is a season of learning to be frugal, or thrifty. maybe this is a season of being poor and reducing our standard of living. maybe the Lord will provide me with a job that will give us financial abundance, but again, whatever the case we have to trust that He will provide. i know that He cares for me. i know that He wants His best for me. leaning into that is hard sometimes. it is in my nature to lean on my own strengths. i do believe that God gives us our strengths for a reason though, and that He wants us to use them, especially in the realm of work. its when we only rely on what we are capable of that we “get into trouble”. we exist to interact with God and when we only look inward towards ourselves and what we can do we shut God out.

i think this is going to be a season of trusting that God will provide for us and learning to not take the basic necessities of life for granted. we often pray that God would do His will and have His way with our lives, but how often to we actually OK with that when it means being uncomfortable? maybe God wants you to be uncomfortable. maybe God wants you to lose some sort of stability in your life so that He can connect with you in a new way. i want to be open to that, and when i remember that God cares for even the little birds of the earth and fields of grass, it gives me peace knowing that He cares for me even more.

Matthew 6:26 : “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”

why i think the specialty coffee industry is exciting

i hope to make a career out of coffee. i want to work in coffee long term, especially in specialty coffee. i really like where the leaders of specialty coffee are taking the industry, and i want to be a part of it.

one of the biggest reasons i want to be a part of this is passion. people who work in specialty coffee are some of the most passionate people i know. i love when people pour themselves into their craft. i get excited when people get excited about what they do. one of my biggest joys in being a barista is being able to serve people something that i believe is excellent. not just good, not just good enough, but truly excellent. i think this is a mindset held by lots of people in specialty coffee. this industry is filled with people chasing and pursuing excellence in every area of coffee, and as a consumer of coffee, this gets me excited to drink coffee. it excites me to think about all the people who are dedicated to learning everything they can about coffee so that we can serve better coffee, and get better at serving it.

another reason specialty coffee is exciting to me is because it is relatively new. leaders in the industry have to opportunity to shape it into what they want it to look like to some degree. they get to decided what aspects of coffee should be focused and valued at some of the early stages in the industry. things like sustainability, gender equality, and fair and good business practices. its really cool to see people place a value on these kinds of things and call others in the industry to do the same. i think a focus on these important subjects early on will set up people like me for success in the industry. because the specialty coffee industry is sort of new, i get to be a part of its growth and development, especially here in western Kansas where coffee culture is basically non-existent. its really fun to serve someone a latte what a heart or a flower on it and watch their face light up. that was me at one point and i remember the feeling well. i love that i get to give people that same experience.

a third reason i am excited to work in specialty coffee is the ever growing focus on the farmer and coffee producer. most of coffee is grown and processed in third-world countries where poverty is the norm and going to school isnt all that normal. specialty coffee often puts a spotlight on the farmer and they importance of their hand in the coffee chain. being only consumers of coffee, in a country where coffee is not grown, we often get disconnected from 90% of the coffee chain and the dozens of sets of hands that get out coffee to us. i love direct trade and the focus roasters and green buyers are putting on building strong and lasting relationships with farmers and producers. its awesome that options other than commodity coffee are becoming realities for produces. i really hope that i get to travel to origin someday.

this whole industry really gets me excited. i love where it is headed. i enjoy all the different presentations of coffee both within my country and internationally. being in Hays, i get to be part of the start of coffee culture, and that is a lot of fun. i really look up to leaders in the industry and do my best to listen to what they have to say and apply that to Hays as best i can. i would love to specialty coffee flourish here in Hays. i should probably say that by “specialty”, i mean coffee made with a large focus quality of product and presentation of that product. i think people here have a certain taste for coffee, being only familiar with chains and gas station coffee, and we have had to start by doing what those places do, but better. as it stands, a coffee shop that didnt have syrups and or non coffee options would not survive. i hope that someday a coffee shop like that can. i hope that i get to be a part of that. i would love to see coffee presented in a minimal way that lets the coffee speak for itself.