Thursday, January 05, 2006

which path to take?

so many areas of expertise to pursue, so little time. in the world of coffee, as in any field, there are any number of areas of specialization one can choose for oneself. in my world, some of those options include:

* origin. building relationships with farmers and co-ops in growing countries. the corollary to this are the fair trade, organic, bird-friendly, shade-grown and otherwise sustainability movements.

* roasting. worlds of information await anyone willing to unlock the secrets of beans as they lost moisture and darken under the careful gaze of a roaster.

* cupping. being a technical 'taster' of coffee. 'cupping' coffees is a noble pursuit that has many similarities (noteriety not being one of them) to a professional sommelier.

* espresso. ah, espresso. the grand prix of coffee. all the guts and glory of coffee in its purest form. tons of branches of study here, including milk and beverage construction.

* technical stuff. the latest and greatest equipment designed to coax the best of the beans.

...and so forth.

any and all of these roads are worthy of further exploration. which will be mine? a lifetime could be devoted to each. no one can do them all well, i fear. but wouldn't it be fun to try?


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