Encountering Zen in coffee workflow
One of the things I love the most about working to a high-level standard of coffee service, is that in order to consistently make the best cup of coffee, it requires us to look deeply into ourselves and our own nature.
Quickly while training, we are confronted with ourselves - our own tendencies of perfectionism, or lack of attention, a tendency to move too quickly in life without thinking things through, a habit to become distracted easily; the learning process shining a light on our emotional tendencies such as anger or sadness, a tendency to quit when the work get's too hard, or an overwhelming sense of worrying about what other's think about us.
For me, it is amazing that working in coffee can show us such things about ourselves.
I find as I am taking someone through the process of learning how to make coffee in a workspace, I am not just guiding their technique or simply training their sensory skills, but also working alongside them as they move through some inner work that if they are able to master, will greatly affect the rest of their lives too - as I have seen in my own development in the field of coffee.
To me, coffee is so much more than just a drink. It is a way of life, one that can be found echoing in philosophy, music, creativity of all kinds, and one that opens us up to joy, love and kindness towards oneself and the world around us.
Hospitality has the potential to be so much more than a job, or a business; it can change people's lives. And with a little focus, a little love, a little humility and a little self-reflection, we can create experiences and moments for ourselves and for other's that truly make life worth living.
As I've read many times by other current-day philosophers, heard from old people near to the end of their lives, and resounding in my little heart over and over, it is the small things that, at the end of the day, truly matter.
The precious moments spent with loved ones, the random acts of kindness shared between strangers, the privilege of witnessing an artist enraptured lovingly with their daily work; and sharing the best cup of coffee we possibly can with the humans that cross us each day - is a job that has the potential to truly fulfill us.
Photo by Tiago Ventura Sales, you rock!