As I hope the name and design of this blog already show, it’s about coffee. Some of you will probably think: “bean there (pun intended), done that…. another coffee blog, how exciting.” Well yea, I realize how this amazing web of information is filled with sites about coffee. From roasters over bar owners via traders and professional baristas to espresso enthusiasts; from geeks that get all turned on by the technical details of the newest fancy schmachines and grinders to regular cafe customers that describe their daily worries while sipping their favorite coffee drink… For some reason, they all feel the need to blog about or discuss their cup of joe… Why bothering putting time and effort into creating another coffee blog?
What (most) coffeebloggers share is a passion for coffee. We all want a good cup at home and an excellent shot at our favorite cafes. However, what we mostly get is bad and tastes like shit. What we brew at home is our own responsibility, but we wanna share good techniques. What we get at cafes and restaurants is a shared responsibility. Have you ever returned a cup of coffee because its taste was way too acidic, bitter or rather faint or because you felt like you were drinking dishwater? Most likely, the answer is no. If you did indeed return a cup, did you get an apology from the waiter or barista and a new coffee without having to pay for it? Most likely, the answer is no. Did you know that an espresso does not contain more caffeine than a regular cup of coffee? Did you know that the pills your doctor prescribed you probably contain more caffeine than the coffee you stopped drinking on his advice? Most likely, the answer is no.
So why then do we need another blog about coffee? Well, another blog about coffee… another vote for a better coffee future… another voice that gets the word out… another possibility to educate and infect people’s taste buds… another person that stands up for what he believes in… So that in time, everybody knows one of us… So that in time, yes, we all return bad tasting cups… So that in time, yes, we all get an apology for bad quality… So that in time, yes, we know what we are drinking and where it comes from… So that in time, yes, the coffee movement – or should I say wave ;) – receives equal recognition (as wine and whiskey)… So that in time, yes we can… one cup at a time :)
Big ambitions start small…. and it is my hope to start off with giving people in Belgium a better idea on what coffee is, how a good shot of espresso is made, how it tastes different from a bad shot, how much of a variety of coffee there is…
As my coffee journey has only started very recently, I also want to describe the path I am taking, how it all started and what experiences and people I meet along the way. It’s a journey without an end, as we will always evolve, as will the coffee industry, as will our tastes and whims, as will technology and techniques, as will so many things that influence a shot of espresso.
Starting out myself, browsing through all the other blogs, reading books, visiting cafes… I felt as if something was missing… It seemed as if everybody I met and everything I read was already at an advanced or professional level. Everybody was talking about different types of machines and grinders, the body, flavor, acidity and aftertaste of coffee, the barista techniques… as if everybody just jumped to that knowledge level ignoring their very own learning process… They all seemed to have forgotten where they came from, how life was when they started out, how they became what they are now… By leaving out this part, the gap between ‘mere coffee lovers’ and ‘professionals’, between espresso bar owners and their own customers only gets bigger… and people feel as if they need a lot of time and energy to know what a good cup of coffee is… time and energy they don’t have.
I have doubted whether it was a good idea to start a blog right away, at a time when I dare not even call myself a barista yet, when my knowledge of coffee does not reach further than one book and a few articles I’ve read, when my tasting palate is as inexperienced as anyone who has drunk coffee for a few years and when there’s no way I can tell why one machine is better than the next apart from following what everybody says…
But yes, I have come to realize it IS a good idea to start now. By describing my journey, right from the start, I may not create the blog that people in the industry follow for my valuable opinion, I may not become the next number one reference, but I do hope to create a bridge between coffee laymen and professionals, to let people know that everyone can learn about coffee and how interesting a field it is.
And oh well, I also want my friends and family to know what I’m doing, without having to explain them in boring lengthy conversations :)
Comments, questions and requests are seriously encouraged.
There’s nowhere to go but on… I have lived by this motto – brought to me by Feist (http://bit.ly/Ev2U2) – for about two years now, and it has never deceived me. Thanks for hopping on my train!