I am so grateful that some of my best friends are doctors, nurses, teachers and social workers and therefore regularly put what I now do for a living in perspective.
Maybe it's just me as I'm new to all this but I think we can get carried away and forget that all we are actually doing is adding hot water/milk to a roasted coffee bean, not saving lives. Don't get me wrong, you don't want to ask me any favours before I've been caffeinated first- as the life or death question may just come in to the equation.
Anyone who knows me will testify I'm quite opinionated and stubborn. I blame being born a Taurus for most of that and have also been accused of dictatorial habits when it comes to my views on food and coffee (yes it is true I have banned latte art on all coffees, it's for drinking not hanging on your wall), but I'm also very much of the view that espresso is king.
Though sometimes I think that leaves me in the minority of people in the coffee world.
Everywhere you look, online, on the street, there is a fascination with brew bars serving single origin (or perhaps not) coffees, pressed, dripped or squeezed through the latest fabric of choice in receptacles that look like they came out of my cousin's chemistry set she got one year for Christmas in the 80's.
You see when I go for coffee anywhere in the world, I want that golden elixir that has been produced on a machine that is worth four times my car (granted I have a 13 year old Honda), via a high tech water filtration system and at a precise temperature for that particular roast with the perfect extraction time (24 seconds just happens to be ours). That I'm happy to pay for. That I just cannot reproduce at home, well not without re mortgaging the house and extending the kitchen.
Don't get me wrong, I love Sunday mornings where I sample different beans, usually in my stainless steel Bodum French press. Firstly having heated my stainless steel Stelton thermos (yes it was purchased in Copenhagen) and of course the cups, left it to brew for precisely four and half minutes before gently pressing down and transferring it to the thermos so it stops brewing and stays hot, yes proper hot for a good couple of hours.
In my humble opinion, this with a few hours of Sunday paper reading is the setting for freshly pressed coffee. As getting the perfectly brewed filter coffee from whatever receptacle of choice, is not as easy as it looks or people think.
For me the coffee shop experience is the espresso experience and the skill involved in ensuring the temperature is correct, the grinder is set to grind at exactly the right level of coarseness for exactly the length of time required, with exactly the right amount of coffee, which when tamped perfectly, produces the most intoxicating liquid for which a licence is not required, is something that I feel seems to have been over looked of late.
Perhaps we should focus time on training and competitions which showcase that particular skill (and no, drawing pictures on the top of it doesn't count). Alternatively the inaugural French press championships are launching at my place some Sunday morning soon....
Views all my own and not representative of my employer, no wait....
Oh and for the cheap sales plug- if you want to purchase some of our beans to squeeze through your receptacle of choice- here you go www.kaffeo.coffee/shop