I wrote this some months back when I was trying to convince someone – anyone – to hire me into a coffee business…
No one would bite – I didn’t get a single phone call. I am posting it here for future reference…
I am 39 years old and have never worked in any aspect of the coffee industry for a living. Yet I believe I would be an asset to a coffee business.
For several years – especially the last 5 years – I have been a coffee enthusiast. Perhaps obsessive is a better word. I have a coffee bar in my home to entertain guests. You can see a few photos of it and what I make here… Flickr Set – The Joys of a Home Coffee Bar
The heart is a Gaggia Classic espresso machine but I also love my siphon pots, press pots, and have, in recent months, been experimenting with a moka pot and am increasingly curious about pourovers.
The last four and a half years, I’ve been doing live-in care for my mother in Alamogordo after my father passed away. This has been my full-time job and it kept me as shut in as she, but it was also an opportunity to devote much of my spare time to learning more about coffee and honing my skills. Books about coffee, endless hours of YouTube videos, coffee-related websites and message boards, and my subscription to Barista Magazine have all been sources of furthuring my knowledge about preparing coffee.
I am familiar with the traditional cuisine (Caramel Macchiato: espresso shot, top with milk foam and caramel drizzle) and the more American-ized modern cuisine (Caramel Macchiato: espresso, add a generous portion of vanilla syrup, fill with steamed milk, top with milk foam, drizzle with caramel) and even variations in between. Your menu is yours and my goal would be to make drinks your way. What’s more, I have had to learn all I know with only books and internet resources – no teachers or even a fellow enthusiast. I have had to learn the intricacies of all variables involved in every method – temperature, brew time, grind, pressure, even altitude and humidity considerations. Surely, on professional equipment in the company of other enthusiasts, I could achieve with ease what I’ve had to work so hard for and then grow even faster in my knowledge.
Now that I have moved back to the Albuquerque area, I feel I have gained enough knowledge and experience in all common aspects of preparing coffee drinks that I want to try making a living at it.
I feel that one of my best non-coffee-related strengths is that I have people skills and experience using them. I love getting feedback from my guests in order to gradually customize their drink to their specific liking. I also feel I know how to put a certain image and personality forward to represent a business in a professional yet warm and friendly manner. In addition, I am tidy and organized. I keep my equipment clean, my work area clean, my tools organized, and I always clean as I go. And I’m always trying to get faster – I even sometimes time myself while making a drink, seeking more efficient methods with the same quality outcome. Finally, I believe in presentation – that a drink should attract the eye and nose before the first sip is taken. From the barware I choose to the garnish or decorative cookie on the saucer, I want my drinks to appeal to as many senses as possible.
As I’ve made clear, I know nothing of the coffee business and I am surely older than your typical applicant but it seems to me that starting with quite a bit of preparation knowledge and a high level of enthusiasm to achieve excellence should give me more potential than someone just in it for a paycheck.
My desire is an entry-level position in order to prove myself and learn the practical and business aspects of working with professional equipment in a high-volume environment, and then eventually bring my passion and knowledge into a management position. But I’m in no hurry and am fully willing to pay my dues for an average wage just doing what I love to do.