Saturday, December 30, 2006

A Quick Look At This Past Year

So, this year has been a year of great change for me.
This past year started out with the closing of my coffee house. That was difficult to say the least. The heartache of losing something most people only ever dream of having combined with the relief of not wondering if I won't be able to make rent... again.

I then started managing two coffee houses for a friend of mine at I.E Coffee Roasters. Cliff Young(The Roast Master General) was a great sounding board for my frustrations and a great source of encouragement. Cliff single handily revolutionized the coffee culture in Redlands and I can't wait to see what his next venture will be.

From there I started a roasting apprenticeship at the Coffee Klatch. This has been one of toughest transitions of my life. I love working bar. I'm passionate about working bar. Being a roaster leaves little to NO time for any bar work. I wasn't hired to be a barista, I was hired to become a roaster. I knew learning the skill and artistry of a coffee roaster would only take time. What I didn't anticipate was how difficult making the mental transition from barista to roaster would be for me. That was a frustrating, emotional journey that tried my character and commitment deeper then anything I've been through... so far. But, I've grown to really like roasting. I don't consider myself a barista anymore... I'm a coffee roaster.

I'm excited about this upcoming year. Heather and I are supposed to start training for the Western Regional Barista Comp as well as the USBC. Fun, considering I'm not a barista anymore;) I'm also looking forward to meeting new people in the coffee industry. Every year I meet people through coffee who are just as passionate, if not more so, then I am. A few of the people I met this year, who I will stay in touch with as long as I am in the coffee industry and probably beyond, are: Chris Deferio, Chris Baca, Scott Lucy, Justin Teisl, Joe Pallo, Tony Serrano, Mike Lanz, Ellie H-M... and so many more.

I hope all of you have a blessed year.