what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby phaelon56 on Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:21 am

sweetmarias wrote:
Aldo1 wrote:Real or spoof, just more "insider" attitude.

Insulting, really.


Why do people post to a thread they don't relate to, don't understand? It's okay to not understand, or not even care. But why post? And why the invective?


A number of people have posted to this thread asking for a clarification of the topic and received obtuse answers or jokes in response. Of course it's okay to not understand if someone will first clarify whether this is an insider discussion with veiled references to a tangible issue most of us don't know about... or a joke between friends.... or something of the sort. How can we know whether we can relate or understand if no one will speak up and explain what the topic really is? It's one of those classic "seems to be about something tangible but it's really about something else" threads.

But the possibility exists - as evidenced by so many responses - that perhaps there really is some sort of disconnect between cupper/roasters and baristas - in which case a productive discussion of the issue will benefit all of us.

I can't speak on Melanie's behalf but I'll guess that the invective is because a large number of respondents - including many active members of this forum - have asked for clarification or at least a polite "butt out of our private thread" and there has been nothing but cryptic replies.

Am I making sense?
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby sarahdelilah on Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:25 am

you make perfect sense, owen. thanks. i get what tom's saying about how everyone doesn't have to always understand everything, but isn't this forum here to promote discussion and open up the community?

i know i don't have to understand, but i want to. i really, really want someone to explain the gist of this issue, sans sarcasm.
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby Jeff Jassmond on Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:41 am

It's all cool by me, but this is just some hazing bullshit that you expect anywhere there's stratification in a community. Some people get it, some people don't.

I don't think it was meant to be mean or to alienate anyone, but it obviously has. Great. Move on. I haven't worked in coffee for a few months so I thought something was really shaking out. Turns out it's some bros who wanted to get together and confuse everyone with an inside joke. No hard feelings towards them.

And on top of that "Baristas" can't cup worth shit. Cuppers would kick some serious barista ass if there was sandbox worth hopping into. I'm just waiting for a barista to even learn the language. :twisted: :roll: :oops:

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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby nick on Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:43 am

Jeff Jassmond wrote:And on top of that "Baristas" can't cup worth shit. Cuppers would kick some serious barista ass if there was sandbox worth hopping into. I'm just waiting for a barista to even learn the language. :twisted: :roll: :oops:

Learn the language? I already know the language Jeff:

100, 99, 98, 97, 96, 95, 94, 93... shall I go on?
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby Aldo1 on Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:32 pm

sweetmarias wrote:
Aldo1 wrote:Real or spoof, just more "insider" attitude.

Insulting, really.


Hi - I guess I started this, and feel responsible to some degree, but I assure you it wasn't to insult you. Coffeed feels like a safe place to discuss hot topics, without stepping on toes. We all face similar issues. Or do we? I am not so sure, more unsure by all the responses.


Is it a hot topic? I saw many people ask for clarification.



sweetmarias wrote:Why do people post to a thread they don't relate to, don't understand? It's okay to not understand, or not even care.


But it is not OK for people to want to understand?

sweetmarias wrote:But why post? And why the invective?


Why does "who" post? Anyone? Anyone you deem should not relate? Or should not care? Perhaps people want to understand if there is an issue of which they are not aware,that affects them. That seems pretty straightforward to me.

If I wanted to invoke an invective, I would have chosen something besides "insulting", lol. I think that was merely descriptive of my impression, given the numerous attempts people made at clarification.
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby sweetmarias on Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:17 pm

Klaus wrote:Shame on you!!! You made James feel stupid!!! :wink:


I sure feel stupid too. This whole thing spins out of control, people start getting testy, getting personal. Insiders? On an invite-only forum? I have no gang. Sure, Sweet Marias has friends, and I am glad at times like this. Why threaten with insults, Aldo? Your co-worker team looks so positive in those flickr photos. I just wanted to see if the issue reverberates, if anyone else can provide insight. Some people made some very enlightening comments. I was hoping for a European perspective, but none has materialized. If it's a non-issue for you, so be it. But why create further divides in a discussion about already existing divides. Look at the coffeed forums, how the subject matter is divided. Are things always so neat? Does this lead to any thoughts that might be relevant? If yes, great, thats what a forum is for. If not, okay. I will continue because it is relevant to me, and I spoke to a few about continuing the discussion at SCAA. Yes, we will. Just think how it affects cuppers to have the Barista finals in their face, to hear the pumping jams, the photographers and adulation. Will there ever be a cupper's magazine. These are the issues that have been raised elsewhere, and I was trying to see if they had relevance here.
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby sweetmarias on Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:23 pm

sweetmarias wrote:
Klaus wrote:Shame on you!!! You made James feel stupid!!! :wink:


I sure feel stupid too. This whole thing spins out of control, people start getting testy, getting personal. Insiders? On an invite-only forum? I have no gang. Sure, Sweet Marias has friends, and I am glad at times like this. Why threaten with insults, Aldo? Your co-worker team looks so positive in those flickr photos. I just wanted to see if the issue reverberates, if anyone else can provide insight. Some people made some very enlightening comments. I was hoping for a European perspective, but none has materialized. If it's a non-issue for you, so be it. But why create further divides in a discussion about already existing divides. Look at the coffeed forums, how the subject matter is divided. Are things always so neat? Does this lead to any thoughts that might be relevant? If yes, great, thats what a forum is for. If not, okay. I will continue because it is relevant to me, and I spoke to a few about continuing the discussion at SCAA. Yes, we will. Just think how it affects cuppers to have the Barista finals in their face, to hear the pumping jams, the photographers and adulation. Will there ever be a cupper's magazine. These are the issues that have been raised elsewhere, and I was trying to see if they had relevance here.


oops- i didn't mean to post this - was just composing my thoughts -
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby sweetmarias on Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:25 pm

sweetmarias wrote:
sweetmarias wrote:
Klaus wrote:Shame on you!!! You made James feel stupid!!! :wink:


I sure feel stupid too. This whole thing spins out of control, people start getting testy, getting personal. Insiders? On an invite-only forum? I have no gang. Sure, Sweet Marias has friends, and I am glad at times like this. Why threaten with insults, Aldo? Your co-worker team looks so positive in those flickr photos. I just wanted to see if the issue reverberates, if anyone else can provide insight. Some people made some very enlightening comments. I was hoping for a European perspective, but none has materialized. If it's a non-issue for you, so be it. But why create further divides in a discussion about already existing divides. Look at the coffeed forums, how the subject matter is divided. Are things always so neat? Does this lead to any thoughts that might be relevant? If yes, great, thats what a forum is for. If not, okay. I will continue because it is relevant to me, and I spoke to a few about continuing the discussion at SCAA. Yes, we will. Just think how it affects cuppers to have the Barista finals in their face, to hear the pumping jams, the photographers and adulation. Will there ever be a cupper's magazine. These are the issues that have been raised elsewhere, and I was trying to see if they had relevance here.


oops- i didn't mean to post this - was just composing my thoughts -


I would rather focus on the topic, and this has really digressed. I didn't mean to continue with the commentary on the commentary on the commentary, etc. If people are interested we can continue this at the SCAA
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby James Hoffmann on Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:25 pm

Perhaps this is relevant, perhaps OT but you guys in the US need to run the Cupping Comp like the SCAE does. It is by far the best of the competitions for the audience to watch (as long as it is skillfully MC'd) and the thing I like about it most is that there are no judges. It is purely skill, ability and no politics/insiderness/bias at all. In Poland the guy who won was an owner of a shop, not an industry pro or barista really - he just loved tasting coffee.

I would definitely subscribe to a Cupping magazine btw, but I suspect with that title there would likely be many disappointed subscribers.

And making me feel stupid isn't really worthy of note in hindsight - it is all too easily done these days....
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby Aldo1 on Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:33 pm

(deleted to stop the insanity :) )
Last edited by Aldo1 on Wed Apr 30, 2008 2:03 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby Jason Haeger on Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:34 pm

sweetmarias wrote:
Klaus wrote:Shame on you!!! You made James feel stupid!!! :wink:


I sure feel stupid too. This whole thing spins out of control, people start getting testy, getting personal. Insiders? On an invite-only forum? I have no gang. Sure, Sweet Marias has friends, and I am glad at times like this. Why threaten with insults, Aldo? Your co-worker team looks so positive in those flickr photos. I just wanted to see if the issue reverberates, if anyone else can provide insight. Some people made some very enlightening comments. I was hoping for a European perspective, but none has materialized. If it's a non-issue for you, so be it. But why create further divides in a discussion about already existing divides. Look at the coffeed forums, how the subject matter is divided. Are things always so neat? Does this lead to any thoughts that might be relevant? If yes, great, thats what a forum is for. If not, okay. I will continue because it is relevant to me, and I spoke to a few about continuing the discussion at SCAA. Yes, we will. Just think how it affects cuppers to have the Barista finals in their face, to hear the pumping jams, the photographers and adulation. Will there ever be a cupper's magazine. These are the issues that have been raised elsewhere, and I was trying to see if they had relevance here.

OMG! It's some relevant clarification!

Thank you, Tom. I didn't post, because I didn't know what was going on. (a response to your earlier question)

It's a valid concern, but I don't think the roles are at all similar. A barista presents the final product to a customer. As has been said numerous times before, they are the "Final Link" before the customer.

Doesn't it make sense that presentation would be a huge part of that? Baristas don't spend their time in back rooms or labs analyzing roasts or green samples. They spend their time out in front of the whole world. Does this make them any "better"? Hell no.

So, you cuppers don't get the same "recognition". Do cuppers really want the same recognition? Is there any hope at all that consumers will find cupping interesting and will want to see an event put on to display to them what cupping ought to be? (because there's not a soul here who believes that barista competitions really are representative of real bar situations)

I'm going to call BS. If that's really what this thread is about, then I say cuppers need to learn to be less insecure. Do you know how much they are respected by people like me? Any idea at all?

It's much closer to the heart of coffee, and we all know it. To put it metaphorically, it's the difference between religious ritual and legitimate spiritual understanding. I'll let you guess which group is which in that metaphor.

Working a bar is a rush. It's exciting, it's active, and it's fun to watch a great team of baristas in a busy morning rush. That's just how it is. Cupping, from what I know, just doesn't have the same inherent feel.

Let Baristas have their fun, and don't consider it an edging in on your territory, or some sort of a conflict of groups within an industry. That view is brand new to me, and I've never heard any barista mention it either.

Where was all the confusion coming from? From the baristas. Why? Because they thought there was a mutual respect.

/rant
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby Jason Haeger on Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:36 pm

James Hoffmann wrote:Perhaps this is relevant, perhaps OT but you guys in the US need to run the Cupping Comp like the SCAE does. It is by far the best of the competitions for the audience to watch (as long as it is skillfully MC'd) and the thing I like about it most is that there are no judges. It is purely skill, ability and no politics/insiderness/bias at all. In Poland the guy who won was an owner of a shop, not an industry pro or barista really - he just loved tasting coffee.

I would definitely subscribe to a Cupping magazine btw, but I suspect with that title there would likely be many disappointed subscribers.

And making me feel stupid isn't really worthy of note in hindsight - it is all too easily done these days....

I agree about the cupping comps. I've been very confused and wondered why I haven't heard of one here. Now I know.

I would subscribe to a cupping magazine as well. Absolutely.
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby Christopher Schooley on Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:55 pm

I think understanding the devides could be key here. Where are they? Are they? Aren't they not? Here in the midwest I haven't been as exposed to as much of this b vs c business but the idea certainly makes me wonder. It could be about roles and roleplaying. I really like what James had to say about this and thought that it was backwards from what I would have guessed as far as the competition goes. I would call the magazine "Slurp n' Spit weekly, or monthly/quarterly". But thinking about roles, is this really a barista vs. cupper thing or is it more of an "Upstairs, Downstairs" debate. Again, I stress that this whole thing could be pretty oily (popular vernacular in these parts used to designate something a difficult or complicated) and I urge caution with how the discussion progresses. Competition can bring out the best and worst in all of us and we certainly don't need any more cursing and swearing. Thinking about it with a different pair of eyes for a moment might make you wonder if it isn't about a person vs. person conflict at all, but rather it is about choices?
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby sweetmarias on Wed Apr 30, 2008 2:02 pm

Aldo1 wrote:My oh my. I'd say that you are quite out of line,sweetmarias Let me, unlike you, refrain from drawing parallels between your business and what/how you have posted here. Absolutely lovely.


Well ...you're a real ball of fun. We should sit down over a bottle of Chianti and hammer this out.
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby Aldo1 on Wed Apr 30, 2008 2:07 pm

sweetmarias wrote:Well ...you're a real ball of fun. We should sit down over a bottle of Chianti and hammer this out.



We should! Perhaps the only way I will ever have a clue what issue you are talking about here. IN any case, it would probably be fun.

Best to you. fwiw, I did not intend this personally towards you. It was frustrating to me to see people trying to figure out what the heck you guys (general "you guys") were talking about being ignored, not by you per se, but by anyone who knew what the issue was.
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby Tim Dominick on Wed Apr 30, 2008 2:11 pm

Jason Haeger wrote:
James Hoffmann wrote:Perhaps this is relevant, perhaps OT but you guys in the US need to run the Cupping Comp like the SCAE does. It is by far the best of the competitions for the audience to watch (as long as it is skillfully MC'd) and the thing I like about it most is that there are no judges. It is purely skill, ability and no politics/insiderness/bias at all. In Poland the guy who won was an owner of a shop, not an industry pro or barista really - he just loved tasting coffee.

I would definitely subscribe to a Cupping magazine btw, but I suspect with that title there would likely be many disappointed subscribers.

And making me feel stupid isn't really worthy of note in hindsight - it is all too easily done these days....

I agree about the cupping comps. I've been very confused and wondered why I haven't heard of one here. Now I know.

I would subscribe to a cupping magazine as well. Absolutely.


This isn't a competition to decide who is the best cupper!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Personally, I think that is a really bad concept for a competition. Who really cares, I'm not into a dog and pony show.

It is a competition for coffee producers and importers who want to have their coffee cupped by professionals and scored using the SCAA format. It is a Coffee of the Year Competition.

Cuppers are, for the most part, not as interested in competing with each other, comparing sensory skills scores and who passed the Q with the least number of retakes. A cupper is pursuing the coffees that meet the needs of their company.

Cuppers could give two shits about a trophy for their abilities and no one is giving us a god damn thing for cupping the coffees at this competition. We do it because we love the idea of getting 8-10 potentially great coffees put in front of us for evaluation. The guys who are spending all day roasting the samples and those of us who will be cupping them don't need Nick Cho to stroke us while we do it.
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby sweetmarias on Wed Apr 30, 2008 2:13 pm

Christopher Schooley wrote:I think understanding the devides could be key here. Where are they? Are they? Aren't they not? Here in the midwest I haven't been as exposed to as much of this b vs c business but the idea certainly makes me wonder. It could be about roles and roleplaying. I really like what James had to say about this and thought that it was backwards from what I would have guessed as far as the competition goes. I would call the magazine "Slurp n' Spit weekly, or monthly/quarterly". But thinking about roles, is this really a barista vs. cupper thing or is it more of an "Upstairs, Downstairs" debate. Again, I stress that this whole thing could be pretty oily (popular vernacular in these parts used to designate something a difficult or complicated) and I urge caution with how the discussion progresses. Competition can bring out the best and worst in all of us and we certainly don't need any more cursing and swearing. Thinking about it with a different pair of eyes for a moment might make you wonder if it isn't about a person vs. person conflict at all, but rather it is about choices?


you bring up a valuable point, which is the total un-sexyness of cupping. you would have to really REALLY kick out the jams in order to cover that disgusting soundtrack. you couldn't hold concurrent barista and cupper jams or it would just degrade into battle of the sound systems. oily, yes, i read you. b vs. c ... well, maybe we need c vs.c and b vs. b and we'll keep tensions down by staying in separate worlds. shots vs. drips. extracted vs. infused. incomparable
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby nick on Wed Apr 30, 2008 2:28 pm

Tim Dominick wrote:Cuppers could give two shits about a trophy for their abilities and no one is giving us a god damn thing for cupping the coffees at this competition. We do it because we love the idea of getting 8-10 potentially great coffees put in front of us for evaluation. The guys who are spending all day roasting the samples and those of us who will be cupping them don't need Nick Cho to stroke us while we do it.

The cuppers are to the COTY competition as the judges are to the USBC.

I ain't strokin nobody but myself.
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby James Hoffmann on Wed Apr 30, 2008 2:31 pm

Tim Dominick wrote:
Jason Haeger wrote:
James Hoffmann wrote:Perhaps this is relevant, perhaps OT but you guys in the US need to run the Cupping Comp like the SCAE does. It is by far the best of the competitions for the audience to watch (as long as it is skillfully MC'd) and the thing I like about it most is that there are no judges. It is purely skill, ability and no politics/insiderness/bias at all. In Poland the guy who won was an owner of a shop, not an industry pro or barista really - he just loved tasting coffee.

I would definitely subscribe to a Cupping magazine btw, but I suspect with that title there would likely be many disappointed subscribers.

And making me feel stupid isn't really worthy of note in hindsight - it is all too easily done these days....

I agree about the cupping comps. I've been very confused and wondered why I haven't heard of one here. Now I know.

I would subscribe to a cupping magazine as well. Absolutely.


This isn't a competition to decide who is the best cupper!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Personally, I think that is a really bad concept for a competition. Who really cares, I'm not into a dog and pony show.

It is a competition for coffee producers and importers who want to have their coffee cupped by professionals and scored using the SCAA format. It is a Coffee of the Year Competition.

Cuppers are, for the most part, not as interested in competing with each other, comparing sensory skills scores and who passed the Q with the least number of retakes. A cupper is pursuing the coffees that meet the needs of their company.

Cuppers could give two shits about a trophy for their abilities and no one is giving us a god damn thing for cupping the coffees at this competition. We do it because we love the idea of getting 8-10 potentially great coffees put in front of us for evaluation. The guys who are spending all day roasting the samples and those of us who will be cupping them don't need Nick Cho to stroke us while we do it.


That wasn't the point I was trying to make. I like the cupping competition because it is fun to watch and it celebrates the fact that coffees taste different. Which is something that still needs to be driven home in every coffee drinking market. I don't think I am the best barista in the world, and Anette doesn't think she is the best cupper. There are absurdities in every competition from Barista of the Year to Coffee of the Year. Doesn't mean the competition is in any way invalid.
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby onocoffee on Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:17 pm

You people talk too much.

It's time to settle this with fists.


Image


Chino is waiting for you, Tony...
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby gabelucas on Wed Apr 30, 2008 6:44 pm

oh. so all that cryptic stuff was about THIS?


really?
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby malachi on Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:04 pm

Jeff Jassmond wrote:Turns out it's some bros who wanted to get together and confuse everyone with an inside joke. No hard feelings towards them.


From you.
From me... reminds me of junior fucking high school and is just as stupid and lame now as it was then.
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby malachi on Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:09 pm

sweetmarias wrote:I will continue because it is relevant to me, and I spoke to a few about continuing the discussion at SCAA. Yes, we will. Just think how it affects cuppers to have the Barista finals in their face, to hear the pumping jams, the photographers and adulation. Will there ever be a cupper's magazine. These are the issues that have been raised elsewhere, and I was trying to see if they had relevance here.


So....

When you say "cupper vs barista" what you mean is that "cuppers" resent "baristas"?
Really?

Ummm...

1 - Sorry to hear that. Really.
2 - You do realize that a huge number of baristas want to grow up to be roasters and/or green bean buyers, right? To say that baristas respect roasters and green bean buyers is a significant understatement (envy might be better in many cases).


(lamest thread ever)
Chris Tacy -- (ex)Barista
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby onocoffee on Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:33 pm

malachi wrote:(lamest thread ever)



Image


Never gonna give you up,
Never gonna let you down,
Never gonna run around and desert you.
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby nick on Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:35 pm

malachi wrote:So....

When you say "cupper vs barista" what you mean is that "cuppers" resent "baristas"?
Really?

Ummm...

1 - Sorry to hear that. Really.
2 - You do realize that a huge number of baristas want to grow up to be roasters and/or green bean buyers, right? To say that baristas respect roasters and green bean buyers is a significant understatement (envy might be better in many cases).


(lamest thread ever)

Chris Tacy, with you being (currently) neither a barista nor a cupper, I think that you can impart a more interesting and illuminating third-party perspective on the issue than "When baristas grow up, they want to slurp, and loudly!"
Nick Cho
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