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

growing, harvesting, processing, cupping, purchasing

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

Postby ryan brown on Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:40 pm

nick wrote: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!"


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

Postby trish on Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:48 pm

(for Jay from Trish)

RIFF: (Spoken) Against the Sharks we need every man we got.

ACTION: (Spoken) Tony don't belong any more.

RIFF: Cut it, Action boy. I and Tony started the Jets.

ACTION: Well, he acts like he don't wanna belong.

BABY JOHN: Who wouldn't wanna belong to the Jets!

ACTION: Tony ain't been with us for over a month.

SNOWBOY: What about the day we clobbered the Emeralds?

A-RAB: Which we couldn't have done without Tony.

BABY JOHN: He saved my ever-lovin' neck!

RIFF: Right! He's always come through for us and he will now.

(sings)
When you're a Jet,
You're a Jet all the way
From your first cigarette
To your last dyin' day.

When you're a Jet,
If the spit hits the fan,
You got brothers around,
You're a family man!

You're never alone,
You're never disconnected!
You're home with your own:
When company's expected,
You're well protected!

Then you are set
With a capital J,
Which you'll never forget
Till they cart you away.
When you're a Jet,
You stay a Jet!

(spoken) I know Tony like I know me. I guarantee you can count him in.

ACTION: In, out, let's get crackin'.

A-RAB: Where you gonna find Bernardo?

RIFF: At the dance tonight at the gym.

BIG DEAL: But the gym's neutral territory.
RIFF: (innocently) I'm gonna make nice there! I'm only gonna challenge him.

A-RAB: Great, Daddy-O!

RIFF: So everybody dress up sweet and sharp.

ALL (sing)
Oh, when the Jets fall in at the cornball dance,
We'll be the sweetest dressin' gang in pants!
And when the chicks dig us in our Jet black ties,
They're gonna flip, gonna flop, gonna drop like flies!

RIFF: (Spoken) Hey. Cool. Easy. Sweet. Meet Tony and me at ten. And walk tall!

A-RAB: We always walk tall!

BABY JOHN: We're Jets!

ACTION: The greatest!
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby Jason Haeger on Wed Apr 30, 2008 10:08 pm

malachi wrote:
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)

Just in case it wasn't clear enough in my rant already, Chris T. had to come and make it even more clear.

Thank you, Mr. Tacy.
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby xristrettox on Thu May 01, 2008 4:53 am

malachi wrote:
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).


Not to tear what you said up Chris, because I agreed largely with your post, but I really dislike the "grow up to be..." comment.

I would just like to make the point that regardless of where you are at in the coffee food chain, there is nothing wrong (not the right word) with being a barista. That profession is every bit as valid as any other, and don't think that a barista ever need to "grow up" to be anything other than what they already are. In fact, I suspect most do move on only because the money is not as secure as other positions in the industry.

The only reason I post this thought is that the public will never really catch on to barista as a career unless we really are able to do the same.

Carry on.
Billy Wilson
Portland, Oregon
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby phaelon56 on Thu May 01, 2008 5:13 am

sweetmarias wrote: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.


Okay - finally a clarification. Thank you. I'm truly unaware of some real schism between cuppers/roasters and baristas but I think it elevates all of us as individuals and our industry as a whole when those committed to it as a career - in any facet - gain greater understanding of the big picture.

Cuppers/roasters can indeed benefit from spending some time as front line baristas and vice versa. The more educated we all are about our industry and the greater our effort to impart that knowledge and enthusiasm to our customer base - the better off we all are. I also think it behooves employees and owners (whether it's in a cafe or in a roastery) to gain a greater understanding of the challenges that the other party faces on a daily basis.
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby Chris Kornman on Thu May 01, 2008 9:01 am

It seems to me that this thread is causing more rifts & divisions than there could ever have possibly been to begin with between cuppers & baristas.
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby Jason Haeger on Thu May 01, 2008 9:04 am

Chris Kornman wrote:It seems to me that this thread is causing more rifts & divisions than there could ever have possibly been to begin with between cuppers & baristas.

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

Postby Graciano Cruz on Thu May 01, 2008 9:44 am

Again, as a specialty coffee farmer point of view, all of you guys have to became good cuppers to get the best coffees, that's a fact. But for us producing a good coffee, that show a unique cup, push us to learn more and more how to cup, I'll always thanks Willem Boot for pushing me to get into it some time ago. A big part of the resources and efforts by the specialty coffee industry for the last 10 years, have been focus, in creating cupping standards or cupping formats, we always will have to respect all the people that make these tools available for us today.(coffee buyers/cuppers)
For us in farming, processing and selecting the best coffee possible, the perspective have to be basic and simple, it became the way to sell our coffees. With my limited knowledge I'll say the cupping method develop with the industry itself,
-30 - 40 years ago the few people cupping where the green bean brokers and some roasters
- 20 years ago all the cupping set up on different origins institutions or coffee boards, fed.,etc, base their formats on defects detection at the cup ( a lot of terms where use hard beans, high altitude grown, highland grown,etc.)
-just the last 10 years ago to the present, more green coffee buyers from the specialty industry start to travel and cup at the origins not only looking for coffees with out defects, they began to focus in attributes ......this moment really change the whole industry...85+ cups, more green coffee buyers were roasters, in the last five years, more baristas began to travel and cup at origins, but at the end more coffee farmers began to cup their own coffees, not relaying anymore this part of the business on governmental coffee export certification opinions.
I'll say, finally the industry amalgamate all the essential human elements, for the resulting equation, the best coffee cup for your clients, at the retailers and coffee shops floors now days,you are teaching them (final customer) how to cup or taste a good specialty coffee, from Asia, Australia, North America, Europe and any where else, it's on fashion, people wants more information for what they pay.
Besides, with all the communication and transportation or freight evolution in time saving, your end of the industry have a better chance to get a more fresh coffee to cup, roast and brew, just realize one moment than 50 years ago coffee took double or more time on the boats.
We should be proud to have finally the chance to work more close and together than ever before.
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby Edwin Martinez on Thu May 01, 2008 8:18 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.


The WCTC (World Cup Tasting Championship) at SCAE is COMPLETELY different than Coffee Pavilion turned Coffee of the Year or “Roasters Choice Competition” at SCAA.

They each serve COMPLETELY different purposes.
One is about the cupper and skill in cupping, or rather in tasting. The others are about the coffee and the craft of roasting.

And while the idea of cuppers chasing trophys is disturbing and unlikely, I would much rather see WCTC than Coffee of the Year at SCAA.

However, when I look at WBC, I see there is great reward in the pursuit of excellence. The reward is not winning, although this has it's perks. Rather the reward is participating in elevating the craft among other things. I met plenty of national champions in Tokyo that did not expect to win, yet they made much sacrifice and effort. Whether or not they are the same ones returning this year, they are now better and if even at a very small level they are most likely having a positive impact on the industry. I see this as a VERY good thing that is hard to put a price on.

I spent a good deal of time looking into the history of why we don't have a Tasting Championship in the U.S. and then following proper channels to make it happen. In short after a few dozen emails with Alf Kramer and folks at SCAA, there just hasn't been the right combination of interest and available resources. I know the interest is there. Expect to see this soon.

At first I was skeptical as I thought, what is there to prove. Why participate in a "cupping competition"? And the response is the same. It is not to win. It is in the name of education. Alf sent me a document where the objective of educating and motivating cup tasters of the world was broken down as follows: (keep in mind I don't think this doc was originally drafted in English)

1. To give the cup tasters of the world the same status and credibility as the wine tasters.
2. To promote the concept of quality/speciality as such.
3. To stimulate the interest for cup tasting as such, and recruit new tasters.
4. To create good role models.
5. To make the competition a real crowd pleaser. Fast, entertaining, fair, and
6. media friendly. Especially TV.
7. To promote the SCAE as an innovative, dynamic, and target oriented organization that is worthwhile being a member of.
8. To provide chapters with an extra additional tool for development.
9. To provide a forum for some of the finest coffees in the world as they are used in the competition and served to the public.
10. To motivate and educate the speciality coffee community to become skilful, critical and fair tasters

There is only one 1ST PLACE winner in this thing, and that is the obvious and necessary outcome of a competition. Thankfully no where on this list of objectives does it say "To determine who is the best cupper in the world."

When it comes to coffee, at the end of the day I have to ask myself, "what activity gets more people drinking better coffee?"

While there's something to say for sticking to what you're good at, it seems a good thing for baristas to learn to cup and vice versa, if anything it helps one better appreciate the other.


sweetmarias wrote: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.


I guess I have not seen this, but my world is a small one.

I still don't know what this thread is about.
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby Mike Ferguson on Thu May 01, 2008 9:39 pm

Please please please stop. OMG, please stop.

This thread was a joke from the get go, though this will be denied.

Tom has 1) more experiences (in years) with online communities than anyone here except perhaps Barry; 2) Tom has the driest sense of humor on the planet.

I just can't watch anymore. Read Tom's posts. They are master strokes of nothingness. It's a joke. Let it go. Let it go. Let it go.

There is no rift, strife, war, struggle, or "vs." ...it just doesn't exists and you know it doesn't in your experience. If there is anecdotal evidence it is evidence of personality conflicts here and there. Nothing substantive on this topic truly exists.

THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES! If you were suckered, so what? These were master strokes, well written and finely teased. Let it go and let the thread die. Just to be clear: Tom, and perhaps a few active and passive collaborators, doesn't believe there is a real conflict between cuppers and baristas (believe it, no matter what he might post after this to cause you to re-engage). Sorry to ruin the fun but this energy needs to be redirected.
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby terry on Fri May 02, 2008 8:39 am

Found this on Craigslist........ This must be what all the craziness about........... :D

Barista looking to experiment w/ Cupping - B4C - 28 (Minneapolis, MN)
Reply to: pers-66419779@craigslist.org
Date: 2008-05-01, 7:42PM CDT


I'm a very attractive Barista looking to Cup with another, who's equally into spooning. Drop me a line if you're interested. I'm new at this, so I'd like a Cupper to take charge.

You, Tall, but not Venti, with a medium complexion, overtones of cocoa, and stone fruit.

Me Smooth w/ Tattoos, attitude, a bitch'n Tamper and a deep understanding of coffee passion.

Let's meet on common grounds, and slurp it

* Location: Minneapolis, MN
* it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests


PostingID: 664197479
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby malachi on Fri May 02, 2008 8:03 pm

malachi wrote: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 nick on Fri May 02, 2008 10:05 pm

T.M.I. Chris Tacy. :?
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby Eton on Sun May 04, 2008 5:22 am

I feel u Billy... not enough Barista out there realize that being a Barista is what I equate to being a Mixologist these days... there are plenty of bartenders who "grow up" to be Mixologists however why would a mixologist wish to "grow up" to become a sommelier. Different job descriptions, of course they over lap, however why would one be viewed greater then another. At the end of the day its all flavor. :D
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby sweetmarias on Tue May 06, 2008 1:54 pm

really, what's the point of making a joke out of this ? THIS WAS NEVER A JOKE. it's a discussion and you could alternately say that it has gone nowhere, or it has gone exactly where it has gone. for my part, i tried to discuss this, to the best of my ability, with james hoffman, who i hold in high esteem as both eloquent and informed. i tried to explain the "double pincers" of meaning; the form of content vs the form of discussion. i made a t-shirt hoping to keep the issue alive so we could discuss it face-to-face, but for many it was still a joke, only now they felt they "got it." well, i don't get it, because it's not a joke to get. it's about how all of us huddle around topics and relate or fail to relate. that's comic, i suppose, it a ship-of-fools sort of way. well, after a couple days of trying to raise awareness of the issue, i basically lost my voice and now it doesn't seem worth discussing at all. maybe we can approach it from a different angle. maybe a greater barista presence at roasters guild retreat is a good idea.

oh, i don't know what to say to the people in this thread who have gotten fairly mad about this - it is a discussion, you know. and you scared chris schooley, so you should be ashamed of yourselves.
let's cup through this ... together.
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby Mark Prince on Tue May 06, 2008 3:10 pm

sweetmarias wrote: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.


Apologies if this has already been posted, but in answer to this question, Tom, what exactly is Roast magazine then? I'd say the cupping community is pretty well served by Connie and Co.

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

Postby phaelon56 on Wed May 07, 2008 5:37 am

sweetmarias wrote:oh, i don't know what to say to the people in this thread who have gotten fairly mad about this - it is a discussion, you know. and you scared chris schooley, so you should be ashamed of yourselves.


I respectfully disagree. It was never a true discussion until the simple explanation that many regular participants in this forum kept asking for was finally offered. If you'll take a quick glance at the names of the many members who asked for clarification you'll note that our collective posting histories are not marked by contentiousness nor do they tend to show a tendency to "get mad" in public discussions. Very early on there were repeated and polite requests for a very simple answer to the question: Is this thread an inside joke (in which case this of us not in on it can just go to other threads) or is there a real genuine issue to discuss and if so will you please clarify it?

It was somewhere around the 5th page of the thread that this statement appeared:
sweetmarias wrote: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.


I still remain puzzled as to why that answer couldn't have been provided the first time the question was asked. Not mad. Puzzled.
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby James Hoffmann on Wed May 07, 2008 6:22 am

Until Tom explained to me the wider implication of this discussion as a lobster (this is not a joke - see pincer reference above) I was in the clan that had been treating it as a joke. My initial mistake was to try and understand this discussion from my viewpoint only.

I hope this discussion is revived and invigorated soon. Congrats Tom also on the success of your Rwandan coffee at the show. It was a pleasure to meet you, if only briefly and I apologise for my dulled eloquence that evening. (Nice party though - thanks Intelli!) It was such a pleasure I won't begin to highlight the Hoffman Vs Hoffmann discussion that I hope to have soon....
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby phaelon56 on Wed May 07, 2008 6:55 am

James Hoffmann wrote:
I hope this discussion is revived and invigorated soon.


I agree. But perhaps starting it fresh on a new thread will help the discussion get focused and on track? I think it's a fantastic idea to encourage some baristas attend the Roaster's Guild retreat this summer. It's not necessary to be a Guild member to attend. Perhaps if you're a roaster/retailer with a shop you might subsidize the costs for one of your motivated employees?

And if someone with more time and better organizations skills than I have is inclined to start a Roaster's Guild Retreat Barista Scholarship Fund I'll kick in the first $100 to get it started.

Congrats Tom also on the success of your Rwandan coffee at the show.

Indeed. Pretty stiff competition there and a very impressive showing. Nice work.
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby barry on Wed May 07, 2008 4:25 pm

phaelon56 wrote:It's not necessary to be a Guild member to attend.


It's not?

When did that change?
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby phaelon56 on Wed May 07, 2008 4:58 pm

barry wrote:
phaelon56 wrote:It's not necessary to be a Guild member to attend.


It's not?

When did that change?


I'll bet that it didn't and that I was completely wrong. Is it possible that I was thinking of the Roaster's Guild origin trips?
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby onocoffee on Wed May 07, 2008 8:02 pm

All I know is that I spoke to a number of people on both sides of the fence in Minneapolis and there are some really deep feelings about this topic. It's gonna take more than just a little back and forth on some silly forum topic to heal those wounds.
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby malachi on Wed May 07, 2008 8:32 pm

onocoffee wrote:All I know is that I spoke to a number of people on both sides of the fence in Minneapolis and there are some really deep feelings about this topic. It's gonna take more than just a little back and forth on some silly forum topic to heal those wounds.


for the stupid among us...

can someone explain what the issues are in a succinct and clear manner?

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

Postby Tim Dominick on Wed May 07, 2008 9:03 pm

Roasters Guild retreat was opened up to non-rg roasters last year in an effort to comply with Sherman anti-trust laws (aka a chapped jackass could sue.) It costs around 25% more for a non-guild member to attend and roasting still must be an integral part of your profession.

One could make the argument that roasting is integral to the profession of barista, it is a stretch. Last year Heather Perry was invited to share her experience and skill, attendees were grateful for her willingness to give her time.

I am certain the RG would welcome anyone who brought an added dimension of experience to the mix. Conversely they would call bullshit on anyone who came with an attitude of arrogance or mockery. No third-graders need attend.

RG Origin trips are more expensive for non-members but you needn't have roasting as part of your profession. The recent trip to El Salvador had some baristas and retailers aboard. I think a barista would benefit more from traveling to origin with roasters than coming to retreat.

I digress, Tom is was nice to share a cab with you and watch you eat finger foods & drink wine while sitting around a surfboard. Two ideas on takeaway for me: Doing, going and carving your own path are all important. Compartmentalizing and labeling everything with a strict inflexibility for gray areas are problems. I don't pretend to "get it" but I go for it.
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Re: what's with this whole cupper vs. barista thing?

Postby trish on Thu May 08, 2008 2:07 pm

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n1132173384_1365.jpg (14.81 KiB) Viewed 4417 times


look, take a stand...make a choice, R. (can I call you "R."?)
trish
 
Posts: 263
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2005 7:16 am
Location: Redwood City, CA
full name: Trish D. Rothgeb
company: Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters
: wreckingballcoffee.com

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