Blending Cultures Through Coffee Education

The world is full of fragrance. Some bring comfort and joy while others… do not. There is no fragrance more identifiable from miles away than coffee (especially roasting coffee). Coffee brings with it the aroma that lifts you up and calms you down at the same. While fragrance is limited to the smell alone, aroma captures our senses and takes us on a journey. Aroma transcends fragrance alone, it carries with it unparalleled power.

The aroma that coffee brings employs all of your five senses. It is the feeling of the perfectly brewed cup that radiates warmth to the hands. It is the smell of the fresh coffee beans being ground at in a rhythmic tune. It is the sound of the milk being steamed, gently spritzing with joy that it will soon join the coffee. This is why people flock to coffee businesses to buy coffee by the cup. To fulfill the longing of being enriched by the experience coffee provides. This aromatic romance provided from a cup of coffee has made it a globally ubiquitous affair; because no matter where you find yourself in the modern world, there’s a good chance a fresh cup of coffee is within arms reach (or at least a short bicycle ride).

If there is any one secret for improving the experience, it would be within the scope of exploring all the different cultures of coffee. Coffee may have had a humble start in the hills of Ethiopia, but it didn’t take long for it’s popularity to spread into all parts of the world. Thanks to a group of enthusiastic coffee lovers who traveled great distances to learn about the coffee culture respective to its native country, it is now possible for most coffee drinkers to a take ride down to their local coffee shop and explore the world, one cup at a time. A barista with the appropriate barista training and experience can provide all consumers, from the novice to the connoisseur, a personalized coffee experience that will surprise taste buds, and enrich daily lives.  By being a “knowledgeable friend,” baristas are able to guide consumers on a journey filled with flavor, passion, and history every morning, making them feel welcome and special, which collectively, keeps them coming back for more.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to what style and type of coffee fits each person best. To the coffee business owner, this opens a world of opportunity in exploring the perceived value of coffee: finding out where it is grown, the tasting notes associated with specific regions and different cultivars of coffee, the processing methods, and so much more. To the coffee consumer, this opens an opportunity to connect to other cultures, and that’s really what the birth of the specialty coffee industry signified. The specialty coffee industry has provided a way to bridge gap between the coffee cultures all around the world; It has made it possible for coffee business owners to educate its consumers about the value of this beverage that permeates the lives of so many. The best way to emphasize the quality and value of coffee is to shift the consumer’s perspective of value by completely changing the coffee shop experience and elevating it to something beyond a fast food type experience to something more meaningful that truly enriches daily life. This takes a lot of thought. The coffee business owner needs to take into account big factors like location, brand, coffee shop design, bar design and function, coffee brewing equipment, lighting, customer flow, menu, customer experience planning, barista training, and coffee being served, all the way down to the cups and serving-ware being used. It is the collective experience as a whole, not one thing any more than the other. As one might imagine well trained barista is the conductor of this beautifully composed orchestra. Bridging the gap between what consumers currently know and expect to elevating their perspective and expectations is one of the most challenging yet rewarding aspects of coffee education and being in the specialty coffee business. It all starts with a delicious cup of coffee that speaks for its self.  Through delicious coffee and creating an atmosphere where people can have their first “specialty coffee epiphany” we are able to spark curiosity which eventually leads to questions, which leads to coffee education, which leads to even more curiosity and ultimately, passion.  This is what it’s all about. Coffee is one of the most affordable, if not THE most affordable luxury in the entire world. The specialty coffee business has made it possible to provide this luxury, and daily feeling of well being to everyday people all over the world.

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