When I became involved in coffee, it wasn’t necessarily something I thought I was going to hang onto forever. When I met A, she was all about coffee, and I was all about cooking. But my cooking dreams were destroyed. I felt like I never wanted to step foot into a kitchen again, and coffee took its place. A trained me as a barista at her coffee shop so I could hang out and help when it was needed. I wasn’t the easiest to train by any means. I know it, A knows it, and A reminds me of it. I was a little diva; I didn’t take criticism well, and I argued about stuff that had no point of arguing. But A trained me to be a pretty badass barista. I was mostly a fill-in at the shop, and even though I wasn’t really working many hours, I somehow managed to remember most of the information she taught me.
Now, we both work full-time at a new coffee shop in town. At one point early on in our relationship, my family, especially my grandparents, didn’t really respect being a barista as a career choice. Working in the coffee industry didn’t seem to have too many benefits in their eyes. Now, you’d never know they had felt that way.
My grandpa has taken to the art of roasting coffee at home. So far he has roasted two batches, but his collection of roasting contraptions keeps growing and growing. He has spent countless hours researching flavor profiles, suggested moisture content percentages, and how to mathematically equate how much quicker his metal popcorn popper will roast coffee compared to a commercial roaster. He has purchased probes and researched how to connect them to specific apps via Bluetooth to record his results. He even read “The Blue Bottle Book of Coffee.”
Ever since A and I started at this new shop, my family has started to respect that there is a career in coffee. I never imagined myself working in this industry, but at this point, I wouldn’t have it any other way. There is so much room to grow in the coffee industry, whether it be trying to perfect my latte art skills, or traveling to different coffee shops in Nebraska to teach our skillsets.
Coffee to me is about building; building my knowledge of something, building creativity, building a respect for our products, building a knowledgeable community that we can share our experiences with. We are just trying to spread the word one person at a time, even if that means starting with my family.