In my training I always harp on one thing...
Intention. This is key to being not only a successful coffee professional, but in my opinion, a human being. Oftentimes we are intentional without even knowing it. It's ingrained in our routines, our day-to-day lives. But as this is a coffee blog, I'm going to write about the importance of intention in a few of the most important aspects of specialty coffee.
Now this may not be relevant to everyone reading, but its worth considering. Roasting is something not every barista has the opportunity to discover. I've been fortunate enough to have this experience, and I can tell you without a doubt its pretty daunting in the beginning. Yet, once you develop a level of comfort that allows you to explore the depths of flavor buried within a coffee bean, and an understanding of the process it opens doors. These doors lead me to intention. Turning on the roaster with the intention to follow profiles, or create new ones, leads to a clear cut direction. From there, intention creates understanding, understanding creates consistency, and consistency is always the goal for roasting coffee.
Think back to times when you've brewed coffee without a scale. Without water that was 205 degrees. Without dialing in your grind size. How did it turn out? Chances are, it wasn't undrinkable, but when you prepare and brew with intention the difference is night and day. Brewing great coffee is more than just pouring hot water over ground beans. Whenever brewing coffee remember the journey those beans made from origin, do right by all the hands that made this coffee possible. All of the cups of coffee I've drank that were brewed with intention were experiences, and experiences is what coffee is about.
From the outside perspective its like foamy witchcraft. I remember watching baristas in pure awe as sharp white contrast spilled onto the surface of espresso with a flick of a wrist. As I slowly learned the techniques of pouring latte art, the importance of flow rate, texture, and placement were all pieces of the puzzle that helped me progress. Yet, the one lesson I learned that has continually improved my latte art is intention. The key to pouring a beautiful rosetta is starting with the intention to do so. Trust me, I know this sounds corny. But knowing what you'll be pouring before the first drop of milk leaves your pitcher is key to quality latte art.