19 April 2009

i promise

Intelligentsia Boot Camp is going well. We're ticking right along, taking our certification exams, dialing in, timing, brewing, tasting, steaming, swirling, pouring, and Making It Happen. But it's been a very hard couple weeks.

A lot of personal, bike, and financial bullshit has cluttered my focus. This is a mistake. There's too much on the line. Kyle Glanville, our fearless leader, has given all of us a huge chance at something really very amazing: To work for one of the best companies out there. To learn how to give this carefully-selected, hard-won, perfectly-roasted coffee the attention and care it deserves. And to take it to the final, integral level that turns an already great thing into a really, really-really effing wonderful thing. It's our job to ensure that all the hard work to get that bean to such great heights before it even reaches us is reciprocated with an equal level of care and mastery. We gotta stick the landing.

Nicely (yes, his name is Nicely) once said, "I made a promise to you all before I ever met you." I'm following up his promise with one of my own. I'm putting all that other stuff on hold for a bit — which is difficult; y'all KNOW I love bikes, not to mention dudes & money — and focusing on coaxing all the wonderful, complex, elusive flavors from the bean. I promise this to the farmers, to the roasters, to Kyle, to Tim, to Nicely, to Chris & M'lissa, to the rest of the trainees. To Doug Zell, Emily Mange, Geoff Watts. To Mike Phillips, everyone who competed in the US and World Barista Championships, and a bunch of other people I've never met. And to all of you, when we open up shop. Be sure to say hi.


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