Concentrating on coffee

concentrating_on_coffeeIt’s all very well and good saying you’re all about the coffee, but it’s another matter delivering time after time. That’s why we are very flavour driven at Artisan rather than process driven. So how do you keep good espresso pouring not only from you but from your team. In our view, you have to have someone with the knowledge and the appetite to learn at the very heart of the shop and in our case, this is our Head of Coffee Alessandro. We feel that overall one-off training sessions with roasters fall well short of what is required as you need to surround your team constantly with knowledge and expertise, hence employing a Head of Coffee – now the question is how are you going to train your other baristas to this level. As it has been rightly suggested, if the baristas don’t foresee a career in coffee but are simply doing a job for a few years like the majority are, then how do we get the best espresso out of them. Artisan’s answer is workshops and questions and our philosophy is to reward baristas with a deeper level of knowledge for the coffee, and not just those following process.

We take this view simply because by giving them questions rather than answers, getting them involved in workshops rather than solely a manual; we find this breeds interest and a greater understanding. This also means being a barista can be seen as a viable and rewarding career option, given the right motivation. When we then overhear our baristas chatting to customers about the different aspects of the coffee or what happens to the flavour of the coffee if they pulled a ristretto as opposed to an espresso, or adjusted the dose of their coffee, we’ve achieved our goal. They do this at Artisan not because they read it in our manual, but because we encouraged them to find out for themselves and gave them the time and tools to do this.

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