Patience is a word I hear frequently. A lot of people say I have a lot of it but I seem to have less and less when it comes waiting for something. Amazon Prime has ruined me when ordering packages. Two days is entirely too long!! The smartphone has so much information at our fingertips, the world moves by too quickly. What did I ever do without google? I also realize that quality often takes more time than I think sometimes. Too often coffee has been placed into the category of must have now, no matter what the taste. We need to remember it is a beverage to enjoy not inhale. A few minutes of time equals quality coffee. Inspiration hits at odd times. Who would have thought blog inspiration would come during dinner one night. And yet that is what happened...
While on a date last weekend, Brian and I decided to hit up one of our favorite regular spots for dinner. The food is always amazing and the staff are super friendly. I have to say no complaints from our dinner but we sat down chatted a few minutes and ordered. I ranted about my day blah, blah and before I even had a chance to finish and move on to another topic our food appeared. It really started my brain thinking, how did they have the food ready so fast? One would think that I would think, “awesome good food, let’s eat” but instead I began questioning their methods because something that good cannot be prepared that fast. There is power in the wait time. There is anticipation while waiting for something amazing. I feel out of the ordinary sometimes, because I expect good things happen with a little patience and positive thinking. As I stared down at my food, I saw flashes of hundreds of times I waited for something wonderful. Like when you get concert tickets and it is six months away. It seems like forever but when the band takes stage, it is worth every penny and every moment of waiting. Or those few seconds before the first kiss where everything seems to slow down and become slow motion. Good things are worth the wait.
While working in the coffee industry I have noticed more and more customers grow impatient and frustrated with any wait time. Anyone who has worked in the service industry has felt the eyes stare at you or heard the fingers drum on the counter. I see it everyday in growing numbers. Customers are late constantly and have very little understanding of what it takes to create their beverage. Now maybe I sound like an old lady yelling at the kids to get off my lawn but I just do not understand it. If someone is making the effort to create something designed especially for me, does it taste better quicker?
As we visit different coffee shops in the orange county area, I see a great divide. Those older established coffee shops focus on speed and the quality declines significantly. Whereas the newer third wave shops are innovative with their methods and the focus is clearly quality. Even the atmospheres feel different. Places that focus on speed fosters a stifled uncomfortable environment for the employees. The growing impatience and indifference of the customers adds to the frustrating environment. The new shops are quickly becoming popular with the crowd that is looking for something better, something worth the wait. The baristas are focused and calm. The customers settle into conversation with ease while waiting for their beverages. Faster isn’t always better. Sometimes the end result is worth the wait.
Let us take a step out from behind the bar for a moment and into the kitchen. The invention of the microwave changed the way we cook. I use it frequently but I cannot say I would ever substitute a home cooked meal on the stove for the same food out of the microwave. The speed of the microwave lowers the quality of the food. We use it for convenience yet when did the craziness of our world force us to sacrifice quality for a few extra minutes in our day? Another one of my favorite kitchen gadgets can be a real time saver...The crock Pot! Yet, although it saves time, it takes a long time to cook. Whatever you put inside in the morning tastes delish after a long day, like I spend hours in the kitchen. The slow cooking all day drives my dog insane but the meal is definitely worth the wait.
Now why is it that a blogger who writes about coffee continues to ramble on about kitchen gadgets? It goes back to my inspiration dinner. The restaurant must use some sort of crock pot to have such wonderful food prepared so quickly. But it does not work the same way with coffee. The invention of the large coffee urn removes the quality of the beverage. Although it may have the same features as a crock pot, it pales in comparison to my favorite kitchen gadget. Coffee should be crafted with care, individually with purpose...the perfect pour. The methods may vary from french press to pour over yet one universal truth is accepted throughout the coffee community. An excellent cup of coffee is……(I think you already know what I am going to say!)