I read somewhere that if you make a difference in one person’s life, then it should be a reason to keep on going in your passion’s path. Five months out from quitting my job, I still believe in coffee. The people I’ve met in this industry are some of the nicest people that exist. And while I love the industry professionals, I’m also very interested in the people I “convert” into coffee enthusiasts. I’ve created a few of those already and I’m quite proud of that. Without naming names, here are their stories:Read More
I read a lot of articles in my spare time. I figure that most people probably don’t enjoy tech, fashion, or random Chicago events like I do, but what the heck. Maybe you’ll like my curation of articles that I found interesting through the week:Read More
In full disclosure, I used to work for Groupon. But this could really just apply to any job you feel unfulfilled in. In the end, I left not because of the media’s constant criticism of the company, but because the job was no longer a good fit for me. If you’re looking for articles on reasons to sell your stock or give it bad press, you should probably stop reading now.Read More
Is it really that difficult to smile? I understand that when you’re exhausted on your feet and you just don’t want to serve cups of coffee anymore, maybe the smile will fall. But that still doesn’t give you an excuse to not smile. You’re in a service industry. Specialty coffee, regardless of how high up the “specialty” ladder you are, is still a food service industry. Fake smile, real smile, I don’t care. Though I can tell when you’re fake smiling, I’ll give you a point for effort. As long as you’re not fake smiling every time I go into the store.Read More
I’m reviving this blog. Since my exit from the coffee shop, my new job had taken over my life, spinning away my interests, friends, and general inertia for anything remotely interesting. I’ve gone through the adaptation phase of my current job and now I’m in the settling-and-refocusing phase.
It’s taken a few moments about this for me to get kicked back into coffee.
1) A month ago, the recruiter who interviewed me said he liked me for my passion for coffee. It was a public passion (this blog, my internship, my club, my previous job) and he noticed. While obviously it wasn’t the only reason I was hired, it still helped that I had an outside interest. That I wasn’t going to go home after work and sit on the couch and do nothing.Read More
In less than two weeks, I will be ending my stint as a barista and returning to “coffee enthusiast” status. Many events have occurred to bring about this difficult decision, but nothing more so as to my realization of how much my interest in coffee has changed. Don’t get me wrong, I still LOVE coffee, but I loved it more when I was outside the retail world. The day-to-day operation of a shop may just not be for me at the moment. Perhaps in ten years, if I’m settled down, I’ll say differently. During my nine months, I gradually stopped visiting shops, reading up on coffee material, and altogether lost interest in coffee. In truth, the thing I’ll miss the most is having the Synesso at my fingertips.Read More
The following was drafted about a month ago and I just never got around to publishing it.
I’m not a pro at cuppings and I’ll be the first to say that my palate needs some serious work. But what I do know is the feeling I get when I walk away from the cupping. For the most part, I’ve walked away feeling educated, caffeinated, and with a good impression of the roaster.
I’ve attended cuppings presented by a CEO, sales rep, owner, roaster, and a barista. Locations have included a ballroom, classroom, retail shop, and roasting facility. And circumstances have been formal, QC, or even experimental.Read More
I attended my first latte art throwdown the other day at Brothers K in Evanston. Since it was my first one, it’s obvious I’d have preconceived notions about how the baristas go about throwing the lattes around. Here are the major points that I converted on:
Prediction: Lots of baristas geeking out on espresso parameters and scrutinizing rosettas.
Reality: Some discussion on coffee, not a lot of close attention on the art. More time was spent with the snack table (obviously food trumps coffee).Read More
I walked into a recently opened local shop today, hoping to get my caffeine fix with a cappuccino. It was my second time visiting and this time, there was one more customer than during my last visit (and there was no one last time). It made me wonder what was wrong with the shop. There I was, sitting outside on the patio (indoor seating= 10, outdoor seating= 12), the only other customer. On a Friday afternoon and 85 degrees outside. Nothing’s wrong with the location, per se, since the deli next door was packed with customers. But it IS located in a converted house (I almost walked by it the first time) with very little seating. It’s evident that the owners are specialty coffee fans: great espresso machine, grinders, beans, etc. They’ve even hosted workshops and expanded PR into some local news clips and newsletters. So why was the barista on her computer when I entered?Read More
About Jenn Chen
I'm a San Francisco-based writer & photographer. On the side, I munch on donuts & hang out with my dog Zoey.
You can reach me here or on Twitter.
eat / drink coffee / write / travel
>>>> all in one.