Discuss - Cigarettes as a hindrance to one's ability to fully taste espresso

So I love coffee
I love espresso

I am addicted to smoking, and for now I think I still really like it
I have a fixation with sipping and toking. Smoking became part of the social aspect of going to my local coffee shop a while before I started working there.

When I decided after three years of working as a barista whether or not I wanted to further my experience and stay in the industry, it crossed my mind that maybe I can't really truly taste the full flavor of a shot of espresso, maybe smoking has altered my capacity for that, and that maybe I should quit in favor of developing a better understanding of my craft.

Let me know if this has crossed your mind as a smoker

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For the sake of the discussion lets suppose I already know what other things cigarettes will do to my health. I cut way back for a good reason and I have an even better reason than tasting coffee to quit.

But anyhow, go on. ^_^
yeah, cigarettes are not such a great thing for tasting but I have heard are far worse for aroma (your sense of smell really gets f'd up) however....... I can name a laundry list of top shelf professionals, best in the world caliber, that smoke at least occasionally and some of them habitually. depending on how you smoke there is even some merit to it in my mind. High end tobacco has an immense variety of offerings (different tobacco varietals), that like coffee, when fresh can really sing with different flavors. It kills me to see the utmost in coffee professionals who would shun gas station coffee and food go buy a pack of smokes from the citgo... sigh. so yeah, if you must smoke, roll your own and buy the good stuff. its actually cheaper than pre-fabs and far more satisfying (and yes you can and should roll with a filter).
.... I say avoid smoking immediatly before you do a taste analysis of anything, but if your not smoking very much then the difference is relativly small.
Get real with yourself. You know what the answer is. If you, or anyone else is serious about coffee, I would recommend quitting. I also know a few people higher up in the industry who smoke, and I guarantee those people wish they didn't smoke.
seriously... coffee directors, green buyers, top baristas, sommeliers, mixologists at high end cocktail bars... many people who are paid real money for their taste abilities and being the best on their fields smoke cigarettes & cigars. Yes, some regret it for health reasons but even they acknowledge that professionally they suffer negligible consequences. According to a gentlemen I know who works with cupping everyday (lab settings, grading for the exchange, buying & roast developing for a third wave company) it takes you 40 minutes after smoking for you taste ability to recover. If you quite (and yes, all of us probably should... drinking for that matter to, its bad for your liver right?) do it for health reasons not a false belief about it making you into some kind of super taster.
Chris Dodson said:
Get real with yourself. You know what the answer is. If you, or anyone else is serious about coffee, I would recommend quitting. I also know a few people higher up in the industry who smoke, and I guarantee those people wish they didn't smoke.
God bless your common sense response! (it turns out, common sense isn't so common)
the real question is...how badly does Pbr hamper our capacity to judge good coffee?
As a smoker, I agree with Jason and Chris. It's rough, but you gotta do it. I just registered for NWRBC and I'll be cutting waaaay back whiile I train again. On days I work, I try not to smoke at all, but I'm a little more relaxed about it on days I'm off...either way, quitting is a good idea.

I also never exhale through my nose. I'm already messing up enough, keeping my sense of smell is kinda a big deal to me...

quit if you can.
I'll admit that I do enjoy fine tobaccos. My favorite cigar is a Rocky Patel Vintage 1990. If I'm smoking my pipe, I pack in some Dunhill 965. I do only smoke a cigar or my pipe once or twice a month when I know I won't be working with coffee for a few days. After smoking, I can really tell that my taste isn't where it was before I lit up my smoke. If I smoke a cigar until it gets too hot, I'll definitely feel it on my tongue for the next 3-5 days. I try to be very careful about mixing smoke and coffee. If I had to choose though, I'd never smoke another cigar again if I had to choose between the two. Fortunately, smoking once or twice a month isn't such a big deal in my opinion.

I still think cigarettes are a terrible life choice. I hope I'm not coming off as too much of a hypocrite.

By the way, I'm very glad to talk about coffee with people who care about it as much as I do. God Bless BaristaExchange!

michael Phillips said:
seriously... coffee directors, green buyers, top baristas, sommeliers, mixologists at high end cocktail bars... many people who are paid real money for their taste abilities and being the best on their fields smoke cigarettes & cigars. Yes, some regret it for health reasons but even they acknowledge that professionally they suffer negligible consequences. According to a gentlemen I know who works with cupping everyday (lab settings, grading for the exchange, buying & roast developing for a third wave company) it takes you 40 minutes after smoking for you taste ability to recover. If you quite (and yes, all of us probably should... drinking for that matter to, its bad for your liver right?) do it for health reasons not a false belief about it making you into some kind of super taster.
965 was my go-to blend. I love the stuff. the g/f hates the pipe, so it's a rare thing indeed these days.

I still love la gloria cubana cigars, even if that's more rare than the pipe.

it's so scarce, I'd say that I eat caviar almost as often (never).

Chris Dodson said:
I'll admit that I do enjoy fine tobaccos. My favorite cigar is a Rocky Patel Vintage 1990. If I'm smoking my pipe, I pack in some Dunhill 965. I do only smoke a cigar or my pipe once or twice a month when I know I won't be working with coffee for a few days. After smoking, I can really tell that my taste isn't where it was before I lit up my smoke. If I smoke a cigar until it gets too hot, I'll definitely feel it on my tongue for the next 3-5 days. I try to be very careful about mixing smoke and coffee. If I had to choose though, I'd never smoke another cigar again if I had to choose between the two. Fortunately, smoking once or twice a month isn't such a big deal in my opinion.

I still think cigarettes are a terrible life choice. I hope I'm not coming off as too much of a hypocrite.

By the way, I'm very glad to talk about coffee with people who care about it as much as I do. God Bless BaristaExchange!

michael Phillips said:
seriously... coffee directors, green buyers, top baristas, sommeliers, mixologists at high end cocktail bars... many people who are paid real money for their taste abilities and being the best on their fields smoke cigarettes & cigars. Yes, some regret it for health reasons but even they acknowledge that professionally they suffer negligible consequences. According to a gentlemen I know who works with cupping everyday (lab settings, grading for the exchange, buying & roast developing for a third wave company) it takes you 40 minutes after smoking for you taste ability to recover. If you quite (and yes, all of us probably should... drinking for that matter to, its bad for your liver right?) do it for health reasons not a false belief about it making you into some kind of super taster.
Chris/Dale said:
the real question is...how badly does Pbr hamper our capacity to judge good coffee?

oh man, thank you for saying this, I think that if were a "hampering" discovered from PBR I would have a tough decision to make.......jk ha

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