Well, I finished my goals for '08, and it's time to start working on them. I met with our president this morning to go over them, and the brainstorm for the new year, and one thing we agreed was something we wanted to work on this year was to improve the culture of coffee in and around Charlotte, even region. I feel like we really are on the cusp of something cool, like the scene in Kansas City is now. I feel it's time to be more fully realized in our area. I am tired of reading about everyone else's scene, it's time it's here. So, some of my goals for the new year involve establishing a better barista culture around here. I can do that with cuppings and trainings, but there's something else I want to do that I think will make a bigger difference. I want to host a barista jam in Charlotte this year. Aside from the SERBC and a few things Counter Culture puts on, we really don't have access to alot of progressive coffee culture, so the baristas around here don't have a clue about the possiblities.
They don't take a lot of pride in what they do, cause they don't take pride in doing anything real special, and that's a shame. I think if they could see what else it out there, it would open up a world of possibilities that would lead to better baristas. Iron sharpening iron. You guys out in WA, MO, or even IL really take alot of things for granted when it comes to the barista scene you're in, and how it pushes you to raise your game and skills.
And that's why I want to really work on this element this year. Will, a former barista that works in the back of the Roastery here in production made a challenge to me today. Said he wanted to have a company barista jam/competition. I took his challenge, cause I know I will spank him, then he shared it with the president, who not only supported it, but wants to participate, and vows to win. He wants everyone involved. And this will not be just a relaxed thing, but the real competition format, with real judges. And this gets all of us excited about coffee again. Like it should be. So, if we host a barista jam in Charlotte, any of you interested in participating?

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Comment by Mike Shipley on January 18, 2008 at 9:05am
Cool Jason. Baristas are the heart of the shop and how they approach their craft determines their's and the shops success. It's that culture, that coffee thing that gets a whole city into it.
Comment by peg bono on January 16, 2008 at 6:59pm
I totally agree, Jason.My baristi are the only ones in town....there are no other coffeehouses areound here, and we're a mountain town - people don't get out much. But I had to have a coffeehouse that would be great here or in Portland or wherever, you know? educated, excited baristi learning all they can about coffee. SO I am planning a couple day trips to some local barista jams and maybe coffeefest to give them a glimpse into the world of coffee, try to inspire them to be awesome at their job and in life...you know? It's hard to get baristas excited about pulling coffee when to them its a way to pay the rent and nothing else. Unfortunatley, that's what I'm working with here. But I am focusing on the blank canvas side of things...hopefully with some encouragement and inspiration, I can grow me some amazing baristas...

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