I have tried on a lot of different hats from so many different fields of interest to understand the art, operations, innovations, and passions of each. Check out my blog, Life of Elle, to read more about my endeavors.
Sometimes I find ones that I think that I’m absolutely in love with. I’m obsess over them. I stay awake days on end to finish projects. Then, I start accepting commissions or commit to organizations and after a while, all the passion disappears … the monotony of repeating the same work over and over and over again just drains away all my love for those interests.
Then, eight years ago, I applied as a barista to a local coffeehouse and discovered the art and operations of specialty coffee and latte art. I was sent for coffee preparation and tasting training by the coffeehouse and had to make nearly a hundred coffees before I got to serve a single espresso to a customer.
In the last eight years, I have made thousands and thousands of specialty coffees and tea lattes. I made the same drink over and over again for thousands of people and had clients praise and complain about everything imaginable. I have made coffees at 6 am in the morning for early birds. I have made coffees past midnight for night owls. I’ve lugged coffee equipment all over the city and sometimes only to serve coffee to four people.
Yet, every morning I am still excited to make my first cup of latte, even if I spent all night making coffee for other people. I’ll even lug my machines out of my car to make a single cup of coffee.
Each and every cup of latte or cappuccino that I get to draw latte art sends little shockwaves of joy through my heart that even my customers feel. I hear it all the time:
“You love this stuff, don’t you? I can tell”
Crazy, weird, and illogical sounding, right? After all, it’s just coffee!
But … it’s NOT just coffee! It’s art. It’s problem solving. It’s challenges to be accepted and completed. It’s sharing happiness. It’s sharing an appreciation for unconventional art and developing a palette for perfect coffee. It’s work. It’s love.
Other baristas inspire me. I chase after their accomplishments and try to meet their expectations for great coffee. Other baristas challenge me. I grow from their challenges and refine and innovate new ways to make great coffee. Other baristas are purists and think my version of latte art is excessive and meaningless, but these baristas don’t buy coffee from me. Why should I please people who won’t even give my coffee a try?
I make coffee for you – the geek, the artist, the adventurer, the challenger, the critic, the appreciator, and the open-minded. Your smiles from a great cup of coffee made by me drives me to never stop growing in my life of coffee. Even if I just make coffee for myself, I find that there is still so much to explore in the art and operations of making coffee. I’ll never stop making coffee …
I challenge you to find your “one thing” – be it a hobby, a job, food, or a person. Find your happiness that feed your growth. If you’re lucky, you might have more than one “one thing” …