Every once in a while, people ask me what I do for a living in a funny way, like "So what exactly do you do?" Sometimes it's people from within the coffee industry who want to know why I'm always traveling to origin; sometimes it's people on the outside of the coffee industry who are thinking about making a career change.
It's often hard to respond, but that's because I have a very unique job, and I provide a very unique service.
I am a quality coffee consultant. There are three parts to that:
- QUALITY — I work on the specialty side of the coffee industry. I help people take average coffee and make it good, good coffee and make it great, great coffee and make it completely unique. Quality also characterizes the kind of instruction I give. If I cannot give you absolutely top-flight instruction, I will not take the job.
- COFFEE — The production chain in coffee is extraordinarily long. Many people who are experts at one step along the way (a great barista, an artisan roaster, a family farmer) have little knowledge about what happens at the other steps. My specialty is the whole chain... all of coffee... from the soil to the harvest to the export mill to the warehouse to the roasting plant to the packaging to the cafe to the demitasse. I help make connections and further education all along the coffee chain.
- CONSULTANT — I don't buy or sell coffee, neither green nor roasted. I help people who buy and sell coffee do a better job, make a better product, meet their goals as a company, and increase their bottom line. There are huge dollar values hidden in plain sight everywhere in the coffee industry. Every cappuccino or bag of green coffee could be better, more satisfying, and more profitable. For a fraction of what you spend on your machinery, labor, goods and operating costs, you can hire a world-class expert to maximize your potential.
I don't make sales pitches on this blog usually. This blog is where I write about what's interesting to me in coffee, and where you can get free nuggets of the kind of information I provide when I am working as a quality coffee consultant. But to answer the questions I often get, I'm posting this today.
So that is what I do. I have worked as a consultant in Alabama and New York City and San Francisco and Seattle; and Peru and Ethiopia and Guatemala and El Salvador. And many more places.
Check out my consulting website, recently updated with several new pages. If you are seriously considering improving your coffee knowledge, here is a partial resume of the work I have done in specialty coffee.