I came into the coffee industry by coincidence. After graduation from University, 25 years old, I did not know what to do or where to go. A simple job application turned into something that shaped my life forever. Through my experience as a coffee blender, I came to three conclusions:
Conclusion №1: There are still some crafts in this world that can not be learned in school and are kept secret, even in the 21st century. Coffee blending is one of them!
Blending coffee has much in common with painting. Many people can paint just something on paper, but few make masterpieces. At least you can learn art in a course, while coffee blending remains something you only can learn on the job because there is no formal education for it. On my time as a coffee blender, I thought intensively about it, and I sometimes thought about it as a secret science. I never experienced a person who was talking about coffee blending and believe me; I met many people in the coffee industry.
In the company where I worked, the head blender was selected unspokenly, not only because of his flair for coffee, but because they were eligible to carry these secrets. The selected coffee blender was given the accolade symbolically.
Conclusion №2: The world is rich of wonderful smells. Just notice them!
When you blend coffee, you start to develop a strong sense of recognizing the fine lines between flavors. You pay attention to every small detail when the coffee enters your mouth. It goes much beyond that. Coffee blending evokes your smell senses. When you are walking on the street, you start to smell the beautiful perfumes, and your mind starts telling of what are they blended and how they are formulated. Maybe with floral scents, or with some woody components or perhaps Limonene? It also becomes an obsession when you walk in spring during the flowering season or when you taste wine, always searching for something beautiful to smell. The only thing what you need to do is to be aware of their presence around you. Otherwise, you will, unfortunately, miss them.
Conclusion №3: Read between the lines to understand what your customers want.
When you present your coffee blends to your clients, they often can not express or describe which taste they want. They often use different kinds of words to describe the same attribute and intensity, for instance: confusing bitterness with acidity, simply because they are not professional coffee tasters with the right coffee vocabulary. So a good coffee blender has to translate the customer’s expressions into his vocabulary to modify the blend according to her/ his client’s wishes.
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