I had the chance to have some time at home with my parents over Easter. The opportunity to catch up with family, (and spend time in some of my favourite coffee shops), was really valuable.
It's a little late for New Years resolutions, but here are a few things I learned about myself over the break:
1. I find writing fun!
Yes - you might have noticed a little bit more content on here lately - something I'm hoping to keep up.
It's been a long time since I've written anything non-technical, and though I've got a few technical articles in pipeline, mostly what I write will be more reflective than prescriptive.
I've always enjoyed writing, and I find it focusses my thought process - helping me develop new ideas, and push existing ones.
2. I love the ritual of brewing filter coffee at home
I finally got my parents a set of gram-accurate scales, though my parents would argue that I really got them for myself...
My dad has been brewing pre-ground coffee I've been posting to him for a while now, using an Aeropress.
This allows him to enjoy a decent brew at home, and I always find it interesting to consider brewing in "less optimal" circumstances than I'd choose.
Even though I didn't have the control over the brew variables that I'd have liked - particularly grind size - I realised how much I love making filter coffee at home.
When I brew filter while I'm working on bar, it feels a lot more industrial, and there's always 100 other things going on around me. It's easy to get distracted.
But taking 5 minutes every morning to brew something special for myself is so rewarding. Over the week, brewing my Aeropress became almost a ceremonial calm-inducing act.
So, this morning, back in London, I made sure I had the time to relax, and enjoy the coffee I brewed at home, (this time on Kalita wave). Watching the bloom, relaxing in the calm quiet at 6.20 am. I'll be doing more of this - it's an excellent (and coffee-focussed) way to start the day!
Next step is to get my parents a grinder!
3. People are important
This one is pretty obvious I suppose.
In coffee alone, outstanding service, indeed outstanding coffee happens because of outstanding people.
Whether it's the way we consider coffee producers, colleagues, or customers, I think we can all learn to be better at valuing the people we're working with.
It's easy to pay lip-service to that notion, and I know that I'm often guilt of that.
This deserves a whole post of it's own, so I'll leave it here for now.
But - let me know what you think in the comments!
Oh - and if you haven't already - make sure to sign up for our April Coffee box - it's gonna be a good one ;)