[Homeroast] Amateurs/Professionals & Craftsmen/Artists

Joseph Robertson theotherjo at gmail.com
Sat May 1 11:37:07 CDT 2010


 michael,
Nice to bring you out of the "coffee closet". Don't let anyone kid you, it
begins with Passion and ends with Passion. What you develop in between
defines you as a skilled person / professional or what ever label they put
on us or it doesn't define us. That is for your peers/ friends/ customers to
call out for us. I don't take all that stuff too seriously as most here who
know me know. What is really paramount is we follow our passion and never
look back.
Just a few more coffee pennies from my tip jar.
Joe
-- Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.

On Sat, May 1, 2010 at 9:09 AM, michael brown <disracer at msn.com> wrote:

>
> -Ryan, I'm glad you used the word 'hobby,' I've been trying to figure out
> how to weigh in on this discussion.  My coffee obsession started as an
> appreciation for good coffee, then turned into a "hobby roaster"
> Define Hobby: "an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation
> and not as a main occupation"
> Now, fast forward to today.  Due to other's appreciation of my coffee, I'm
> roasting around 100 pounds a week on a 3kilo USRC BUT still working weekends
> at my "job."  And maybe, just maybe, with a few more accounts, could quit my
> "regular JOB" within a year or two and then "make a living" doing what i
> love.
>
> My dad taught me early on, that "work" is a four letter word.  If you can
> find something you love to do, and make a living doing it, you never have to
> "work" a day in your life.  Right now i "work on weekends" and spend the
> week doing what i love.
>
> And I'll say this, with most the wholesale accounts i've secured, the cafe
> owners have said it's the passion they can see and hear in my voice that
> translates into the great coffee, that makes it a win-win situation for
> them.
>
> Soooo, i'm not sure what my stance is on the "competency" level discussion.
>  But i do feel i'm doing as well as i'm doing because i spent 4-5 years
> working on improving my "hobby."  And of course my love for coffee does not
> gaurantee i'd be a good business owner.  But i think we're talking about
> skills here.  And i know this was more about baristas than roasters, but i
> think the idea transfers, just like the surgeron and mathematician etc..
>
> that's my two cents...just wanted to jump in...i've been lying dormant on
> the list for a little while.
>
> Michael B
> b'ham, AL
>
>
> > From: silvercro_magnon at hotmail.com
> > To: homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
> > Date: Sat, 1 May 2010 15:29:29 +0000
>  > Subject: Re: [Homeroast] Amateurs/Professionals & Craftsmen/Artists
> >
> >
> > I too question the validity of the statement: "In most cases the non paid
> person who is performing a task will have a higher competency level than a
> comparable paid person" a great example is mathematicians (also a
> pathelogical case I know). I have know many "amateur" mathematicians- many
> of whom are pretty good what they do. I am only familiar with two amateur
> mathematicians in history that ever published anything significant. your
> brain surgery example is also great, although if I ever met someone claiming
> to be an amateur brain surgeon, I would start running away very quickly!!
> >
> > ""Holding a job" in our society commonly means being paid to work for
> someone else. "
> > I am not so sure of this either.
> > First off, I looked up the word 'job' in the dictionary and the
> definition is a little vauge but did not seem to preclude working for
> oneself. I am sure the Oxford English Dictionary would hold the definitive
> answer here- I do not own a copy.
> > Speaking personally (acknowledging that I alone do not represent society
> as a whole), I agreed with Rich's definition with a slight exception (that
> being that I don't feel that being paid to do something is enough, that
> payment should be significant, and constitute a significant portion of one's
> livelihood. I would not consider someone who works in a coffee house one
> hour a week to be a professional barista, that is an amateur barista with an
> allowance).
> >
> > "I highly doubt many if any would have the skill to come close to
> matching any of the six finalists in the recent US Barista competition, all
> professionals."
> > Well, I imagine you are right, but again these people are almost
> pathological cases. Rich stated: "In most cases" This does not mean,
> amateurs are better than professionals always. It means take a random
> amateur, and a random professional and compare them. Statisitically, I doubt
> any of those six, or any of your Baristas would be chosen at random. Most
> likely a Starbucks employee would get drawn honestly. Although I think you
> do have a very valid point in that there appears to be some kind of an upper
> limit to the skill levels of amateurs that has been exceeded by the skill
> levels of professionals- considered as one large set. Its just this apparent
> exceeding of skill is being done by a very small subset of the professional
> population.
> >
> >  Think what it boils down to is interest and ambition. Amateurs make
> coffee because the are interested in coffee- this is their hobby, so they
> tend to get good at it if they approach it correctly. They start tinkering
> in the kitchen and coming up with come really cool ideas.
> > Some baristas are interested in coffee but honestly, many are just
> holding jobs(This is what I have noticed working in coffee). They know that
> if the customer does not complain, they are home free. Maybe they like
> coffee, but minimal work is sufficient for them. They have little ambition
> to advance their skill. I think this is the phenomena we are noticing.
> > Those baristas who are interested; however, have the financial support,
> and the equipment to take their skills to the next level, beyond the typical
> amateur. They can afford to make coffee all day and practice their art. Most
> of us amateurs have other professions. We get to make coffee when we get
> home from work.
> >
> > --
> > Ryan M. Ward
> >
> > *Note: This email was sent from a computer running Ubuntu Linux 9.10
> (Karmic Koala)
> > http://www.ubuntu.com
> >
> > **Note: This signature was placed here by me and is not
> automatically-generated-annoying-end-of-email-spam placed here by anyone
> other than myself. I am a Linux nut and am doing my part to support open
> source software and the Linux and Ubuntu communities by getting the word out
> with each email I send, I encourage you to do the same.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > > From: mcKona at comcast.net
> > > To: homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
> > > Date: Sat, 1 May 2010 00:45:47 -0700
> > > Subject: Re: [Homeroast] Amateurs/Professionals & Craftsmen/Artists
> > >
> > > Actually, "holds a job" is not a defining qualification of being a
> > > professional. "Holding a job" in our society commonly means being paid
> to
> > > work for someone else.
> > >
> > > Tom is most assuredly a coffee professional. Tom is self employed and
> hence
> > > does not have a "job".
> > >
> > > Most doctors are considered professionals. Many doctors are self
> employed.
> > >
> > > Most attorneys are considered professionals. Many attorneys are self
> > > employed.
> > >
> > > Etc.
> > >
> > > While I agree being a professional does not assure competence the
> statement
> > > "In most cases the non paid person who is performing a task will have a
> > > higher competency level than a comparable paid person" is baseless
> hogwash.
> > >
> > > Most people would be fail miserably performing brain surgery or
> defending
> > > themselves in court.
> > >
> > > As far as coffee is concerned I've observed and experienced a rather
> large
> > > sampling of both amateur and professional skills over the last decade.
> While
> > > I agree there are many competent and even some exceedingly excellent
> highly
> > > skilled home barista I highly doubt many if any would have the skill to
> come
> > > close to matching any of the six finalists in the recent US Barista
> > > competition, all professionals. I also highly doubt many if any would
> match
> > > the skill of even some of my baristas.
> > >
> > > Slave to the Bean Kona Kurmudgeon miKe mcKoffee
> > > www.NorwestCoffee.com <http://www.norwestcoffee.com/>
> > > URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:
> > > http://www.mckoffee.com/
> > >
> > > Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I
> must
> > > first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal
> enlightenment
> > > found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone
> before.
> > >
> > > Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archives
> > > http://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/
> > >
> > >
> > > > -----Original Message-----
> > > > From: homeroast-bounces at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
> > > > [mailto:homeroast-bounces at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com] On
> > > > Behalf Of Rich
> > > > Sent: Friday, April 30, 2010 4:28 PM
> > > > To: A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules
> > > > for this list,available at
> > > > http://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html
> > > > Subject: Re: [Homeroast] Amateurs/Professionals & Craftsmen/Artists
> > > >
> > > > A "professional" is simply a person who holds a job and receives
> > > > remuneration for doing it.  An amateur is unpaid.  Neither
> > > > term implies
> > > > skill and/or competence.  Look in the general press and you will see
> > > > that "professional" is used to imply skill and/or competence,
> > > > this use
> > > > of professional is incorrect.  Check your Webster Dictionary.
> > > >  One more
> > > > indication that the talking head is empty.
> > > >
> > > > In most cases the non paid person who is performing a task
> > > > will have a
> > > > higher competency level than a comparable paid person.
> > >
> > >
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-- 
Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.


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