When most people think of coffee or espresso, the first thing that comes to mind is a remedy for exhaustion. Taste is an afterthought to the effect of the caffeine. You can push a button to brew your own coffee in the morning, most likely using beans that were ground a week ago… put the leftover coffee in the refrigerator to later water down with ice to wake yourself up on a warm summer morning. Another option is grabbing a quick Venti Americano at Starbucks and then rushing off to get on with your day. Kyle Glanville sees coffee much differently.
He describes it as a fruit with moisture, sweetness and acidity… brilliant, complex flavors that the right roast and brew will bring out but only for a short amount of time, because as soon as you grind coffee beans… that lovely aroma is the beans beginning to go stale. Brewing a great cup of coffee or pulling the perfect shot of espresso is an art that requires hard work and dedication to the craft… and extensive research on the science behind the process. Some people recognize cooking as “chemistry”… but making coffee?
In 2008, Kyle won the United States Barista Championship . This was before he became Director of Retail for Intelligentsia… where he now approaches the business end of the Coffee industry with the same level of passion, respect and meticulous diligence. When listening to a lecture Kyle gave on how to fix the “broken model” of coffee retail, I overheard someone referring to him as “The Steve Jobs of coffee”. His focus on quality, simplicity and aesthetics is a pleasant surprise… and after meeting him, I will never think of coffee the same way again.
Tune in on 3/14/2012 at 5PM PT on trigg.la/live to have your coffee-addicted world turned upside down.
And in the meantime, check out our tour of Intelligentsia Roasting Works (below) for a behind the scenes look at the process and equipment used by true experts in a very unique industry.