“What do you do?” is a common question one asks when one meets someone for the first time. My answer to these types of questions usually depends on one’s knowledge or appreciation of what it means to be a tradesman. Printing and brewing coffee are extremely similar – two trades I have been privileged to learn and glean from in my journey. This Tale explores the dichotomous similarities between these two trades which have enabled me to create.
Likened to step by step principles, these two trades are synonymous with respect to following basics to achieve a desired outcome – impression in printing or extraction in espresso. Keeping machines clean, using good materials and approved competencies usually result in something good to not only look at, but also taste.
Manifesting itself in its own craft in printing processes available – flexographic to lithographic and digital; as does the craft of coffee – filter to espresso and even cold brew process or methods.
Time being the essence, the idea in printing is to produce a reproduction of an image as fast as possible with minimum wastage; while only being allowed certain time slots for coffee breaks which can last from 10 to 30 minutes. One must ensure that as a barista of coffee the coffee is produced to specification within those minimum time slots for maximum production.
I’m in my head, fully focussed, in the zone…making and putting together something from nothing. From a clean white sheet to a full colour image and an empty cup to a cup of full-bodied brewed coffee, these two trades require preciseness.
Generally, printing carries a message for people and coffee carries a story of people. The two together are instrumental in impacting our cities and changing the world…
What race do you do?
“Then Moses said to the people of Israel, “See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, for work in every skilled craft. And he has inspired him to teach, both him and Oholiab the son of Ahisamach of the tribe of Dan. He has filled them with skill to do every sort of work done by an engraver or by a designer or by an embroiderer in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, or by a weaver—by any sort of workman or skilled designer.” – Exodus 30:30-35