The New and Old in Coffee


There is no new if there was never an old. This phrase summarize everything in general. Everything which includes coffee in my context.

A regular turns friend, during my Cuppachoice days brought up a subject about the boom of so many young 'pretenders' in our Coffee industry and started naming a few familiar faces as honest, coffee eccentrics still surviving in this trade. I became very defensive. Defensive because I don't agree with the words pretenders. Defensive because I strongly believe this new guards (whom he call pretenders) are necessary for the industry to move even higher. There have to be a new before it turn old. New and old have to contribute. Fresh ideas are alway welcome.

Age does not count to anything in coffee. I have seen respectable coffee people who starts at such a very young age and obtaining the status of 'old bird' even before turning 30. What matters most is, at a young age, he/she is willing to share and grow together with the new who is always eager to learn. It's ok to walk the talk and make mistake along the way. Most importantly, you did walked! I left a comment in a friend FB status recently, "The journey of a man is measured by the distance he walked, not by how high he jumps!"

Coming to my point of New & Old, a recent coffee visits to a few cafes made me felt so overwhelmed. During my 4 years in Cuppachoice and running the academy, I have facilitate a lot of workshops and met so many interesting, potential cafe owners. I met some of them during my recent visits, some of this owners are easily 10 years my senior(in age). Seeing them making coffee, looking at their dream becoming reality, training and guiding their staffs with some even conducting workshops themselves, all these with reference to an old but trusty coffee manual that I created and gave away during one of the many workshops. These made me feel so old(and i consider myself still young) Yet they are not consider new themselves. Some of them have already been a cafe owner for more than 2 years and have trained many new barista themselves. Again, there is no new if there is no old......

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