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Coffee Diem

When people talk to me, they learn very quickly that I love coffee.  I have come to understand it as so much more than a love for coffee, because it is so much more than just coffee.  It is a way of life, to life, to live life.  For some it is a source of income, others a means to function.  Until the opportunity for me to prepare you a cup of coffee in person, I want to share that passion with you through this blog.

I plan to discuss coffee origins, brewing methods, cafe experiences and reviews, best practices, equipment recommendations, ministry in the workplace, community, and discussing coffee shop ministry.  I wont promise that you will always agree or that I will even have the best answers.  But I will bring my passion to my writing, speak from experience, and answer as many questions as I can to the best of my ability.

So here is my background:

I started my coffee journey on November 15, 2007.  We will call this time Post-Cream.  Before this time, my use of coffee in my cream and sugar was about as useful as plano glasses. On this day, I began my training with Starbucks.

I worked with Starbucks for 5 years to the day.  They gave me a foundation from which I built my coffee knowledge, management know-how, and customer service expertise.  Of the 5 years I spent with Starbucks, 4 were in management positions as a Shift Supervisor, Assistant Manager, and Store Manager.  Throughout the 5 years, God’s peace and presence manifested itself.  I am sure I will talk more in detail about some of the challenges and successes of my time there.

It was in my final year with Starbucks that I started to rediscover my passion for people and new found love for coffee.  I started to read magazines and books on all things coffee.  Any Tuesday morning you would find my family at Elemental Coffee Roasters in Oklahoma City, OK enjoying a delicious cup of freshly roasted and brewed coffee while appreciating the aroma of freshly roasted coffee.  Talk about bliss!

Our friends Aaron and Brittany realized that my beautiful life partner (love you Michelle!) and I would fit into Coffee Shop Ministry very well.

They asked.  We prayed.  God lead.

6 Months later, we arrived in Poland.  Since December 4, 2012, we have been living in Kraków, Poland working at the Sweet Surrender Coffee Shops in partnership with the Church of the Nazarene Mission Corps.  We manage the shop, work the floor, run the church, and allow God to flow through us in all the creative ways he moves.  I have competed in the 2014 Polish AeroPress Competition, Volunteered with the 2014 Polish Barista Championship, and have trained with several other competitors in Polish Coffee Competitions.

Each week I will write about a different topic.  I would love to focus these posts on or around questions you may have about anything and everything coffee:  From bean to cup, from customer to management, from farmer to barista, and business to ministry.  Until next week I leave you with this:

I was taken by the power that savoring a simple cup of coffee can have to connect people and create community.
-Howard Schultz

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