Coffee Culture – Introducing the Hirstute Barista

April 23, 2015

In this Coffee Culture series, I’m taking a deeper look at what coffee means to us, to understand how something so simple impacts engagement, culture, leadership and business practices.

In order to get the insider view about the culture around coffee and to help us discuss what we can learn about ourselves, I’m getting an expert involved in this series.

Introducing the Hirstute Barista

The Hirstute Barista is a coffee connoisseur who has wrapped his life around making, serving and thinking about coffee for over eight years. He brings an intense passion, skill and deep insights about the appreciation and artistry of coffee, as well as the culture that revolves around it. He represents the hallmarks of excellence and expertise in his chosen profession, and he’s seen it all.

The Hirstute Barista could be anyone and anywhere – we’re going to keep him anonymous.

He describes himself as the morning barman – he’s involved in the lives of those who come to see him every day. And he means different things to different people. To some he’s a just a regular interaction, to some a friend, to some a listener and to most, he’s a (caffeine) pusher of sorts.

Half-full for some is half empty for others

Recently a customer asked the Hirstute Barista for a large coffee, with the instruction for the cup to only be half filled.

Why this person doesn’t order a small is beside the point – to each their own.

When the coffee was ready for collection from the bar, the takeaway coffee cup had ‘half empty’ written on it. As a result, the customer didn’t recognise the order. The order had been for half full, after all.

The Hirstute Barista told the customer that perhaps this was just a matter of perception.

How is your message perceived?

This got me thinking about how we perceive what is being communicated to us.  Are we also thinking about communicating in a way that allows for the other person’s interpretation and filtering to arrive at the intended conclusion?

What do you make of situations where you have asked for something and it comes back to you in the way that you wanted, despite having been misinterpreted?

The Hirstute Barista will be making regular appearances to provide insights on the grind and observations of human behaviours, all the while pouring that liquid gold.