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Coffee Master.

So this past week, I was officially certified as a coffee master for Starbucks. Whenever I mention this I get the same few questions.

1. What is a coffee master?

2. Does that mean you get a raise?

Well I am writing the first part of this post to answer those questions; and to make it so I did not have to think that long for a title for this post.

A coffee master is someone who has taken the time to learn more about the coffee we serve as well as the practices we as a company employ to ensure the sustainability of the coffee industry as a whole and the areas that produce the coffee used worldwide at Starbucks stores. It is usually an 8 to 12 week course that is completely voluntary and really does not give you any raise or anything other than the satisfaction of having customers come to you specifically for information regarding basically anything in store.

(for the record that is my own definition and if you look it up and anything I said is incorrect well... Sorry bout your life)

The other perk about being a coffee master is that you get a "sexy black apron" and yes that is how it was originally described to me. Just imagine the normal green apron you see whenever you go to a store, only it's black and has the word coffee master under the logo.

Yes. The apron is a perk. It's cool guys, I swear.

I had spent an hour every other tuesday since the beginning of April working towards a half of an hour in the afternoon of June 30th. It seems like it may have been a waste of time when you strictly break down the "perks" versus how much time was put into it. But honestly it was probably the most exciting thing I have been able to accomplish in the last few months. I now am a source of information for my customers that already enjoy coming to my store who want to know a little bit more about how the company operates outside of the stores.

Most people look at Starbucks as a large corporation that makes 'high priced, high calorie drinks' and does not care about the people who work for them or well anyone not spending a RIDICULOUS 2 DOLLARS AND 29 CENTS FOR A CUP OF COFFEE (at my store/indianapolis area). Admittedly those people are half right, Starbucks is a large corporation that has offices and stores all over the world and a lot of the drinks that we make are high in calories, sugar, and compared to Mcdonalds anything, overpriced. However, the average person only sees what Starbucks calls 'The Last Ten Feet', they completely ignore the thousands of miles and possibly hundreds of hands that have touched the coffee from beginning to end.

When coffee beans that haven't been boiled or roasted are planted in the ground and allowed to flourish and grow, that coffee bean won't be an adult, coffee cherry producing tree for 3 years at the minimum. The trees are taken care of and are given the right amount of nutrients and water to grow to produce high quality arabica beans that we are used to seeing in coffee everywhere. I am not really going to go that in-depth into the coffee roasting process and everything that goes into it.

But just as an example of how Starbucks takes care of their investment (which is a huge investment by the way), almost every coffee bean that is purchased by Starbucks (that's right we actually don't produce the beans that we use, It's almost all purchased from independent farmers) is what Starbucks calls C.A.F.E. certified. C.A.F.E Practices are Coffee and Farmer Equity practices, more or less every single bean has a paper trail/person history of where it was grown, who handled it, how much was paid for the coffee, how much the people who grew the coffee are paid etc... Along with every farm being evaluated by a third party to make sure that the farm and the people who work on it are treated fairly and compensated fairly. This also includes creating a positive environment for the workers that includes building clean water wells for the community and sometimes even schools for the families.

In 2014, 96% of the coffee Starbucks purchased was C.A.F.E certified. That's almost 400 million pounds of unroasted green coffee beans. The goal is to have 100% C.A.F.E certified by the end of this year. That also includes a decent amount of the coffee being Certified Organic and Fairtrade Certified. There is a yearly responsibility report that you can see on the starbucks website here:

As you can probably see from me babbling on about coffee for a few paragraphs is that I REALLY enjoy my job. You can ask all of my family members about how I never really stop talking about my job. I just get really frustrated when I hear people talk negatively about my company or people who really don't understand what all goes into making it so easy for you to be able to get the quality drinks that millions of people really take for granted in this era of instant gratification and never-stop mentality. If you take a minute and really enjoy that cup of coffee in the morning, the latte before work, or the frappuccino on your day off and the journey that all of the ingredients have taken to make it so easy for you to enjoy. Then you can kind of use that to enjoy and not take for granted all of the things that make today what it is.

Just kind if a closing note, For most of the beans that are used in a cup of coffee, each bean has probably travelled farther in its production than you have in a couple of years.

Thank you to those who actually took the time to read this, I really appreciate everyone who does. Hopefully it won't be that long until my next post



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