By Andrii Choockovsky and Eugene Kim
Although coffee is not new to Ukraine, there is a new generation of Ukrainians who want to change and evolve the old and outdated coffee traditions. The new generation in any culture always wants to improve old traditions or adapt them to modern day needs. Coffee people today want to search for new ways to realize their ambitions, and new ways of developing a vibrant coffee culture as well.
Everything we had previously was based on tradition. As a country, we didn’t have much experience or easy access to the world’s coffee knowledge. The only thing left to do was to imagine and experiment with how good coffee can be, and also explore the principles of coffee promotion.
We were lucky because the key concepts and understanding of coffee that we have developed in the local community—while being outside of the core of the industry—were similar to the new coffee vision of the world. While we were working on coffee popularisation, a codex of coffee promotion was created. We want to share our experience with you, the coffee community.
THE NEW CLASSICS
Try to imagine a recording of an old concert that was made seventy years ago. It has its own power and charm. That same music when played by a modern orchestra now sounds amazing as well, but with more clarity.
While working with classic coffee techniques, you can’t reject the new equipment and modern technologies that are available to us. Modern technologies are able to easily improve the perception and the clarity in a cup of coffee, the same way that modern sound systems improve the sound of a classical orchestra.
We are not offering new classics, we are simply offering a new vision of things that are already familiar.
When we talk about honesty (in the coffee context) we mostly mean the traceability, process, price, and things along these lines. In this article, we mean something different when referring to honesty. We mean the state of mind of the person who crafts the cup coffee.
We only create a tasty cup and give the guest only an honest cup. If the barista is not confident in a cup they have prepared, it shouldn’t be given to a guest. Only by being consistent in this way can we attract new customers every day and increase their interest in coffee.
EVERYONE IS A PROMOTER OF COFFEE
As every bean from the pod can create a new sprout, a person who is on fire with an idea can ignite a passion in others with this idea.
The coffee brewer who is deeply engaged in his work can get the guest interested in it, too. Then the guest, impressed with a barista’s work, can attract other people to the cafe. The cafe owner, who understands the coffee, encourages the roastery to buy the green coffee that is interesting to them, and fits the roast profile that they are aiming for. The roastmaster, then, is able to ask for something more from an enthusiastic farmer.
All of us are promoters. You only need to be interested in what you do. We are interested in coffee, and we know how to engage people. They talk about us. All of us talk about coffee.
We all are different. That doesn’t mean we should be at odds or become rivals. Why do we need it all when our only aim is the growth of the coffee culture? We don’t spend time on the rivalry and we search for allies in our competition who know how to do things that we don’t know. And trust us, in most cases that’s how it works. When we began to foster the sharing—and share ourselves—we were very surprised to see the monolith that was created of people who are different, but interested in coffee in the same way. We don’t waste our strength on feuds. But we have the strength to improve thanks to our unity.
DO IT ONLY WHEN YOU’RE HAPPY
It really doesn’t matter what you do. Do you brew coffee? Or bake? Are you a journalist, or an aviator? It doesn’t matter if you have your own idea or share someone else’s idea. The only important thing is that you love the thing you do. The love of the thing you do gives everyone the strength to be honest, to seek the creation of something new, to search for people who share the same idea, to grow and to have fun, and to find something interesting about it every day.
This is the most important part—it’s not only about coffee, but about life as well: Always be happy.
We use these simple principles in Ukraine for ourselves, and we will be very happy to know that they will be yours as well.
Andrii Choockovsky is the communications coordinator for SCA Ukraine Chapter and Eugene Kim is a chief volunteer for the Chapter.