Interview: Adi Taroepratjeka

This audio was recorded at 5758 Coffee Lab in Bandung, Indonesia and was later transcribed from the recording. As mentioned in the beginning of the recording, this was our second recording. During our first recording, one of the audio devices was accidentally switched off. Also, mid-way through the second recording, one of the cameras stopped recording and we paused for me to restart it. That has not been edited from this version (nothing has, except the very beginning of the recording).

Adi Taroepratjeka
5758 Coffee Lab
Recorded: 25 August, 2018
Transcribed: 9 November, 2018

[Beginning of recorded material]

Michael: Adi, thank you for meeting with me. I appreciate it.

Adi: Very welcome Mike. My pleasure.

Michael: This is take-two, by the way, because we had some audio problems yesterday. So you have a lot of things going on. A lot of things to tell us about the cafe, a lot of things about yourself. So how about we start with the cafe, and we talk about 5758; what it is, what it means, the mission, that sort of thing.

Adi: Okay. Well, 5758 is actually a training facility that we built. For a while I’ve been going from places to places doing training. And I figure out if I have to keep on moving I couldn’t keep the cost low. So we feel that we need to build a space where we can provide trainings for people who want to learn about coffee and at the same time trying to keep the cost as low as we can. Why? Because we think that education should be affordable. Well affordable does not always mean cheap. But then again, if you give something for free, a lot of people will just take it for granted.

So two years ago, two-and-a-half years ago we built this place. We provide trainings from basic barista trainings, basic manual brew up to a Q-Grader class. That time we are the second SCA-certified lab. So actually the reasons why we make it as a certified lab is because we want to do Q-Grader training. And in order to do that you have to have a lab. So here we are.

We have a small coffee shop downstairs. Initially the coffee shop is part of the training process. Like if we want to do a barista class, we’re going to do it downstairs. We’re located sort of in the middle of nowhere, so we’re not really hoping for so much for making money from the coffee shops. But as time goes by we have regular customers now, and then we decided to grow. We have to expand the place. So now we have a separate place for barista. And hopefully in the next couple of months we’re going to do an SCA Roasting class, with yours-truly.

Michael: I look forward to that!

And you have a lot of your staff are actually certified either Q-Grader, Q-Robusta grader, SCA certification…do you want to talk about that some?

Adi: Well, we have two Q-Arabica in-house, we have three Q-Robusta grader in-house, myself a Q-Arabica instructor and hopefully within next year I can push my wife, who is now a Q-Robusta assistant-instructor, can be an instructor in a year or so.

Why? Well that way we can keep the cost of the class lower. A.K.A. we don’t have to fly people in, and pay their fee, which is not that cheap for Indonesia.

Michael: Yeah, you keep the instruction in-house.

Adi: Yep. We also actually push our barista, our crew, to learn new skills. The company itself, we invest in them and actually, one of their contract is if within two years they’re holding the same positions, they’re going to kick them out. So actually we don’t want people sitting and just doing whatever they’re doing for two years. We want them to move. We want them to grow themselves.

Michael. And maybe even outgrow the facility itself.

Adi: Hopefully.

Michael. Yeah. I think that’s great. And you were the first Q-Instructor in Indonesia, correct?

Adi: Yes. I am. Why? Well, I’m one of those, I’m, basically I’m with the first batch of Q-Graders in Indonesia. I’m one of those pain-in-the-ass people in 2009 who thinks that we know everything about coffee. Then, thank God nature shows us the other way.

Michael: You were a cowboy. What was the term you told me yesterday?

Adi: Yeah, I’m a cowboy. So basically we come to coffee shop thinking that ‘ahh, we know everything,’ and then, I think time actually tell us and show us that no, we don’t really know a lot of stuff.

The reasons why I wanted to become the Q-Instructor at that time is same with the reason why we built this lab: we want to keep the education affordable. We actually have separate prices for Indonesian and for non-Indonesian. The price for Indonesian is like half the price of people coming in from outside Indonesia. It probably does not sound fair. But even half the price that non-Indonesian pay is still a lot of money for an Indonesian.

Michael: Yeah. The cost of living here is much different than in other places—the salaries, the minimum wage—that’s all much different here. And that’s one of your seven tenants, right, is to make sure that you’re elevating the local industry, local coffee scene.

Adi: Well, one of the goal we have is to keep the price as low as we can, for a very simple reasons: in the previous days, the one who took the class is going to be like the coffee shop owners: the people who wouldn’t be running the place on day-to-day basis. Just say this owner are able to absorb like 70% of what the instructor gave him. He’s probably just going to share that, like 50% to his barista, or his crew, because these people will be afraid that if they give a lot of knowledge to the crew, the crew will just leave them, the facility.

So we’re thinking like, how can we make education affordable for the working baristas? We still haven’t found the proper calculation yet. Hopefully we can do that in the future.

Michael: Yeah. And it’s tough because it’s expensive to put on a good class at a facility like this. Just to get certified there are a lot of requirements that aren’t cheap, like the proper lighting…

Adi: Yep. And not only that, we truly believe that if you want to learn you have to make mistakes. If you want to make mistakes you have to waste materials. In some of our classes, we actually use up to like fifteen kilo of coffee just for nine people. We use like five hundred liter of water. I don’t know how many, I think more than three hundred or four hundred piece of filter paper so that people can make mistake and actually learn from that mistakes.

Michael: And the electricity to power everything…

Adi: Actually we haven’t calculated that.

Michael: Write it down. Something for the list.

Adi: So far we are stay afloat. We actually manage to, the facility next door we can build it without asking for more money from our investors. So actually we are pretty happy with that.

Michael: And it’s a nice facility over there. I was looking yesterday and you have room two roasters for the roasting class. You have two espresso machines for training. And then you were able to put in an office space in there as well. Plus you have your green coffee library that’s down there.

Adi: Well, actually we are planning for four espresso machines. So everything there is movable. We can just rearrange the room if we need them. That’s why everything is on wheels. Because some day we will grow and we learn one thing about ourselves; we get bored easily. So we just like to move things around.

Michael: Get bored, go move the espresso machines.

Adi: Yeah.

Michael: I wanted to talk a little bit about some of the things we talked about previously, bring that into here, and one of those things was one of your blog posts. In a blog post you mentioned that Indonesian coffee is often kind of confused, or lumped in as Sumatran coffee. So people in the West; Europe or the States or where-have-you, when they think of Indonesian coffee they think of the spicy, earthy, Sumatran. Do you want to talk more about that?

Adi: Sure. As an Indonesian, we’re sort of like brainwashed thinking that ‘oh, Indonesian coffee is so famous. You can find Indonesian coffee everywhere. Everyone wants, anyone wants Indonesian coffee…’ So Every time I went abroad, one of my goal is actually try to find Indonesian coffee. And as a Q-Instructor, every two years I have to go to the United States, to the West Coast, to do my calibrations. Probably I was going at the wrong period. I usually go during the winter time because tickets are much cheaper that days. And during winter time, I couldn’t really find Indonesian coffee. Then a few months ago I have to take my wife to the States so she can take the Q assistant instructor. It’s her first trip to the U.S. and I just don’t want to lose her on the way there or the way back. So I go with her and we actually find Indonesian coffee.

What’s interesting is; everything is Sumatra—everything is labeled as Sumatra. When we talk to the barista, they can tell a good story of Sumatra coffee, but when we ask them whether they have coffee from other regions, they have this blank face.

So we buy some of this coffee and we have this small discussion event, we gather some people; baristas, farmers, some media people, whoever is willing to come, and we tell our journey and we share the coffee. And one of the questions we ask them is ‘do you think this is a coffee from Sumatra?’ Especially coffee from Aceh, because most of them would be labeled as Aceh. Most of them think like, ‘No. It doesn’t taste like the Aceh we know.’ And then came out the stories of, there’s a lot of coffee from other regions and it’s actually being funneled through Medan and then labeled and sold as Sumatra coffee. Why? Because Sumatra coffee…Indonesia coffee is so synonymous with Sumatra that you don’t really have to sell them anymore. You don’t really have to peddle them. You don’t have to do a campaign. People will look for Sumatra. And because they’re quite famous the price is already high. So getting coffee from other area of Indonesia, shipping them to Medan, blend them with coffee from that region, and sell them as a Sumatra coffee, is still do-able. People can actually make a lot of money by doing that.

Is it fair? Well, the farmer still makes money. The trader still makes money. You don’t have the concept of traceability because it’s a blend of many origins, but at the end of the day, if people likes that coffee, it still support a lot of farmers in Indonesia

Michael: Yeah, it’ll do in the mean time, until we get an honest fix for it.

Adi: Yep

Michael: It’ll work.

Adi: And then I also I had a chat with a friend that is working for international trading companies. I ask him like ‘why don’t you do this campaign promoting west Java coffee?’ And he just says like ‘If we do campaign like that, it’s going to cost us a lot of money, the result is not really going to be, can be seen in the near future’ and imagine asking you as a consumer, trying to make a gamble on the first thing that you are going to drink, to start your day. If it taste good; yes, it might work. But if it taste bad, it’s going to be really difficult to ask that person to try to buy that origin or that brand again.

Michael: Yeah. It’s a gamble.

Adi: It’s a gamble.

Michael: And I wonder how much Starbucks plays a role in the misconception that all Indonesian coffee is Sumatran because number one; they use Sumatran as one of their backbone, in their everyday blend. But also they’ve marketed Sumatran coffee very well. You can see it. They have whole-bean bags for sale on the shelves, and it’s labeled Sumatran, and it’s marketed very well. And I wonder much that has affected it. Kind of similar to the way they’ve affected everyone’s perception in the West of what a latte is, for example, ‘cause they use so much milk in the lattes, that it’s kind of skewed everyone’s perception of what a true latte is.

Adi: …or the machiatto…

Michael: …and the machiatto. Yeah.

Adi: Well, honestly, without Starbucks, the Indonesian coffee industry wouldn’t be like this.

Michael: Oh, I totally agree. The specialty coffee industry would have a hard time existing right now without Starbucks.

Adi: Yep. And Starbucks actually one of those companies that keep on pushing Indonesian coffee. They actually help a lot of people knows that Indonesia has good coffee. And they actually have, nowadays you’re not only going to find only Sumatra, but you’re also going to find other origins. They used to have this, well when I went to their roastery a couple of years ago, they have a very good South Sulawesi coffee.

But yes, those niche coffee is not appearing everyday like the Sumatra. So is it bad? Well, it’s still better than having nothing.

Michael: yeah.

Adi: In a way…

Michael: Absolutely.

Adi: When I, during my trip to Portland, I also managed to meet this guy, the owner, Indonesian tea, coffee shop. So basically at one point of his life, he do a trip down from Myanmar, to Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, and up, going back from East Timor, and he fell in love with Indonesia. He then purchased or take over a coffee shop, rebrand them, re-think them, sell Indonesian coffee, sell Indonesian food. And his comment is actually really interesting. While other roasters says that they only know Sumatra, this guy actually says that the other way around; his complaint is that Indonesia is offering way too much choices—that it’s really difficult for a small company like him, to choose which coffee he’s going to sell.

And when we talk about Indonesian coffee, it’s not just those earthy, spicy coffee, but we also have this beautiful, floral, citric coffee. We have this coffee with a lot of fruits, a lot of…Indonesia is actually…if you’re looking at…if you put yourself as a consumer, Indonesia will be probably heaven for coffee drinker. Because we, there’s a lot of variety, a lot of tastes you can get. But if you think of it as a trader, it’s a nightmare because each of these coffee is being produced by a small farmers who can probably can produce only like, three hundred kilo to five hundred, six hundred kilo a year, per hectare. So in order to gather a container-load, which is eighteen tons, you have to have a lot of farmers.

Michael: Yeah.

Adi: A lot of farmers, meaning that it’s going to be a big problem with consistency, which is, I think that’s the biggest problem that Indonesia have nowadays: consistencies.

Michael: I hear that a lot.

Adi: Oh yeah.

Michael: When a friend of mine and I were looking into buying a container of coffee from Indonesia and shipping it to the States and trying to sell it and the people we talked to, as potential buyers, one of the things we most often heard was the inconsistency. ‘Can you, can you ensure the consistency year-after-year, of the quality?’ And we couldn’t.

Adi: Nope.

Michael: And that is tough.

Adi: You don’t have even to talk year-after-year. Maintaining consistency between early harvest and end of harvest is a big deal for us here.

Michael. Yeah, and there’s so much that goes into it. Like we were talking earlier; you have farmers who will go and strip-pick because if they don’t pick soon enough…

Adi: …someone will pick it for them, and stealing them.

Michael …someone comes and steals them, yeah.

Adi: Coffee, the coffee industry has been crazy the last couple of years in Indonesia. Last year the production south of the equator actually failed. We only got like. probably around thirty percent of normal, which basically create a huge demand and the price goes really high. It still affect the harvest this year; the demand is still really high—a lot of people are willing to pay a lot for the coffee, which in the long run, actually create people who want to steal coffee and create the cherry that’s being sold at 19,000 Rupiah or like a dollar and…a dollar and quarter a kilo

Michael: For cherries.

Adi: For cherries.

Michael: For unprocessed cherries.

Adi: Yep.

Michael: And one of the side-effects of that, I’m sure, is farmers see that price and think that price is locked-in for the future. You know, I can see myself as a farmer thinking ‘wow, I just got 19,000 Rupiah per kilo for cherries last year. Why can’t I do that again this year?’

Adi: Yep. And it’s, it’s getting crazy. Especially since these last couple of weeks the price of coffee has been falling. Now we have green bean for like, it’s less than a dollar per kilo.

Michael: Do you think that’s because people are kind of realizing that the prices were—it’s like a bubble bursting—the prices were too high, it was difficult to move, we’ve got to drop the price?

Adi: No, the drop of the price happened because of the long harvest in Brazil and Colombia. So actually there’s oversupply happening in the world. So it’s going to be interesting to see how this, how the price-collapse in the world side, affecting the price, the already-high price of coffee in Indonesia.

I had this long chat through Twitter with a friend of mine last night; wondering what would happen. Wondering whether, wells who’s going to be taking most of the damage; is it going to be the farmer, the trader? What’s going to happen next?

Michael: What did you guys think?

Adi: Well, at one point I fell asleep. That’s the problem with Twitter: you tweet, and then you wait for the response. But personally I think it’s going to be pretty scary.

Michael: Yeah.

Adi: It’s going to be scary because we have people that’s been expecting to gain a lot from this coffee. And then suddenly the price of coffee dwindled. I’m so scared that what happened in Bali in the 1970’s might happen again. In Bali in 1970’s the farmer actually chopped down the coffee trees and changed them to citrus trees because the coffee prices so bad.

Well, growing trees is not like…you need like three, four years before you can have your first harvest. So chopping down your tree is not something smart to do.

Michael: It’s a long-term effect.

Adi: Yep.

Michael: Yeah. Yeah, I spoke to farmers in Bali who had stumped their coffee trees for orange trees. And the year that I was there working with them, which was 2014-2015, some of them were talking about replanting because the prices were back to a place where they thought that it was worthwhile.

So, you know, in 2015, we’re at 2018, those trees might start bearing fruit right now, but they’re not going to be, probably not going to be economically viable for another year, maybe two years.

Adi: True. And a lot of people when they come to the farmers, the concept they always bring is; do a better post-harvest processing. Not too many people come to the farmers thinking that you have to increase the productivity. So in order to make the farmers more, well gaining more, it’s not only that you have to do a better post-harvest, we also have to be able to produce more. That way the amount of money you’re going to get is going to be higher.

Nowadays a lot of people are too focused on post-harvest. They’re playing around with the concept of natural, wine coffee, this and that. And they just like the trend. Suddenly it change, you fell in love with one coffee and next year you couldn’t find them because the trend changes. As a consumer, it’s not fun.

Michael: Yeah. And it’s certainly something, it’s a trap that I have personally fallen into as well; focusing solely on quality instead of quantity. Wherein, the better solution is some sort of a balance. Or at least an equation that includes both quantity and quality.

I was just watching a video from, I think it was James Hoffman, and he did a talk at Let’s Talk Coffee in Colombia. And he was talking about this mad-crazy focus on quality that you were talking about—you know, the unique post-harvesting process. ‘Is it red honey? Is it black honey? What is it? What cool things are you doing with fermentation?’ And sometimes that leaves the farmer’s head spinning because he has to learn these new processing techniques and he bears a lot of the risk with these processing techniques. If he screws up the processing technique, he’s ruined a big batch of coffee. It’s complicated! It’s very complicated.

Adi: It’s easy for us to say, like ‘ah, sorry man, the quality is not that great’ while for the farmer, it’s like ‘I’m losing money. Probably not going to feed my family for a couple of days just because of this screw-up.’ And not a lot of people are actually thinking that way.

For us who’s living on the consumer side, life is relatively easy because there’s a lot of products being offered to us. We can get coffee from everywhere nowadays. But for the farmers, in order to produce a kilo of coffee, it takes a lot of labor and a lot of time.

Michael: Yeah. And it’s expensive for the farmer.

Adi: I had a chat last night with a friend who used to, well he’s a farmer, and he used to live in PNG [Papua New Guinea] and basically he says ‘nowadays its even harder for the farmer because consumerism, because of the social media, because the easy access to go town, consumerism actually makes farmers wanting more. And that actually creates a problem where at the end of the day they want to sell the coffee at a much higher price because they’re thinking of ‘ah, after this I’m going to buy this…’

Michael: And it’s something that people don’t think about—is as everybody’s spending power raises, and people are able to consume more, everybody sees that and everybody wants a piece of that pie. That’s a very interesting point.

And that kind of tees into the younger generation, the next generation taking over the farm. They can see, through social media, what life is like elsewhere. What life is like in the city, for example. And they think ‘I want that.’ And so they’re not going to stick around the farm and take over the farm from dad, or from granddad—or grandma and mom. So now there’s the problem of aging farmers. And it’s hard work, you know. You and I were talking about this earlier. There’s a lot of heavy lifting. There’s a lot of physical labor involved and as the farmers age, it makes it more and more difficult—medical bills are rising, risk of injuring one’s self raises, it’s very complicated.

Adi: Especially here in Indonesia. Growing arabica is really difficult because you have to grow them at the, in the mountain. The contour of the land makes it difficult for you to move the coffee around. So having young people is probably the problem we’re going to face in the future. And actually that problem already exists in some area in Indonesia. In south Sulawesi, farmers have to go around becoming labor for the other farmer’s land so that they can help the harvest. And I think that camera clicked.

[One of the camera’s stopped recording so I needed to restart it.]

Michael: I’ve been having these problems with this camera for some reason.

Adi: Well it’s actually not a problem. If I’m not mistaken it’s actually the design of the camera.

[Michael claps to re-sync audio and video later]

Michael: Say that again.

Adi: It’s actually the design of the camera. Oh well.

Nowadays a lot of people in south Sulawesi, they have problem in harvesting. Some farmers have to become a laborer in other farmer’s land so that that land can be harvested. They took turns harvesting these land. Which basically creates another problem, which is some of the coffee is being picked either a little bit too fast, or a little bit too late, because no one is there to pick them.

Another sad part about Indonesian coffee is a lot of people actually think robusta is bad. Well Indonesia actually grow a lot of them. Here in the lab, we love to play around with robusta. We clean them up, we roast them slightly differently, we brew them using espresso machines, we try to make that brew unlike any robusta that people ever drank.

Michael: I had one of them yesterday.

Adi: The mantra we have here is; ‘Making bitter coffee is easy. The game is in not how to make it bitter. So we just play around and we managed to pull this beautiful, fruity, chocolatey, double ristretto from robusta. And that robusta is actually being grown in west Lampung on the elevation, if I’m not mistaken, around seven hundred to eight hundred meters above sea level.

Would it be able to compete with coffee from Ethiopia? Nah. Robusta is still robusta. There are some people who might love this robusta better than the Ethiopian coffee.

Michael: Yeah. And like our friend Rocky says; there’s a, every bean has a home.

Adi: Yeah. I agree on that.

Michael: And I definitely agree with that. The robusta you served me yesterday, the espresso, was very good. And I know a lot of people who specifically like the flavor of robusta. They usually equate it with a Vietnamese coffee, myself included. When I tasted it yesterday, the first thing I thought of was the Vietnamese coffee brewed in a phin. The only difference is the espresso was so good, you didn’t have to have the condensed milk to off-set the bitterness, which is pretty common with Vietnamese coffee brewed in the phin. It’s very bitter—you need the condensed milk to off-set it.

Adi: Well, we actually like to play around with—a lot of people come in saying ‘ah, I don’t drink robusta, robusta are rubbish’ and this and that. And we just serve them, like; ‘here, have a try.’ ‘Oh! This is nice! So you blend arabica and robusta?’ No. 100% robusta. ‘No way!’

Michael: Oh, it was, there was no bitterness to it. It was very mellow. Very chocolatey, mild, like I kept saying yesterday; it had a subtle, sneaky sweetness to it that kept coming up at the end. And it was very enjoyable.

Adi: If I pull it a little bit longer, you’re gonna have an interesting saltiness coming in. And that saltiness works really well with the milk, as a cappuccino.

Michael: I bet. I’ll have to try one of those today.

One of the other things we talked about yesterday, that I wanted to get back to today was; again on your, I think it was from your blog you had mentioned that we have access to all of this information—rapid access to information—and it’s not necessarily making us smarter. Can you go into that some?

Adi: Well, basically it also relates to what the farmer has to face nowadays. A lot of people coming to the farm, sharing the story of Sassa Sestic’s quests, post-harvest. Playing around with yeast. Playing around with this and that. A lot of people think that a world champion doing something, must be something right, which probably it is in his situation—that’s why he’s a world champion. But it might not, possibly, it might not, the same case with what we face on a daily basis. Here we come with, you mentioned the word ‘cowboy’ earlier. We met, in the coffee industries in Indonesia we have a lot of cowboys running in, saying that ‘ah, please brew me your coffee, please do it the way this guy do it, this degree of water, this ratio, this and that’ and they expect the coffee will be great. And usually we just brew it for them, and then we brew it, the coffee ourselves and serve both and ask them to compare. And usually what happen is the guy agree that the coffee we brew taste a little bit better. Not because we are a better brewer than the world champion, but we just know the coffee better. It’s our coffee, we understand the minerals inside the water that we use here.

Or like, sometimes we get blindfolded by the information we get. We can get them really fast, really easy. And a lot of time we don’t spend some time to try to digest that information. Something right usually happen for a reason. Without knowing that reason, the right might be wrong. And it happens lately, nowadays, it happens more and more nowadays.

Michael: Yeah, and we were talking about social media playing a big part of this, where you can have somebody that gives the impression, whether they do it intentionally or maliciously, it doesn’t matter, they give the impression that they’re an expert. And people see that and think ‘he is, or she is an expert, and they go with that advice. And it may not be great advice. Or it may not include the total picture—the entire picture.

Adi: Sometimes we react to a tweet that is probably a part of a series of tweets. If we took some time to read the whole stuff, probably we’re gonna get a different picture than just reading that one tweet. And sometimes we react a bit too vicious on it. Yes, just say an owner of a company do something bad in his past. Shall we, do we need to punish the whole company? Because there’s a lot of people that actually making money from that company, who do no mistakes, probably have no correlations to what happens in the past. And if we sort of kill the company, we’re not only killing the guy who do the sin, we also kill the guy who tried to make a living for his family. And it’s not really fair.

Michael: Yeah. It’s mob mentality. Dragging the entire company through the dirt because of what a couple of knuckleheads did.

I agree with that. I agree with that totally. It’s one of the down-sides of social media and being able to virtue-signal, all of that. It’s a train wreck.

Adi: Well, I’m one of those people who embrace social media in the early days. I love having discussions through twitters, in the middle of the night with a bunch of friends. I love arguing just for the sake of arguing. But then I know that just arguing, we’re just having fun.

Nowadays, I didn’t tweet, I didn’t do social media as much as I normally do. I don’t even blog as much as I do because there’s this worry-ness that whatever I try to read, er, what I try to write is being read wrong thing, the wrong way. Because when you write, there’s no emotion you can attach to it.

Michael: And you say the wrong thing and now suddenly you’re on the opposite side. And you’re now one of them not one of us. That’s one of my pet peeves about it, right now. The state of the industry is cliquish and we should be better than that. We should be more communal, more community oriented. You know, the specialty coffee industry should rally around each other more than we are, I think right now.

Adi: And we just, probably that’s the reason why I love Bandung. I grew up in Bandung, I was born in Bandung. But I’ve, I spent some time of my life in Jakarta, the capitol city. When I moved back to Bandung, I feel like ‘ah, this is the area, which I want my family to grow. I love the way that the barista community here, the manual-brew community, we’re able to do competitions without having to have big sponsorships. We can have a bunch of coffee shops spending a little amount of money, sharing stuff, sharing equipments, to build the competition for young baristas. We love that spirits. We love the spirit of working together and it’s one of those weird situations where people actually want to volunteer as a crew and not as a competitors. During the competition days theres a lot of coffee shop closing down because either the equipment is being used by the competitions or the crew is there helping out the competitions. And it’s something that I miss a lot nowadays.

Michael: Yeah. It’s very, soothing is a bad word, comforting is a bad word…but it’s, it’s very pleasant to experience. The only other place I’ve seen it like that is Padang, Indonesia.

Adi: Yep.

Michael: And both communities are very near to production. And I wonder how much of that plays a part in it. You know the whole notion of ‘this is our coffee because it was, you know, grown, just an hour or so from here, by our people.’ And that’s maybe bad to say our people but, it is still communal and it is still family-oriented. I think that’s very good.

Adi: Yep. Well, for the competitions, usually for the first round, we’re gonna, the committee is going to be supplying the coffee. And we usually use the coffee from farmers around our city. So I think that’s the luxury of doing a competition in origin. Because you have a lot of coffee you can showcase. The bad part is some people will take it to politics and use coffee for certain political purposes.

Michael: Yeah, they turn it into coffee competition not a barista competition.

Adi: Well, some actually turning it into a way so that people can vote for them in the future…not really caring about the coffee.

Thank God the government, the governor election is past. So I think we past that.

Michael: Yeah. Time to move on.

Adi: Yep.

Michael: So one last thing: we had talked about future roasting classes here . I think you and I have nailed down—not you and I—I think we have nailed down dates. So we’re looking at November twenty-first for roasting class. [The date has changed to November 28th] And we’re going to do a combo-class. So we’ll do the first day will be Foundation and then the next three days will be Intermediate.

Adi: And actually, one of the point I request you to do, is to make this class hard. I, in our lab, we don’t believe that you come to the class to get a certificate. You actually come to learn. And by, when you want to learn, you gonna, you have to experience a lot. So I think on that roasting class, you guys are gonna roast a lot of coffee. And hopefully we can have fun!

Michael: Yeah. I think so!

Adi: There’s no point in doing a class and not having fun.

Michael: Exactly. Exactly. And I did a couple roasts on the machines yesterday and the day before and thoroughly enjoyed it. They’re fun machines. They’re going to give people a good experience of what it’s like to roast coffee, for those that are doing the foundational. And for those that are doing the intermediate, it’s going to be a familiar control interface. There won’t be any surprises to anybody who is used to any of the machines that they are using in production right now.

Adi: Well, the machine we have is nothing fancy. It’s a very basic machines. But I think laying your hands, or learning on a very basic machine is actually going to be better, because after that you can play around with any machines you have. If you start your journey on a ultra-fancy machines, a lot of, well through my experience with barista, or through photography, a lot of people get stuck with that brand, and they’re, they’re using it not because they’re good, they’re using it because they don’t know how operate the other type of machines. And hopefully we can provide you with a good, basic experience.

Michael: I think we can! And we’ll make it difficult.

Adi: Yep.

Michael: Challenge accepted.

Adi: Please do.

Michael: Alright. I appreciate it. I really enjoyed sitting down and talking to you. And the space is awesome. And the things that you guys are doing for the coffee community here and everywhere else; I’m onboard with it. I think it’s great. And keep on…keep on with it.

Adi: Thank you. And we’re gonna be doing a lot more classes with Michael. Just wait and see.

Michael: Yes! Alright. Thank you very much.

Adi: Thanks man.

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