From time to time, I get asked about the “technical” side of the blog. So, I’ve decided to write up a section on “Blogging on Blogging About Coffee” as a way to talk about the back end of what happens here at Seattle Coffee Scene. This blog has always been about my gentle obsession with coffee. If you've been reading my posts for awhile, you'll know that I don't write from a barista or roaster's perspective. Rather, I write from a customer's point of view. Just like most other coffee customers, I don't know it all when it comes to coffee or coffee cuppings – and all the technical measurements that goes into scoring the perfect cup. All that stuff is great but I'll leave that up others to chew on.
Specialty Coffee is about quality – quality of the bean, quality of the brew, and quality of the service. This blog tries to chronicle the discovery of each of those in every cafe I visit.
So Let's Get Started!
One of the biggest dilemmas I have when writing a blog post about a café is whether or not I actually tell them I am writing up an article while they are serving me coffee.
Here's the crux: If I don’t tell them I am writing a story about them I feel that I am getting the full customer experience in a natural, unbiased manner – without any prejudice. The positive side is that I also enjoy my time as a customer much more by being anonymous. On the negative side: I don’t really get the real “back story” that makes writing about cafes so interesting.
However, if I do tell the manager or baristas that I am writing up story on their café or about their beans, then things unnaturally change instantly – I don’t get the natural experience as any other customer would who walked in that day. The customer service changes… eyes follow me around the cafe… and it just feels unnatural. However, what I do get (sometimes) is a bit more information which makes for a better story – and a better read for you.
So at every place I go I don’t know what to do until I actually get there. I sort of play it by ear. How would you approach each cafe you're writing about?