I had the honor of speaking with Justin Rodriguez, a Blue Bottle Roaster on the theme of Failure in the context of Creative Morning’s monthly breakfast lecture series.
I was charmed with his humility and inspired by his insight. Here’s an excerpt of our conversation to appear in full on the Creative Mornings blog.
Chérmelle: Failure is really winning in my opinion. It’s the road that gets us to where we are. And, Seth Godin a previous Creative Morning speaker says we should fail more. How does failure – the road to the right roast – play into roasting when you are trying to get a coffee just right?
Justin: I think I agree with you and Seth. I believe that we should fail more only if we are going to learn from it.
I had a visit at the roastery today from a well-known coffee professional who I respect very much. We chatted as I roasted and he asked me about what I was doing. He began to point some things out about the current batch and offered up some advice that challenged some of my ideas. It took me a minute or two to realize that I had begun to reject some of his ideas just because they went against mine. Luckily, I was able to stop myself. We ended up having a great talk and I was able to learn a few things.
Chérmelle: Creatives dreams and imagine their projects having lives beyond them. I feel coffee is the same, it has a life beyond its processes, beyond the roaster. Do you have dreams for the coffees you roast, i.e. that what you’ve made will have an effect on its consumer?
Justin: I think about this a lot too. I am very proud of my work and at Blue Bottle we spend a lot of time cupping every batch that we roast. Because of this my relationship with any given coffee becomes very intimate and I am always discovering new things in coffees that I may not have picked up on before.
My hope is that any given customer, have a good experience with the coffees that I roast; that they might taste what we have tasted and enjoy what we enjoy in it.