Fifth Last Day: No Favorites, Just Fun & Freedom

I've apologized for inconsistent posting before, and here we are. I'm just going to stop with the apologies... I think I may have indicated in the past that I enjoyed working at the pizzeria the most out of all the one-week jobs. We have a “problem” now, because that is no longer the case. I could easily say the same thing about my time with Coda Coffee this past week. That it was my best experience. And though I've told you nothing about the job I'm in right now, I really like it too. I'm conflicted!

I've always been hesitant to identify favorites, and this is why. So, forget what I “had” said. This is not to say that I will not have a favorite in two weeks, just that I'm taking recanting a statement. Simply remember that once upon a time, Michelle was against coffee. Then she did that one-week job thing, and now she drinks coffee.

Change is real, and change can be good. YAY! :)

Recap Time.

My time with Coda was pretty routine, but no less stimulating. Wednesday through Friday, Tim and Jessica would pick me up around 7:45am as usual, and I'd head straight to the warehouse and get to work. I spent the rest of my warehouse hours on one order, Bane's project, that required bagging and packaging approximately 500 16oz bags of coffee beans of different varieties, whole bean and ground. The order took a long while, but I was happy that we finished it before the 2pm deadline on Friday. I seriously appreciate having a big task and a goal that I need to reach.

Embarrassingly, I ate out every day at lunch time. Brittany and Dean, sweet as they were, opened their pantry and refrigerator up to me for whatever I needed, but I always ended up eating the lunch I packed for breakfast. Marciano, Trestin, and I were then able to spend time together every day at noon. Workdays ended at 5pm, after which Tim and Jessica would take me home, and I'd wind down with a George Foreman Grill creation and some Lifetime drama. Last week had to be the most television I've watched since this beginning of all this.

It was on Thursday that I had that cupping experience that I talked about before. The cupping I did is not to be confused with the traditional method of Chinese medicine, and a video of it can be seen here:

This visual will explain it better than any words of mine could.

Friday was significantly slow, and as usual, to remain useful, I found a huge pile of dishes to clean. At the end of my last day, I forced everyone at Coda to take pictures, and I took home some coffee mugs and beans for Brittany and Dean! I was overjoyed at the chance to give back to them since they had helped me out so much.

As I had been staying in watching television, Brittany and Dean had had their own engagements to attend every evening. On my last night, they stayed in and Dean made us dinner :) Chicken fingers, fries, and broccoli - SCRUMPTIOUS. We watched When Harry Met Sally (please don't yell at me), my first time to see the movie, and then we went to bed.

On Saturday, I stayed in couch late and did some work on the computer. I then decided to go to the coffee bar around the corner for a cup and a bagel. I wanted to work on distinguishing tastes and aroma, put my coffee knowledge to work. :) I did some laundry, packed, and got some dinner before going out on the road. Dean packed me a nice little snack bag for the traveling, and I left Denver on the Greyhound, unlike the way I had arrived.

Question Time.

What did you dislike about the job and why?

There was very little I disliked about my time with Coda, except for two things.

  1. There were times where I felt I wasn't needed in the warehouse, when things were slow. While I did find dishes to clean, something I always love doing, I wish I knew enough to be able to help the guys out all the time, even in the tiniest way.
  2. There wasn't much overlap with job duties, and I think that would get to me after some time. When I was bagging beans, a few of the guys would walk by and joke with me: “You getting tired of that yet?” As I've said before regarding situations that most would find severely boring, I was completely fine with what I was doing, but I was only there for a week. I definitely don't want to be in a situation where someone who's been in the business for awhile comes up to me and asks me if I hate what I'm doing yet, because if I don't, I will soon. That's not too encouraging!

What did you like about the job and why?

I didn't like, I loved.

I loved the people. Everyone was relaxed from the beginning, mirroring the exact work atmosphere I had been hoping for and work the best in. Moreover, while everyone was generally calm, they worked hard. That spoke to me. The staff was also very real. When people were feeling hyperactive, they acted hyperactive. When people were feeling angry, they acted angry. And they expressed all those emotions in a sufficient amount of time. No dramatics. No excess. No hiding. That was really cool. Okay, I justttt realized that I worked with males the entire week. I don't want to say that this is a factor in the people-loving / work atmosphere but...your call.

I loved the passion. Tommy and Tim know their coffee, and they get excited about it. When Tim and I did deliveries on Tuesday, it was clear that his customers really respected him and fed off of his energy and dedication to making them happy. There were moments where I saw myself owning a coffee company, though that will most likely never happen. But that's how infectious Tim is! Tim is not only passionate about his profession, but he was also passionate about making sure he was doing all he could to make sure I got the most I could out of Coda Coffee with the Program. I truly believe he did just that.

I loved the family feel. Coda Coffee staff is a small but diverse group. There are a lot of different personalities within it, but the thing that really caught my attention was how comfortable everyone felt being themselves. I found out later it was because the staff is really close. There were many times where someone would bring up how Tommy and Tim treat their staff like adults, and how they take care of them as if they were their blood. About 90% of Coda staff knew not one thing about coffee before they came to the company. Many of them indicated that they fell in love with the industry not just because they needed the knowledge for the job, but also because the work environment made the learning process attractive and easy. Wherever I work, I want my experience to be like this. Hard but easy. You feel me?

What lessons did you learn from work at a wholesale coffee roaster / Week 5?

  1. It's okay to let others take care of you. As you'll find out later, I haven't REALLY learned this lesson. But I am learning it. Brittany and Dean were so so so nice to me. Besides the fact that they let me sleep at their place only a month after they moved in themselves (from Texas, mind you), they let me watch their television for as long as I wanted. They urged me to eat as much of their food as I wanted. They even trusted me to stay in their house alone, and left me a key just in case I wanted to go wherever I wanted. They wouldn't let me do anything to help them, and I didn't understand it. I'm still trying to. But this is the thing. If I were them, I would do the same thing for another if I could. In a heartbeat. So why can't I trust others to love on me? Someone help me answer this.
  2. REALLY try something and immerse yourself in it before you write it off completely. See Post: Dear Coffee: Friends ?
  3. Don't be ashamed. For anything. For anyone. In addition to their big hearts, I was amazed at Brittany and Dean's unashamed and consistent indulgence in unhealthy foods. Sour Patch kids, cupcakes, Hershey's kisses, graham crackers, Pringles, oven fries, chicken fingers. I should add that they work out, look like very fit people, and eat other stuff, but I was still just amazed. I feel as if it's almost customary in this day and age to provide some reasoning to those around us whenever we eat that ice cream late at night for the fourth night in a row. We feel guilty because we want others to know that our likelihood of gaining excessive amounts of weight is low, or if it happens, it won't be due to our poor eating habits. But who cares? Who cares. I'm going to eat more ice cream right now. Thank you, Brittany. Thank you, Dean. You've given me confidence to eat that second chocolate chip cookie for BREAKFAST.

(But yikes! Seriously, after my pizza week and this, I need to get my body rightttttt! Tubby Michelle, is that you?)

Would you do this again, as a more-than-one-week job?

Definitely. Definitely.

To Tommy, to Tim. To Jessica, To Laura. To Brian, To Todd. To Issac, To Seok. To Adam, To Trestin. To Bane, To Marciano. To anyone I missed because it's probable. If I liked favorites, you might have been one of mine. Thanks for being so authentic, informative, chill, and for bringing a new beverage into my life. What a great gift you've given. Thanks again.

Reflection Time.

Do what you do.

Do you.

This would be an example:


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P.S. No, "Teqnique" is not a word.

Dear Coffee: Friends ?

I have something to say. I have decided to keep coffee in my life beyond this week. I vow to research and find a cafe in the area that I'm in. One that I deem "good" using the information I've learned during my time with Coda Coffee Company, of course. I'm doing this because...I want to, and that's always a good enough reason, in my opinion. But let's go over the change in reasoning:

Reasons I Wasn't About Coffee Then:

  1. The need. I figured I would probably develop a dependency on the caffeine, and I didn't want to waste time in my life feeding an addiction. Let's ignore the fact that nearly EVERYTHING has caffeine, including medications, some ice creams, and even decaffeinated coffee! So, in theory, I could get "hooked" on anything if I ingested enough of it. Bummer thought process.
  2. The taste. It's horrible. Either I get my coffee "black," a state I always personally described as "black-nasty," or I get to put a ton of stuff in it (cream, sugar, and/or what have I) to alleviate the bitterness of the "black-nasty." Again with the wasted time and effort. I had one moment where I thought that I should be more open to coffee additions to ease into the drink, maybe go extreme in a sort of bandaid-ripping motion, but as I said, it was only one moment.
  3. The trend. I was a Psychology major in college. I like to know what's up, why people want what they want, why people choose to do what they do. I can't begin to count all the times that I've been with someone in the morning hours and I've heard variations of "I. Need. My. Coffee." or "Can we drop by Starbucks real quick?" or "If I don't get my cup of Joe, [insert name here in third person] is not going to be a happy camper today..." You get the idea. Me being me, I immediately ask what the point of coffee is, and why the person who is in desperate need loves this "coffee" thing so much. I usually get extremely poor and insufficient responses, most of which end with "I guess I don't know. Everyone seems to drink coffee, so I just started drinking it too, and now I can't stop." In my mind, I'm thinking...I think I get it now. You start a busy day (or at some point, any day at all), you drink coffee to get you through it. You end a busy day, you drink alcohol to celebrate getting through it. You wanna meet with friends or make new ones, you go out to eat. Consume, consume, consume. Not me! Also, while at a New York Starbucks, I saw a small child ordering a cup. The barista (thankfully) asked the girl how old she was and if the drink for was for her. The girl said she was eight, and that yes, "duh", the drink was for her. EIGHT! I was too shocked to wonder why her mother wasn't around. But please note that once upon a time, an eight-year-old girl ordered a venti chai tea latte at Starbucks. For herself. Small children drink coffee. Okay, what happened to soda and juice? WATER?
  4. The illness. For some reason, I believed that coffee was riddled with malady-causing agents. Whatever you can think of, coffee had it. Still not sure where I got this idea from...
  5. The upbringing. My family isn't about coffee, so I just never had the desire for the beverage. I suppose this reason alone would've sufficed. Sorry about that.

(Thinking back to periods of close-mindedness is always amusing, isn't it?)

Reasons I'm About Coffee Now:


I could talk about the health benefits of coffee, how the taste of "black" coffee is an acquired taste that I'm already beginning to appreciate thanks to a good "cupping" experience I had this week (and lately the idea of acquiring acquired tastes is a fun challenge to me...maybe I'll try sushi again for lunch?),  and how I feel a connection to the culture of coffee producers, making me appreciate coffee even more.

I could even talk about how it's important to drink other beverages (gatorade, tea) besides water because the variety will make your body stronger, as long as it's in moderation (1 cup of coffee a day would be my personal limit), how the people who have mentored me and been so kind to me through this Program have lives that revolve around coffee, and how I owe it to them to at least try and understand their passion more. I could talk about all of this. In detail. But I won't.

Simplicity should prevail here. I'm "about" coffee now because once more, I've found out that assumptions are life-drainers, and that we should seek to experiment, and experiment fully. More often than not, we may learn that we like way more things than we thought we did. We may learn that there is more richness to be had within something we had previously and so surely written off.

So that's what I'm doing here. I'm opening myself up even more and making a new friend. Coffee, when we first met...well, before we even met, I thought you were trouble. But I see now that I was wrong. You're not so bad. I could see us becoming good friends. Hopefully dogs, swimming, and many others can join us soon. You know how we humans can be. Sometimes it's hard to trust, but we're made to trust. So here I go. Please, forgive me for the pre-judgment. :)

So What About You?

What's so great about coffee? What's not-so-great about coffee? Explain your thoughts!

Gotta pack again...and I think I'll get a bagel and some "black-nasty" too ;) ...Talk Soon!


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"...I Need A Drink." - Week #5: Coffee "Connoisseur"

I'm disgustingly late with this post! I apologize! I meant to update last night, but I fell asleep 10pm. Scary. I AM IN DENVER, COLORADO! It is beautiful here. Map time again:

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And to keep that travel count going...

~1979 miles from Boston to Denver by airplane.

~5037 miles traveled overall.

~59 hours spent traveling overall.

The last time I was on an airplane was about a decade ago. My employer was so kind to buy me a plane ticket this week! Though I missed "Going Greyhound" (of course this is a joke), I was ready to try a new traveling method. I never mentioned the fact that my driver's license and health insurance card were stolen last Monday. I've been dealing with the consequences of that for over a week now, and it has been very stressful.  Losing these items is probably the worst thing that could happen to me, considering what I'm doing at the moment (especially during the one week I was flying and not Greyhound-ing!). Good thing that the "worst thing" isn't so bad.

In case you were wondering, Flying Without an ID is more than possible! Despite the fact that my afro was heavily untamed, I was wearing destructed jeans, a bright orange T-shirt, and a bright yellow jacket with a picture of a cat on the hood, all in an effort to be comfortable, the Boston TSA let me through the security checkpoint. Arriving three hours before departure and having other proofs of identity helped too.

Boarding the plane, I sat in the middle...something everyone on the plane seemed to be avoiding. The guy in front of me

sat in a row that already had an occupied window seat. He sat in the aisle seat. I made a motion like I was going to sit in his row and kinda waited...for him to move in so I didn't have to climb over his body. He gave me this horrible look. As if I was about to take his freedom away from him or something evil like that. I shrugged, and stepped over him obnoxiously as payback for his facial expression. Rude.


Well, I don't fly often, so I guess I'm not at the point where I can be picky.

As for the flight: takeoff scared me. My ears popped. I chewed gum.  I drank some water, slept, ate some peanuts, and Nabisco crackers. The landing was smooth, and as a result, didn't scare me.

After my baggage took forever and an hour to emerge from the carousel, Tommy Thwaites, owner of Coda Coffee Company, picked me up and put me straight to work. Can't waste the first day of the work week, I suppose! Some Coda coffee carts were in the wrong spot at the Denver Convention Center, so I helped Tommy move them from one space to another. I hadn't been in Denver for 30 minutes, and I was already exercising. I thought lifting my bags from the baggage carousel was going to be the end of it!

Coda Coffee Company is a wholesale coffee roaster. Founded by two brothers, Tim and Tommy Thwaites, Coda prides itself in being environmentally-friendly with all of its processes. I found Coda Coffee through the site, whose mission aligns with that of One-Week Job's. I read about the many companies that are featured on the site, and for some reason the name "Coda" stayed with me. Per my nature, I "went with it", contacted Tommy, and here I am in Denver! You can watch Pursue the Passion's video about Tommy and Coda Coffee here to get to know the business better.

With a team of about 13, tasks such as tasting, blending, roasting, bagging, flavoring, grinding, packing, delivering, selling, advertising, etc. come together every day to provide cafes and businesses with high-quality coffee. This week, I'm getting a taste of as many tasks as I can so I can get the full Coda experience. After Tommy and I finished moving the carts, we went straight to the Coda office. I was introduced to Issac, Adam aka Duncan, Marciano, Bane [Bah-nay], Trestin, Seok, Todd, Jessica, Brian, Courtney, Stevan, and Tim, Tommy's brother and Coda co-owner.

Introductions were quickly followed by some time in the flavoring room with Issac. He then gave me a brief overview about the difference between coffee blends and single-origin coffees while teaching me how to weigh and bag the whole beans. Things slowed down a bit after that, so I started up with my life questions with some of the Crew. Around 4pm, Tommy and his wife, Jessica, took me and my luggage home.

This week, I'm staying with friends of friends, newlyweds Brittany and Dean. They've only been married for a month or so, so I'm constantly worried that I'm not giving them enough alone time. They insist that I have nothing to worry about, and their actions convey that entirely. I'm having trouble being treated so well, but I'm slowly accepting it...mostly because my fatigue leaves me choice. After I settled in, they generously took me out to eat. The night ended with a discussion of "old tv shows" while watching current ones. Not even being in Denver for 8 hours, I had already decided that I really loved my job and accommodation for the week.

Yesterday, I spent a good deal of time learning about roasting with Todd, the Roast Manager. I learned how to grind coffee for espresso with Bane, after which I went on delivery runs with Tim in Boulder! The mountains were a pretty sight, and it was fun to meet some of Coda's customers who were happy to receive new product. It was also nice to get some good discussion in with Tim as we drove around. Traffic hit us on the way home so we ran out of topics...and ended up talking about politics and religion. Heavy. Just like I like it. :D

Tuesday ended at 4pm as well, and I was truly exhausted in a way that I had never been before. I think it was a combination of drinking two substances that I wasn't used to, mate and an ultra-spicy chai, lifting coffee, and being in the hot warehouse. I did manage to cook some chicken on Brittany and Dean's George Foreman grill. THAT THING IS AMAZING. Someone should have told me about it earlier!  I cooked in an empty house, because my hosts were out at a movie. I wanted to wait until they came back so they wouldn't have to be quiet, but I couldn't make it.

I passed out to Kathy Griffin.

Today, I'll be doing my normal bagging, lifting, and product-pulling, but I'll also be coffee-tasting with Tim...maybe even making some drinks! I forgot to mention one more thing...that I know nothing about coffee. And I don't drink it. I always liked the smell, but that was about it. Half the world drinks coffee, and I never understood why. As a result, one of my goals with this Program was to find out. I'm breaking down some of my false assumptions, and am on my way to stomaching my coffee black, MHM!

There is a mountain (get it?) of information when it comes to coffee. I am not yet in a position where I can explain what I've learned so far. Right now, I'm just trying to read, watch, and remember as much as I can, so the next time I go to a coffee shop, I don't have to ask the barista what a "mocha" is. Small goals can bring big victories. Oh, and did you know that Denver has 300 sunny days a year? Neither did I. I haven't been to one cold city during this journey. I definitely thought the opposite would happen. Darn you, Summer! I don't want it to be freezing, but it'd be nice to not sweat for a whole week.

A woman can dream...


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Week 2: Coffee Shop!

Man...I don't know why I always get the urge to write these things so late at nite...but here I am...1am on a Monday...blogging. Toronto's going through a major heat wave at the moment, so it's not like I'd be able to sleep anyway, and with the humidity it's more like I'm going to "swim" to bed...

BUT!  That's not gonna stop me from talking about Day 1 of Week 2.

Today, I found myself at 'Pennylicks Gourmet Cafe' - a cute little coffee shop in Kensington Market, Toronto.  This is a totally bohemian area of the city, with plenty of graffitied walls, screen-printing shops, and hipsters riding bikes.

The shop owner, Steve, was interested in the OWJ program right off the bat - stating that it was something he wishes he'd had the opportunity to do 20 years ago!

I spent the morning with Steve's brother (and shop co-owner), Chris - getting the shop ready for the day.  We went over the basics of coffee making, brew strengths, taste, and some important points of small-business ownership.  Steve came in for the afternoon, and very kindly sat down with me to chat.

WATCH Steve discuss his tips for finding a career that makes sense HERE: "Life Points with Steve"

The brothers have owned the shop just over 2 years.  Steve has worked his other job as a Mechanical Engineer for years, but coffee has always meant a lot to him. During his teen years he often found himself working in cafes, and eventually the thought of being his own boss really started to appeal to him.

Steve and Chris found the cafe (formerly a furniture store), and snapped it up.  After gutting everything and rebuilding it up to city codes and standards, they opened Pennylicks.  Apparently the name comes from an old ice cream cup that was called a "penny lick" because of the price and what you had to do to the cup in order to get your money's worth of ice interesting precursor to the ice cream cone.

Now the cafe serves gelato, sandwiches, and COFFEE!!

Ever since I traveled overseas, coffee has become very dear to me.  To me it means comfort, community, and inspiration.  The feeling I get from sitting down with a great cup of coffee can't really be paralleled. Whether my company is that of a good book or a good friend, a good coffee can lift my mood after only a few sips.

I even got to try my hand at making a few drinks, although I wouldn't really recommend anyone actually drinking them...;)

And even though it's almost 2am now, tomorrow I'll be up bright and early to head to work...good thing I'll be at a coffee shop!


- Amanda

Coffee Time: A Recap of Roaster Life

Where in the world is Kieley? I am no longer in Athens, GA since I wrapped up my week as a roaster on Friday. After driving 4 hours home to do a quick round of laundry, I packed once again for more adventures!

Right now I am sitting in Cody, Wyoming since I am taking this week as a vacation. I know it seems early in the One-Week Job Project to be on vacay, but here's the scoop: I won an all-expenses paid trip from this cool company called Sierra Trading Post.

How? I simply took 20 seconds to fill out my name, address, and email about 2 months ago on their website for the contest. I must say it was worth the time! This week will be different as I will post updates about my vacation at a Dude Ranch. It's not technically one of my jobs, but I still want to show what life on a ranch is like!

Before jumping into horse stuff and western adventures though, let me share the highlights of my week as a roaster for Jittery Joe's Coffee:

I worked with Charlie Mustard and had a fantastic time!

In 5 days, I...

-Learned what stages coffee beans go thru during roasting

-Observed Charlie roasting for lots of hours

-Roasted coffee with an Air-Popper (usually used for popcorn)

-Packaged coffee with Christian

-Delivered coffee to local Jittery Joe's shops

-Learned how to create coffee "blends" (multiple types of beans combined)


-Roasted my own coffee, packaged it, and even created a custom label

Here's a Video to express my excitement: Final Coffee Test: Kieley Roasts Her Own!

I chose Ethopia Yirgacheffebeans since I have a new cousin from Ethiopia. The name, "Smiley Kieley" was an obvious choice since I've been told it's impossible for me to not smile. :)

Overall, Jittery Joes set the bar very high in regards to being amazing people with sweet jobs and kind hearts. I was blessed to get lots of hands-on experience, meet many Athens locals, and even take home a case of my very own coffee!

Special thanks to Charlie Mustard, his wife Allison, Christian, Seth, Michael Ripps, and everyone else on the Jittery Joe's Coffee team.

Before I launch into an Academy Awards-esque thanks speech, I will cap off this post. Tomorrow will be a full day that starts early with a cowgirl breakfast and horse lesson.

Follow the One-Week Job blog for more adventures all summer. I am still looking for jobs for August so email me or comment please if interested or if you have a connection.



Kieley B.

Kieley the Coffee Roaster: Update #2

Kieley here! I am having an amazing week here in Athens, GA and the past four days have been filled with fun, learning, and lots of free coffee! I apologize for not posting yesterday as I had planned. To make up for it, I will recap the first few days and post a video tomorrow with various clips from the week and a summary of my week as a coffee roaster.

In case you are new to the blog:

My name is Kieley and I'm a young lady traveling around this summer in search of my passion. In 8 weeks, I will try working 8 different jobs and blog about the whole adventure here at The first week has already been so helpful in confirming that coffee is something that fires me up!

Charlie Mustard has been such a great teacher this week and allowed me to see many facets of his job. It's wild to hear how he went from getting an undergraduate degree in Biology to veterinarian school to pursuing a master's in nutrition. How in the world did he  become a roaster? That's a fair question and I wondered this myself. To make a long story short, Charlie spent time at the local Jittery Joes coffee shop while he worked on his Master's thesis. After hearing the company express interest in roasting their own coffee, Charlie had a eureka moment and realized that his science background would be a great fit. After extensive reading and research, Charlie bought the equipment and began to roast. The great coffee he roasts today has been developed over time-it required logging his results, lots of experimentation,  and even making some so-so batches in his early days as a roaster.

What's the lesson to be learned here?

"Just because you have a degree in something or don't have a degree in something does not mean you have to or can't do a certain job."

I loved hearing Charlie's interesting path because it shows that

(1) a person is not bound to stick to a job that matches their degree & (2) it shows that a person should be open and ready to take risks because it often produces a great result! In Charlie's case, he now has a super fulfilling job that's fun, flexible, and allows him to hang out with his wonderful family.

I will share more about his daily life in the coffee business on Friday, but for now, let me bring you up to speed on the roasting process.

To get your coffee beans for your cup o' joe, there are many steps:

1. The roaster orders green beans (raw coffee beans) from various farmers all over the world

2. Batching the coffee (scooping & weighing a certain amount of coffee to be roasted) *Charlie usually puts in 26 lbs. of raw beans for one batch. When the roasting is finished, the batch weighs less due to the beans losing their outer membrane.

3. Roasting the coffee (The coffee is poured into the roaster and transforms as Charlie adjusts the heat, air flow, and controls the time. Charlie has certain markers to watch for:

-when the green beans turn "straw" color - goldenish color

-when the beans change to "cinnamon color" - medium brown color

-1st Crack- when beans crack for the first time (obvious since you can hear the beans cracking!)

-2nd Crack- A few minutes later, the beans crack again and about this time, it's time to release them from the heat into the cooling section. After cooling,it's on to packaging!

So that is basically coffee roasting 101. After spending all of Monday helping Charlie and learning the basics, I spend the next day packaging with another Jittery Joe's employee, Christian. He is the man behind the packaging and shipping for all of their coffee. After Charlie Mustard roasts the coffee and separates it into 5 pound bags, Christian pours the coffee beans into metal cans, seals them with a fancy gizmo, attaches a label by hand, and packs the cans into boxes. Jittery Joes not only roasts coffee for their own shops; they also ship their coffee all over the U.S.!

Working with Christian was fun and I enjoyed the challenge of keeping up with his speedy pace. It was interested to hear the route he took to end up in the coffee industry as well.

I have so much more to share so tomorrow I will blog yet again!

One added incentive to make the most of this project is hearing feedback from friends and people I meet. Hearing about this crazy program makes people think about what jobs they desire to try. I would love for this blog to be interactive so here's the question of the day:

"What job(s) would you like to try for one week?"

If you're really ambitious, work on this follow-up question:

"What can you do today to make your desire to try this job a reality?

So often it's easy to get caught up in "What-ifs" and think of money, time, and other barriers, but if Charlie had been bound by these things, he would be missing out on his sweet job: roasting coffee!

Think about it friends and comment away!

Want to email me with a job proposal for a week or just say hi? I love emails!



Kieley B.

Hot Job: Life as a Coffee Roaster

Week 1 of the One-Week Job Project is underway and I am beyond grateful for today. I am in heaven working alongside head roaster of Jittery Joe's Coffee, Charlie Mustard. Jittery Joe's is a unique coffee company for many reasons:

When I initially found out I got the chance to be in the One Week Job Program, I knew one of my jobs had to center around Coffee! Ever since my freshman year of college in Chicago, I have been captivated by all things coffee. It was absolutely necessary to consume this hot delicacy to make it through my 7:15 AM classes. Not only this, but in working at the on-campus coffee shop, I learned what's most important about coffee: it brings people together.

This may seem weird for my to wax on this topic of coffee but I love it because coffee is so much more than just a good beverage or trendy thing to carry around. Here are a few things to consider:

Coffee and Cafes provide a venue for community to happen-everyday people gathering to share life, eat, drink, and take a breather from the daily rush.

Roasters buy green beans from coffee farmers and this provides wages for people to live on! Also, the coffee industry employs many people from all over the world who thrive because of simple coffee beans and tried and true, brewing methods.

Coffee is both an art and science and inspires creativity. Despite roasting being highly subjective, there is a benefit to this: the roaster has free reign and freedom to experiment to create the best coffee.

To give you a quick recap of my day:

I arrived at the Jittery Joe's at 8 AM sharp after walking 4 minutes from the apartment downtown where I am staying.

Side Note: It pays to let your needs be known friends! On Saturday night, I still did not have lodging for my week in Athens. When my brother returned from work, I whined about my predicament. He then realized his connection to a UGA student who has a sweet apartment that is not occupied for the summer. 1 hour later, I had a key, a free parking place, and the address!

Getting back to my day: After meeting Charlie Mustard, the roast master and my boss for the week, I was given a tour of the roasting facility. It is amazing to see the behind the scenes at a roastery. To see a 360 degree view of where I am working, click here.

Charlie wanted me to get a good overview on coffee and the whole process so most of my morning was spent reading "The Science of Espresso" at the Five Points Jittery Joes Location. I took copious notes to help me learn the most possible about roasting this week.

After a fabulous lunch at Mama's Boy, a local Athens, GA restaurant, it was time to roast.

Charlie walked me through the whole process and taught me what color the beans should be at each stage of the roast. I enjoyed learning how to blend and even got to help bag the coffees in preparation for canning tomorrow!

3.5 Hours later...Charlie and I had roasted over 300 pounds of coffee!

To learn more about my adventures this week, stay tuned! Wednesday, I will post again.  Feel free to leave Comments and questions below. Follow me on twitter & Email me: bestweekjob(at) (Still setting up one-week jobs for August!)

Till Next Time,

Kieley B.