The day starts at 4am. My role is a multi-faceted one with my current focus being on the building of housing and a coffee mill renovation in Honduras.
The construction of housing isn't something you'd immediately associate with a coffee producer but in countries such as Honduras, as well as a moral responsibility to do so, we offer housing, healthcare and other perks to attract people into working on the coffee bean farms.
With this also comes organising coffee worker visas, payrolls and such. Then there's the actual job of farming the coffee plants, with overseeing the planting, fertilising, pruning and processing across our nine coffee bean farms in Nicaragua and Honduras, as well as continuing the important research and development.
It's the end of February and I'm currently at our lab in Antigua, Guatemala. We are three-quarters of the way into the coffee harvest.
The last few weeks have been spent coordinating and meeting with a lot of farmers and roasters. It's exciting for us to bring both roasters and coffee producers together.
In the same room. These meetings are extremely important in building a mutual understanding and cultivating sustainable relationships. I've spent the last week touring the most remote corners of Guatemala.
The long trips on horrible roads are compensated with the vast beauty Guatemala has to offer. The memories of the lush green landscapes are more vivid than a camera can capture.
Whilst managing customer visits, we are also cupping a remarkable volume of samples. All of our relationships began with quality and it continues to be at the heart of what we do.
The day locks off with slipping on a filter and opening the grassy sacks of green coffee while the roasters warm up. It's then full pelt with production roasts on our two Lorings and quality controlling previous roasts.
Production brings out the real OCD in us; competing to get our roast curves smack bang on the profile curve, and, of course, packing and labelling coffee bags uniformly.
The QC'ing provides a nice balance to this. A team of us QC through brewing and by using gadgets like color readers. It's such an important part of what we do - ensuring it's right every time.
A day in the life of a barista can vary daily, from cafe to cafe, the level of experience and what audience the cafe is catering to. However we all have a fundamental base to which we live by: Making tasty beverages with a smile, quickly.
Setting a recipe for the coffee is my first job in the morning and one I enjoy the most. This daily task is made a lot easier if you keep most of the variables the same, leaving one thing to alter: the grind (with exceptions of course).
If you're lucky you will have a grinder that doesn't need a lot of changing throughout the day. Generally banstas use scales and timers to increase the consistency of the beverages they serve.
This consistency allows us to build trust with our customers as they know that we can deliver quality, time and time again. Working as a barista is rarely a solitary job.
We all work together as a family, running the drinks out, washing dishes, cleaning tables and taking orders. We learn from each other, share information and inspire each other in our roles.
We like to create that same family feeling with our regular customers, getting to know them on a first name basis, what they do for work. etc.
Building a rapport with customers is fundamental to keeping our industry alive. As the founder Colin Harmon says, "Earning their trust" will enable customers to see the real importance of speciality coffee.
We do this in the hope of influencing the market and sales, and as a result, increasing the wages and general living standards of the many people involved in creating that tasty cup of coffee.
After over three years of running Timberyard you'd think co-founder Darren Elliot and I would have more regularity to our daily schedule.
But the truth is, one of the joys of an early stage coffee business is the unpredictability.
All three of our locations are open seven days a week and every day is very different for both of us. On a typical weekday, Darren and I will both be on email from around 6am and we will arrange to meet at one of our locations at 8am to catch up.
After our time together we tend to go our separate ways to the other locations where we both attend meetings, check up on service and try to clear our emails (which never happens!).
We will always want to spend time in our shops, working alongside our customers, whilst consuming our own products as it provides such valuable knowledge of our business.
Most days our paths cross again to meet and recap on the day before we both head home to spend time in the evenings working on the business rather than in the business. It's not unusual to see emails from either of us until around midnight.