~ The caffeinated scoop on the life and times of Kate Blackman. ~
The team has known Kate Blackman for quite awhile, and if you've been to one of KC's sleek Parisi cafes, it's likely you've seen her behind the bar, crafting coffee creation and connection with a winning smile (or smirk) on her face. Head of education, menu development and quality assurance for Parisi Artisan Coffee, we were honored to interview her for our Q&A series. We think you'll enjoy the insight and laughs she's provided - cheers!
The LAB: What's the best thing about your job?
Kate: I’m going to get all philosophical on you here. Heraclitus wrote: “No man steps into the same river twice.” I love that every coffee changes all the time- from roast to roast, from harvest to harvest, processing, grinding, brew technique- I could go on forever. My job is never the same river twice!
The LAB: What's your go-to drink for a work day?
Kate: A cup of whatever is in the lab or snagged out of a roast barrel brewed with the Bonavita dripper.
The LAB: What's the moment you remember as the first that made you want to work in coffee?
Kate: I worked as a bookseller at Barnes & Noble and the baristas always seemed so cool and interesting. I wanted to do what they were doing.
The LAB: We're always jazzed for your Caffeine Crawl coffee-meets-chemistry creations - what's the coolest thing you've ever made with coffee?
Kate: Experimenting with molecular gastronomy using coffee as an ingredient is really fun, and I love getting people to think outside the box of how coffee is utilized, BUT for me personally, getting coffee from green to roasted is the coolest thing I can make with coffee. I love getting samples and roasting them!
The LAB: Thoughts on the new format for this year's Barista Competition?
Kate: It’s going to be quite a change, but I’m excited to see how it unfolds. There have been a lot of changes since my first competition in 2001! I am happy that the regional qualifier is going to happen - I know a lot of people worked very hard to get it re-instated. I can’t wait to see it all come to my town - KC!
The LAB: Current downtime hobby/activity?
Kate: Cooking cool stuff and seeing bands.
The LAB: What's your least favorite part of the job?
Kate: Mobile. Espresso. Cart.
The LAB: Top 3 favorite music artists of the moment?
Kate: Craig Finn, Big Star, and Freakwater were the last 3 artists I listened to.
The LAB: If your life was a movie, what would it be called?
Kate: “Herding Cats and Smelling Stuff”
The LAB: That last one had us actually laughing out loud. Thanks so much Kate, can't wait to see you behind the bar soon!