Portafiler of the La Marzocco Espresso Machine  One of my favourite pictures is taken by Hockie, a fellow barista that I was working part-time with Starbucks in Singapore way back in 2002. It is a black-and-white shot of the portafilter of the La Marzocco Espresso machine and I think it captures the abstract beauty of espresso making. This machine is where I learned to make all the various espresso-based  drinks(eg lattes, cappuccinos, etc) and  the task I enjoy doing the most: making dense foamy milk.

I guess I was one of those who followed the ‘proper’ way by graduating from university and based on what I have studied, went to work in IT and subsequently consulting .  Heck, I even started my own consulting firm with my mate Yen Pin after we left McKinsey. While I enjoy running our own business, I know working in an office was not exactly my cup of coffee(pun intended :-) ).   Anyway I was sitting outside a Starbucks,  having another random-thoughts day trying to figure out what I enjoy doing, when I realized that I enjoy interacting with people on an informal setting, taking in the smell of coffee,  and having a place called my own. Wanting to test out this sudden thought, I went inside and applied for a part-time barista position.

I did that for 15 months in Singapore and started again at Starbucks Canada from Jan 2008. Not only did I validate my passion through my stints at Starbucks but it has also further my interest and education in coffee and also the tremendous difficulty in running a successful cafe. It is a tough business: stiff competition(ironically from players like Starbucks and Timmies), tight cost margins for success, physical requirements,occasionally irate customers, etc. But more importantly, I also realize is that when I am at Starbucks, I am no longer treating it as a job and I really enjoy what I do. I guess that is what passion is all about – it is not about money or the easy way, but the courage to do something that I love to do.

anyone with me on this? :-)

Memories from SB(Singapore) – celebrating my 31st birthday

Celebrating 31st birthday with Sching at SB

With Sching - funny to see pic with no Kay nowadays

SB's regular customers

SB's regular customers

With Assistant Store Manager, Jialin

With Assistant Store Manager, Jialin

Posted on
Tuesday, July 21st, 2009
Filed under:
Random Thoughts.

5 Comments to “Passion”

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Follow your heart and dreams…all the best!

September 12th, 2009
Lai Ling

All the best to your new venture! We are with you all the way!

September 12th, 2009
Lai Hong

Hey I remembered SB!! And you working there … It’s really about the passion … go for it!

August 20th, 2009

Dude! This is the best!

August 1st, 2009
Your Name (Required)Mike

Go Cheeyuan GO!!!!!

July 23rd, 2009