“Over-the-Top” Tuesday!

July 2, 2013 — Leave a comment

Can you think of a time when a person or organization demonstrated “over the top” attention to detail? I hope you can; in fact I hope you can think of several events. You ought to maintain examples of excellence in a file in your mind in HD clarity so that the story lives on and continues to inspire and motivate you in the future.

It matters little if the example of excellence comes from anything remotely comparable to your field of interest, vocation, or study.

“What is he doing with that high-pressure air gun?”

John A. Martinez (1988)

The barista answered me over the clinking noise of the demitasse cups he carefully stacked on a shelf behind the bar. “He’s making certain every particle from the last batch in the roaster is removed before running another batch this afternoon. We pay attention to every detail in our roasting process.”

An air hose, he was blowing tiny particles, with an air hose. Brushing would not be sufficient, they cleaned to the molecular level. I consider that over-the-top attention to detail. Don’t you?

The year was 1994 (I believe). My wife and I traveled to Italy on vacation the previous summer, and I returned a coffee geek. OK, I returned a coffee snob. A book I read referred to a world-class roasting company in Atlanta, where I lived, and it just turned out to be mid-way between home and work. It assumed the form of an unavoidable obstacle on the way between home and work, as no commute seemed complete without pulling up to the “emporium” of coffee on Peachtree Road. In this bean-wonderland roasting occurred on-site.

I witnessed the roasting process several times. Even when the equipment sat idle, it stood there as a shining testament to the craftsmen and detail applied to every batch.

The coffee tasted excellent every time. There are nuances of flavor in their coffee nowhere to be found in franchised coffee shop coffee. Let’s call it the flavor of “over-the-top” awareness to detail.

The shop is no longer on Peachtree. The company moved and expanded to meet the needs of the hotels, restaurants, and mail-order customers. But the mental image of the roasting and preparation between batches lingers in my mind as an example of attention to detail.

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