Monday, March 1, 2010

Best Tasting (fill blank) = Best Job Ever

I am doing some mid-morning reading online; this begins with my usual gossip sites: Perez, Pink is the new, Pop-Sugar, etc. followed by my recipe perusing. I usually like the content of Yahoo's Shine, but am often annoyed with typos and mistakes (for example the picture in the link below... is sideways-- no big deal)-- not to say my blog is always perfect. This morning there was a "Best-tasting coffee to buy in stores" article with a list of other "best-tasting..." articles at the bottom.

This got me thinking that I really must re-think my career path. Who ARE these tasters and how did they get there-- WHAT are the qualifications!? I don't think that I am alone in this thought, so I did a little research, and like most things in life, it's not as easy as it sounds. Godiva Chocolate hires employees that have attended the "Chocolate School" in Montreal-- yes "Chocolate School". This is followed by intensive training at the Godiva factory. The taste is not just discovered with the bite. There is an aesthetic examination, sniffing, followed by a very conscious bite where a flavor's layers unfold. The taster must note each flavor, its strength, tone, etc. These tasters must be able to detect even the smallest deviation of flavor. Hmmm almost sounds stressful, then remember again its chocolate for God's sake! These tasters make $30-$60k on average with some senior level execs making six figures.

Coffee tasters usually begin their career by interning for a professional "coffee cupper". Cupping-- a coffee tasting ritual--is where six to ten small cups of coffee are presented for a tasting. The coffee must be prepared in a very ritualistic manner in order for the tasting experience to be perfect. Internships with a cupper can last up to four years-- more time than it takes to complete a masters or law school. A degree in food science is also helpful to get you in the door

So it may not be all rainbows and smiley faces, but still sounds better than a life in a cubicle with a deli sand which from down the block.