Recent newssh of Luke's departure from Vancouver is quite the devastation to the coffee community in Gastown. The cuppings and beautiful space are truly a huge loss. On the bright side, you can always visit Calgary!
Last year I featured women in the world who were killin it at their craft. There was some much needed love for women in coffee. The best way to celebrate women and their social, economical and political achievements is to highlight an industry that touches all of those in a profound way from beginning to end. Specialty coffee has progressed the transparency and challenged many of the practices in the coffee industry in the last 20 years and continues to do so. So I'm delighted to have the privilege to highlight a few people in our community.
Nadia Henderson is one of the shining faces behind the bar at Luke's Vancouver. She has a wealth of coffee experience and lead the community cuppings on Sunday. Training and excelling at coffee is her passion; here's her Q&A, let's celebrate her!
Do you remember your first coffee?
I had my first coffee at around 15 years old. Like most kids, I started drinking coffee out of my dad's cup. Coffee has always been a big culture for my parents; they often still have coffee dates after work. My dad's school of thought is that black is the only acceptable way to drink it and I adopted that at a young age.
How long have you been working in coffee? Can you share an experience or mentor that you've learned from?
I have worked in coffee since 2005, though the last three years have solidified it as a career for me. In this time, I have had the opportunity to learn from many different coffee experts. No one has inspired me the way that Laura Cummings has; she is the educator from Lukes Vancouver. Laura knows literally everything there is to know about coffee and the science behind the bean.
Who is a person you really admire on this Women’s day, why?
The woman I admire the most on National Women's day is my mother. She is an incredible leader who has always empowered me to live my life with freedom and passion in whatever field I choose. She models courage and strength with humility that has basically shaped my entire life.
I think coffee can be really be creative, what are some inspirations that you draw from?
There are so many impressive baristas out there and social media has brought our community so much closer together. On my way to work I usually scroll through Instagram and practice different techniques that other coffee geniuses are trying out. Their creativity Spurs me on to pursue new levels in every aspect of what I am creating.
What keeps you in coffee?
Great coffee people are on a constant quest for excellence in every cup of coffee they serve. The drive for me in this industry is education. It is well known within the coffee community that the more you know, the less you know. Once I pushed the limits of what I was capable of and began to pick apart the science of coffee I knew that I would never be the same. I knew that I would be working in coffee for life.
Lukes sells a selection of interesting books and magazines, what’s your favourite publication or periodical?
As far as coffee publications go, I'm a big fan of sprudge and the quirky editorials of 4 barrel
What’s the thing that makes Vancouver community unique for you?
When I first moved to Vancouver it felt like the Hollywood for coffee and I couldn't wait to be involved. The excitement has never faded for me, Vancouver's coffee industry is unique because there are honestly so many incredibly talented baristas, educators and roasters killing-it and loving the city they live in! There is so much electricity in the air as we exist and collaborate on our dreams!
Thanks for sharing, Nadia! We are sending you love and appreciate what you're doing in the community.
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