Clark Williams

First of all, happy star wars day !! 

and second of all welcome to my new series !! 

Over the past month I have been interviewing really fun people in the coffee industry, and we are starting with Clark - or as most people know him Clark The Barista

Clark and I met up for a coffee in Coffee Lab (incidentally where he works, and I used to work) and then went for a cheeky Wagamama's afterwards, yum.

so here's to the first interview 

q1 - what is your job title in the coffee industry?

- store manager and barista in Coffee Lab UK

q2 - how did you start off in the coffee industry? 

- Mums black instant coffee at 8 years old
I left college a year later than everyone else and decided not to go to uni, I was doing an IT apprenticeship but i applied for every job that was available, i applied for a shop called muffin break, and heard nothing back, but essentially kept applying until they agreed to have an interview with me.
I had a phone interview as well as a face to face interview, and got the job. With basic training, i fell in love with coffee.
6 months later the shop closed down and i was made redundant at the age of 19.
I got a job at Costa, starting as a barista, making my way up to assistant manager, and stayed in the company for 3 and a half years.
I used to kid myself that i was in the "speciality coffee world" for a while,  until i took a trip to Edinburgh, and took a tour of the coffee shops, I resigned from Costa soon after getting back. 
I started working at a coffee shop in Reading called Workhouse, and was there for a year.
Then an opening at Coffee Lab opened up, and i took the position of barista, and after moving to Winchester in November, i was made manager of little lab.

q3 - how long have you been in the coffee industry

- Coming up to 6 years

q4 - what is your speciality in the coffee industry 

- black filter / pourovers, i like how it tastes more than espresso
i like finding new recipes to brew and enjoy finding new coffees to try to determine the flavour notes and flavours.

q5 - what has been your most memorable or favourite coffee

- I had my first flat white at Southsea Coffee
I had my first espresso at Workout which was a natural Kenyan with black cherry notes
The coffee that disappointed me the most was Jamaican Blue Coffee

q6 - most proudest moment for you during your time in the coffee industry?

- My cupping session I ran and my promotion to manager
Mini victories everyday, dialling in the coffee in the mornings, 
teaching my girlfriend Becca all about speciality coffee

q7 - what are your goals for working in the coffee industry? 

- i don't have a plan, i just float politely from crisis to crisis
i don't want to be in cafes forever, #coffee for life, but i'd like to eventually go into operations 

q8 - what is your favourite thing about the coffee industry? 

- i just like making coffee
i enjoy when other people like the coffee i make, and the customer connection
part of the reason i started my blog was to use my true voice and show our side of bullshit customers

q9 - do you have an advise to anyone starting off in the coffee industry?

- use your common sense
listen to colleagues and their constructive criticism
learn everything you can - even when not at work
question everything
when someone tells you it tastes good - taste it and work it out for yourself

anything else you want to say for the post?

"i'm very handsome and funny" 

"why settle for mediocrity - if a coffee is just "ok" its not good enough"

Find Clark here:

to finish off, here's a real cute selfie of Clark and I from last year.

If you want to help me keep doing what I do, you can donate me a "coffee" here

The Coffee Life
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