You need a 'virgin tongue' to excel as a coffee taster- coffee coach

By - Jun 7th 2023

Landing a white-collar job nowadays is not a walk in the park unless one is highly connected to the government or private sector. But one can hire out his tongue and make money without breaking a sweat. This is according to Wesley Yeaman, a youthful entrepreneur and coffee coach in Nairobi.

Yeaman, who has experience of 14 years, is the brainchild being the Arobisca Centre. He is among the first few international coffee coaches.

The founder of Arobisca Training Centre Wesley Yeamen says he is the only international coffee trainer in the country. [Photo: Collins Kweyu]

His love for coffee saw him quit a well-paying information technology job. The centre within Nairobi’s central business district is not only Yeaman’s business venture. He also trains coffee enthusiasts.

“Hiring out your tongue means someone is paid to taste coffee for high-end customers and advise them on quality,” Yeaman explained.

He says coffee skills fall under roasting, brewing, barista, sensory and green coffee. But for one to be a qualified taster, they must grasp sensory skills which involve keeping the tongue virgin.

“One must, however, have a pure tongue, someone who doesn’t take alcohol or any food spices at all,” he added. 

This way, the expert explained, it will make the tongue pick good quality thus making such individuals the most wanted by investors looking for someone to help them buy quality coffee. If one’s tongue is virgin, Yeaman says they are paid Sh250,000 for a session to taste coffee in European countries.

“Tasting involves collecting opinions from different people then as an expert you combine and come up with feedback since you are the expert who has the final word,” he explained.

It also includes finding out the best coffee shop or food restaurant that serves the best coffee.  “Nowadays people don’t want to sit for four years in university and come out without skills that can make money” he said. The barista course takes about five weeks and it costs about Sh40,000 to Sh50,000 to be trained.

A professional barista covers areas like the introduction to coffee, hygiene standards, customer service, coffee roasting and sensory, beverages and menu, management and stock control finances among others.

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