Coffee & Your Mental Health - James Hoffmann | Diary of a CEO

diary of a ceo coffee

Key Takeaways:

  • Introduction to Coffee: The podcast features a conversation with Julian Metcalfe, exploring the world of coffee, including its addiction and health benefits.
  • Coffee and Business: Discussion on the relationship between coffee and business, including the challenges and rewards of starting and running a coffee-related business.
  • Coffee Chains vs. Small Businesses: Comparison of the reliability of coffee chains with the quality and care in small coffee businesses.
  • Sponsorship: The episode is sponsored by LinkedIn Jobs and Shopify, offering services to support small businesses.
  • Speaker’s Businesses: The speaker has started numerous businesses, including a Coffee Roasting Company, distribution companies, a coffee shop, training businesses, and equipment ventures.
  • Topics About Coffee: Deep interest in coffee, especially in choosing machines, with discussions about budget, coffee experience, and individual needs.
  • Coffee Machine Choices: Differences between espresso machines and Americano or filter coffee machines, including price ranges and user experience.
  • Quality of Coffee: Emphasis on the quality of coffee and how it’s more than just a beverage, including its cultural and personal significance.
  • Coffee Journey: The speaker’s interest in going on a personal journey of coffee discovery, suggesting the idea of doing a coffee tasting.
  • Guest’s Question: The final guest discusses his written works on coffee, including books about the world of coffee and making great coffee at home.
  • Podcast Sponsor Hu: Mention of Hu, a company that released a nutritionally complete snack bar, sponsored by the podcast and invested in by the host.
  • Recommendations and Links: The episode concludes with recommendations for other episodes and links provided in the description.


In this captivating podcast episode, James engages in an enlightening conversation with Julian Metcalfe, the founder of Pret and Itsu, as they delve into the fascinating world of coffee. From exploring the reasons behind our addiction to coffee to uncovering the surprising health benefits it offers, they leave no stone unturned. Join them as they discuss topics ranging from becoming a world-renowned barista champion to blind tasting different coffees, and even explore the history and future of coffee. Prepare to be captivated by this engaging dialogue that will leave you craving your next cup of joe.

Key Insights:

0:00:00 – Intro:

The former World Barista Champion, James Hoffman, who is one of the most famous people in the world for Coffee News and boasts nearly 2 million YouTube subscribers, shared insights on coffee. He suggested that London houses some of the finest coffee shops globally and advised against purchasing an espresso machine for home use, likening coffee pods to microwave meals. He emphasized that coffee begins to decay quickly once its bag is opened. Hoffman also highlighted the importance of investing in coffee grinders over machines, stating they are more vital to the coffee-making process. When asked about his favorite cup of coffee, he admitted to being addicted to it, calling it the world’s most popular psychoactive drug. However, he noted that scientific research points to coffee’s health benefits. It is a great source of fiber and can improve cognitive performance. Studies also suggest that coffee drinkers tend to live longer. Despite its benefits, he expressed concerns about coffee’s future. The host then pointed out a statistic from their YouTube channel analytics – 69.9% of frequent viewers have not subscribed. The host requested viewers to subscribe as it would help enhance the production quality and scale up guest appearances on the show. The host promised in return to continually improve the show’s content.

0:02:11 – Why Coffee?:

James has devoted a significant part of his life to coffee due to the intense pleasure it brings him, similar to how some people fall in love with wine. He views coffee as a global phenomenon rather than a niche interest. Coffee encompasses various aspects like botany, science, and health, offering endless learning opportunities. He enjoys surprising people with the potential of coffee, given that many individuals typically have low expectations of it. While many perceive coffee as just an addictive drink, James sees it as more artistic and expansive. The idea of grinding up seeds from a tropical fruit plant and steeping them in water to create a drink fascinates him. This practice has been normalized for over a century and is an integral part of everyday life for many people. In the last two decades, there has been a surge in specialty coffee, highlighting its uniqueness beyond being a commoditized product. This shift has altered consumption patterns worldwide.

0:03:55 – Are We addicted To Coffee?:

People’s perceptions and expectations of coffee have significantly changed across various countries. The speaker, who identified as a low-level consumer of coffee, initially avoided the beverage due to the perceived societal addiction and the belief that its significant benefits must be counterbalanced by an equally significant downside. The speaker observed that coffee consumption tends to increase focus and energy levels, but the potential negative effects remained unclear. Coffee is identified as the world’s most popular psychoactive drug and is deeply embedded in society. However, using the term ‘addiction’ might not be entirely accurate. While there might be a level of dependency associated with caffeine consumption, evidenced by symptoms such as headaches experienced within 24 to 48 hours of cessation, it’s possible to abstain from coffee for years without feeling an urge to consume it again. The speaker, despite being a regular coffee consumer due to professional obligations, has never abstained from it for an extended period. However, they have occasionally gone without it for a week or two due to illness. They’ve also adjusted their attitude towards caffeine over time, expressing caution due to its potential health implications. Despite advocating for coffee consumption and enjoyment, they are wary about promoting excessive caffeine intake.

0:05:56 – The Only Reason We Should Stop Drinking Coffee:

Sleep quality is paramount for various outcomes, such as body composition, longevity, and cognition. However, it is often disrupted by excessive caffeine consumption. The cycle of drinking coffee to combat fatigue from poor sleep can be detrimental. Hence, it’s advisable to cut off caffeine early in the day if it negatively affects one’s sleep. The use of modern technology allows for sleep tracking, which can help identify if late coffee consumption is causing poor sleep. The half-life of caffeine is approximately five hours, meaning a substantial amount could still be present in the system 10 hours after consumption, potentially delaying sleep onset or reducing sleep quality. Interestingly, some people find consuming espresso after dinner calming and report no issues with their sleep. However, the idea that coffee aids digestion isn’t strongly supported by evidence. There are also genetic differences that influence how quickly individuals metabolize caffeine. The preparation method of coffee can significantly impact the amount of caffeine in the final cup, creating a variance in caffeine content from coffee shops. This means that we often don’t know the exact quantity of this popular drug we’re consuming. Therefore, mindful consumption is encouraged – being aware and thoughtful about intake while still enjoying coffee. The aim is to maximize the benefits and minimize the drawbacks of consuming this widely used stimulant.

0:08:39 – Do We Get Immune To Coffee The More We Drink?:

Coffee consumption can lead to a form of tolerance, but it does not escalate like drug tolerance. The cognitive benefits of caffeine seem to diminish with habitual use, and increasing the intake doesn’t change this. The first cup of coffee typically helps remove withdrawal symptoms and brings individuals back to a normal level of alertness. To achieve maximum benefits from caffeine, whether for cognition or sports performance, it is suggested to have a period without coffee beforehand. However, this doesn’t mean that individuals need to consume six, eight or ten cups of coffee to feel its effects. Overconsumption may simply lead to feeling strange. There is a societal norm where many people consume three or four cups of coffee daily, sometimes more, and some even drink it all day at work and on their way home. This high level of consumption is viewed as extreme and potentially detrimental. Some people claim they can’t function without their morning coffee, which raises concerns about dependency. However, if coffee consumption isn’t causing sleep issues then it might not be a problem. Although not a scientist or researcher themselves, the speaker notes that most scientific studies suggest coffee has positive health impacts across various measures. Despite this, they caution there may be unforeseen costs associated with habitual use and encourage moderation in order to experience the greatest benefits from caffeine consumption.

0:11:02 – The Surprising Health Benefits Of Coffee:

Caffeine is only one part of why coffee might be beneficial to health. Coffee contains a surprising amount of fiber and a substantial quantity of polyphenols, which are beneficial for the gut microbiome. The importance of the gut microbiome is increasingly recognized for its impact on various aspects of health. Research has shown positive associations between coffee consumption and longevity, cognitive decline, liver function, and cancer. However, if coffee consumption interferes with sleep, its benefits may not outweigh the loss in sleep quality. To avoid the impact of coffee on sleep, it is suggested not to drink coffee after 1 p.m., or consider switching to decaf. Despite negative perceptions about decaf due to its lack of caffeine, it can still provide a delicious hot drink with less downside for those concerned about caffeine. Tim Spectre’s recent shift towards seeing coffee as beneficial for the gut microbiome was highlighted. He counts it as one of his 30 fruits and vegetables per week. Studies seem to show that coffee can extend life by reducing all-cause mortality – people are less likely to die early. However, this doesn’t mean drinking a large amount of coffee. In research terms, a cup of coffee is 120ml, so three cups would equate to around 360-400ml total per day. The health benefits of coffee may be due to it being a great source of fiber and polyphenols, making it similar to consuming another vegetable and adding diversity to the diet. For some people in the U.S., cups of filter coffee have been found to be their primary source of dietary fiber. Regarding mental health, if someone suffers with anxiety or depression, testing whether cutting out caffeine helps could be beneficial. Some studies have found different results for caffeine consumption in relation to these conditions. Most meta-studies now indicate a lower incidence associated with almost every cancer type and coffee consumption. However, this isn’t universal and these studies are challenging to conduct effectively. The relationship between coffee consumption and Alzheimer’s disease has also been studied, with findings showing an association with reduced cognitive decline and reduced incidence of Alzheimer’s for those drinking up to about three cups of coffee a day. Despite these potential benefits, it’s important to note that caffeine can have negative impacts on certain individuals, particularly those with anxiety or sleep issues. This has led to a growing interest in decaf coffee, which provides the taste without the caffeine. However, decaf consumers are typically poorly served by the coffee industry. In conclusion, while coffee and particularly its caffeine content can have negative effects for some individuals, it also contains beneficial components such as fiber and polyphenols. As such, moderate consumption could offer health benefits for many people.

0:22:39 – How Caffeine Actually Works:

Coffee was initially believed to provide energy, but Dr. Daniel Arman clarified that caffeine doesn’t give energy but blocks a compound called adenosine from working in the blood. Adenosine calms you down, lowers heart rates, and makes one feel tired and sleepy. Caffeine obstructs this receptor, preventing it from working. Consequently, people consuming coffee experience an accumulation of adenosine as their bodies try to calm them down, which results in a crash when the caffeine is cleared from their system. Many people are now advised to delay caffeine consumption until later in the day to mitigate this effect and clear out everything in the bloodstream before inhibiting adenosine reception. This delay may help prevent crashes and jitters associated with caffeine-based products. Some products include alanine, which seems to have a synergistic effect and helps people feel calmer while maintaining the benefits of caffeine. The amount of caffeine varies across different products. An acceptable dose might be 100 milligrams of caffeine found in a single espresso or a small cup of filter coffee. Pre-workout supplements often contain 300 milligrams of caffeine, while Coca-Cola has around 50-60 milligrams of caffeine per can or bottle. Lower quality coffee tends to have more caffeine if brewed as very strong filter coffee. High doses of caffeine can have significant consequences like crashes due to its longer clearance time from the system. The lethal dose of caffeine is pretty high, with few unfortunate incidences reported. In most cases, toxicity resulted from consuming pills or other forms of concentrated caffeine rather than just cups of coffee. Interestingly, coffee was originally consumed as a snack. Coffee fruit grows on trees about two meters tall full of ripe red cherry-looking things called coffee cherries. The fruit contains two seeds that take up most of it, making it less satisfying to eat but delicious with a tangy watermelon taste. The plant produces caffeine primarily as an insect repellent, with higher grown coffee having fewer insects and lower levels of caffeine.

0:27:04 – Becoming The World’s Number 1 Barista Champion:

At around 25 years old, the speaker became a competitive coffee barista. By age 27, they had earned the title of World Barista Champion. They initially got into coffee at age 23, despite not previously enjoying or drinking it. Their interest was piqued by a book titled “The Devil’s Cup”, which is a piece of travel writing tracing the journey of coffee from Ethiopia to Yemen, through Turkey and the Mediterranean, and how it spread globally. The book highlighted how coffee has become part of every culture but manifests differently in each one. For example, Italian espresso culture differs greatly from Scandinavian Coffee Culture, Australian Coffee Culture, and the coffee culture in the US. This cultural diversity sparked a fascination with coffee that led to a deeper exploration of the drink. In 2007, they won the World Barista Championships, making them a former World Barista Champion.

0:28:16 – The Biggest Misconceptions About Coffee:

The first major misconception about coffee is the belief that it is simply a bitter, painful experience endured to gain caffeine. However, this is changing as more people understand that coffee has an astonishing range of flavors. Compared to 20 or 40 years ago, when coffee was perceived as brown, mean, and miserable, today’s coffee can have fruity, floral, earthy, rich, chocolatey flavors and more. There is a vast diversity in the world of coffee and people can find something they enjoy more if they explore these different options. Another important point is that coffee is made three times in a sense. The first stage occurs at the farm level where the quality of raw coffee or the fruit is determined by how carefully it’s grown and harvested. This is similar to how wine production begins with grape growers. The second stage involves roasting the coffee which transforms it from a green plant-smelling thing into one of the most aromatic items in the world. Finally, the third stage is brewing the coffee which also has potential to affect its quality. At each of these stages, there’s potential for quality loss if not done correctly. Many people didn’t view coffee making as a complex skill but while it shouldn’t be complex, it’s easy to get wrong. It’s possible to be disappointed by a self-made coffee without understanding why. Therefore, it’s important to know and understand the most critical aspects of this process to get them right. Lastly, there seems to be confusion or overwhelm among consumers due to the variance in price and choice of coffees available on the market. It can be difficult for consumers to differentiate between what’s marketing and what’s quality when deciding on their purchase.

0:31:10 – Blind Tasting Different Coffees:

Five different coffee samples were tasted and compared from various suppliers. The first impression of the coffees was based on their smell, which can indicate how darkly the coffee has been roasted. Darker roasts used to be associated with superior coffee due to the oilier beans, but now lighter roasts are considered better because they preserve more of the raw materials’ inherent qualities. The five samples were all relatively dark roasts, giving off heavy, slightly burnt, and harsh smells without any distinct fruity or floral notes. The sense of smell works well on change, which is why perfume shops often present customers with coffee beans to ‘reset’ their nasal senses. This concept also explains why people might wear too much of the same perfume over time: they become desensitized to the scent even though others can still perceive it strongly. This phenomenon is called suppression. An interesting trick to understand the aroma profile of a complex scent like Coca-Cola is to smell a component part (like lime or cinnamon), then smell the Coca-Cola again. The overall balance will seem off because that particular component has been temporarily suppressed. In a blind tasting experiment, brand visibility can significantly impact people’s perceptions of taste. For instance, studies have shown that people rate Pepsi as tasting better unless it’s in a Coke can. The first coffee sample was high in bitterness and didn’t have much complexity, suggesting it wasn’t made from high-quality raw materials or was not well-prepared. It tasted like vending machine coffee and was rated 2 out of 10. The second sample had more acidity and a slightly sour taste, which is generally linked to quality in coffee. It tasted like it was made from better raw materials and had a fruitiness that suggested some personality. It was rated 6 out of 10. The third sample tasted more like the first one: darker roast, fuller body, but also earthy – a flavor not enjoyed by everyone. It was assumed to be a commercial-grade coffee, similar in price to the first sample, and was rated 4 out of 10. The fourth sample was the darkest roast of all and had a full, bitter taste. The last sample had a vegetal taste and was not as darkly roasted as the fourth one. It tasted less pleasant than the fourth sample and received a rating of 4 out of 10. The samples were revealed to be from McDonald’s (first), an independent local coffee shop (second), Costa Coffee (third), Pret (fourth), and Starbucks (fifth). The independent local coffee shop’s coffee stood out for its superior flavor and character, while the high-street chains’ offerings were surprisingly similar. The price variance among the chains was also minimal, with the independent shop’s coffee being slightly more expensive. Independent coffee shops are often perceived as risky because they lack the familiarity and predictability of chains. However, they can provide a better product made by someone who cares deeply about it. They are also becoming more common and better than ever before. LinkedIn Jobs and Shopify are sponsors of this podcast. LinkedIn Jobs helps small businesses find passionate, dedicated professionals by making the hiring process smooth and efficient. Shopify is a commerce platform that makes starting a business simple, even assisting with crafting job descriptions using AI. Both offer special deals for listeners of this podcast.

0:43:43 – Your Businesses:

The speaker has started numerous businesses, around 11 or 12, with the first one being a Coffee Roasting Company in 2008 following their victory at the world roast championships. This coffee business remains their primary venture today, although they are not directly involved in its daily operations. Over the years, they have also established distribution companies, a coffee shop, training or education businesses, and equipment ventures that include commercial espresso machines. Additionally, they launched a coffee recruitment business which was later sold. Other ventures include starting a magazine and unexpectedly turning their YouTube activities into another business venture.

0:44:46 – What Are The Topics About Coffee People Care Most About:

People show a broad and deep interest in coffee, particularly in the choice of machines. This interest often encompasses questions about budget, desired coffee experience, and individual needs. For instance, espresso machines are popular, but they require a certain level of commitment as a hobby due to their complexity. However, they can be frustrating for casual users who simply want a quick morning caffeine fix. Americano or filter coffee machines are perceived as simpler alternatives with several options available. A high-quality setup for these machines could range from 500 to 15,000 depending on the quality and brand. However, the investment in an espresso machine is considered worthwhile only if the user views home brewing as a hobby rather than just a means to get caffeinated. Coffee grinders are also critical components of a good coffee setup. They contribute significantly to the quality of coffee produced. For instance, grinders that cut coffee into uniform sizes yield better results compared to those that produce uneven sizes. As such, investing in a good coffee grinder is advised over spending on an expensive machine. Coffee grinders currently cost between 100 and 200b but prices are decreasing. In terms of convenience and automation in coffee brewing, super-automatic machines that brew coffee at the push of a button are improving but still face technical challenges. They are unable to match the quality of manually brewed coffee. The YouTube journey revealed that people’s interests in coffee extend beyond equipment and techniques. There’s an emphasis on building trust with viewers so they can explore more avenues of coffee appreciation. The ultimate goal is to increase people’s enjoyment and value perception of coffee so they might be willing to spend more on it. However, the future of coffee is threatened by climate change as it requires cooler temperatures to grow. As global temperatures rise, there will be fewer areas suitable for growing specialty coffee. This predicament could potentially affect millions of people whose livelihoods depend on coffee production. Therefore, consumers might need to be comfortable spending more on coffee in the future to sustain its production. The use of coffee pods is also a topic of interest. Many people are opting for coffee pod machines, but their impact on coffee quality was not discussed in this portion of the podcast.

0:53:14 – Coffee Pods:

Coffee Pods are gaining popularity due to their convenience. The best analogy for them is likening them to microwave meals; they are super convenient but often overlook quality, and there is a significant amount of waste associated with them. One could probably achieve better outcomes with a bit more effort, and it would cost less. There are some variations in coffee pods, with small espresso-style capsules being particularly popular. However, there is criticism over their lack of recyclability and the waste they produce. They are also relatively expensive, as one is essentially paying for the convenience. In terms of price per kilo, one could afford some of the world’s best coffees for what they spend on capsules. These pods contain just five grams of coffee, but their convenience has led to their success. While convenience is enticing, it often comes at the cost of quality and value. The potential for higher quality increases once one moves beyond these pods. Despite these drawbacks, coffee pods have succeeded in filling a market niche for those who want something similar to espresso without the effort of making it themselves.

0:54:50 – The History Of Coffee:

Every culture drinks coffee, despite attempts to ban it in the past, owing to its perceived seditious nature. King James I of the United Kingdom once tried to prohibit it, but the ban didn’t last long as people tend to get grumpy if deprived of coffee. The pope was also requested to ban it, but he refused, stating that coffee is great. Historically, coffee has often been associated with politics. London, in the late 1600s, became the greatest coffee-drinking city globally as coffee replaced weak beer – a safe, high calorie, high B vitamin drink that had people slightly intoxicated most of the time. Coffee was a safe alternative that stimulated rather than sedated consumers and thus transformed London society. Coffee houses started popping up everywhere in London. In the early 1700s, there were reportedly 2,000 coffee shops within a square mile – an exaggerated number, but there were several hundred indeed. These coffee houses diversified and specialized in various fields like politics and literature. Lloyds of London insurance broker began as a coffee shop where business was conducted at tables; these tables eventually became offices. These establishments were known as Penny universities as one could gain an education equivalent to a university degree by paying a penny and listening to people converse. However, with the shift in colonial interest towards tea in the 1700s and 1800s, these coffee houses went into decline. When coffee was introduced to the Western world, it led to a significant cultural shift and productivity boom as people weren’t drunk all the time anymore. The first coffee shop appeared in London around 1652 near Bank Tube Station. It quickly became a part of industry culture and politics and essentially supercharged the nation. Finally, while tea does contain caffeine, it is nowhere near the quantities found in coffee. The amount of caffeine intake from tea would depend on factors such as how many cups are consumed daily and how the tea is steeped.

0:58:13 – Your Favourite Coffee Drink:

The speaker, who has been drinking coffee for over 20 years, prefers filter coffee, which is brewed either in a filter coffee machine or by hand. This variety of coffee offers the same strength as an Americano but is not as intense. The speaker appreciates black coffee because it allows them to savour the complex and evolving flavours over 10-15 minutes. While they enjoy espressos occasionally, they value the extended time and experience that consuming a cup of black coffee offers. They enjoy coffees from all around the world, but if they had to choose one source for life, it would be Columbia. The country offers a vast spread of flavours and some remarkable coffees. Coffee can be grown in any country located within the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, above certain altitudes. There is great coffee in all these places, along with cheap low-quality versions. The speaker does not use sugar or milk in their coffee because they believe it masks the flavours. They understand why others might add these ingredients – milk inhibits bitterness and we generally like sweet things. However, studies suggest that black coffee is healthier than versions with added cream and sugar. The speaker also stresses that coffee is a fresh food product and does not last forever on the shelf. Once ground into powder, chemical reactions begin that can’t be undone. Oxidation transforms fats into rancidity over time, and many of the aromas locked inside the bean get lost. People will notice a significant taste difference a day after grinding their coffee beans. Pre-ground coffee offers high convenience but sacrifices freshness and full flavour potential. If bought in supermarkets, ground coffee will degrade quickly once opened despite gas flushing packaging efforts. While owning a grinder may involve additional cost and space, it enhances the value derived from buying whole bean coffee as it tastes significantly better when freshly ground. Finally, the speaker did not provide any insights into the future of coffee.

1:03:22 – The Future Of Coffee:

The love for coffee has deepened in recent years, particularly during the pandemic. The inability to visit coffee shops due to pandemic restrictions caused a surge in at-home coffee equipment purchases worldwide, highlighting the global commitment to maintaining coffee consumption. It was observed that people were unwilling to abandon their coffee habits even if prices increased. This trend was consistent across various markets and countries. The promise of specialty coffee, which offers a more expensive but tastier experience, has been validated by consumers. From an industry perspective, this bodes well for the longevity of coffee consumption. However, challenges persist, notably the future of coffee production. Climate change is making it increasingly difficult to grow high-quality coffee beans due to changing rainfall patterns and other environmental shifts. This could potentially increase the price of high-quality coffee in the future. The focus on caffeine content is expected to rise and could potentially decrease overall consumption levels. This shift may encourage people to spend more on fewer but higher quality cups of coffee per day rather than consuming multiple average ones merely for the caffeine boost. The idea is to transform coffee from a mindless, cheap commodity into a moment of pleasure and delight. This shift towards quality over quantity is seen as beneficial since it can enhance the overall enjoyment of the beverage.

1:06:09 – What Coffee Should We Buy:

Logos on coffee shops can be confusing, prompting questions such as where to buy coffee from. Independent shops or chains? London boasts some of the best independent coffee shops globally, a trend seen in most major cities. Incredible coffee is readily available if one knows where to look. This information can typically be found online by searching for the best specialty coffee in a given city. Although it might be slightly more expensive, independent coffee shops offer a better coffee experience. Independent businesses offer an opportunity to see someone else’s aesthetic, vibe, and expression. They provide an opportunity for discovery and exploration of different and new experiences. Many bands touring the world become obsessed with coffee as it provides a great way to explore a city and find new neighborhoods. Coffee shops also act as networking hubs where one can get recommendations for the best bars and restaurants. If put in a random city, finding a good coffee shop would be the first step. The best bakeries or places to eat could then be discovered by asking people working at the shop. If forced to choose from chain stores, Starbucks would likely be the choice as they offer filter coffee distinct from an Americano. A specific request could be made for them to brew a particular type of coffee. Upon walking into Starbucks, one could look at the tanks of prepped filter coffee with timers counting down how old they are since filter coffee’s taste deteriorates over time. The aim would be to get a small cup of the freshest brewed filter coffee available. Preference would be given to a darker roast that’s fresh over a lighter roast that’s been sitting around for some hours. It is possible to request Starbucks staff to make a French press, although this is an off-menu option not always granted.

1:09:52 – What’s Your Sleep Like:

The individual values sleep greatly and actively works on improving the quality of it, viewing it as important for both their current and future self. They acknowledge that their perspective has changed over time, with their future self becoming more of a priority now that they are in their 40s as compared to their 20s. The person is described as passionate rather than obsessive, with a multitude of business ideas that exceed the hours available in a day. However, this passion comes with a cost. When asked about what they do for fun, the individual struggles to answer as most of their time is consumed by work, coffee-related activities, and sleep. Their personal life has been somewhat sacrificed due to this lifestyle and they admit to not having a hobby. This situation may not be uncommon among certain groups of people. The feeling of perpetually having too much to do results in a perceived lack of free time, which they describe as a loss. Despite not knowing what they would do with free time, they occasionally mourn its absence.

1:11:10 – Most Important Career Advice:

Adjustments to one’s lifestyle are often mentally planned as they look into the future. This could involve selling businesses and adopting a more relaxed lifestyle. However, there is an understanding that if all businesses were sold today, another one would likely be started tomorrow. This stems from the enjoyment derived from creating and growing things, which can be considered fun. More time could be dedicated to activities such as exercise, which should arguably be prioritized due to the importance of health. Despite this, many people struggle to allocate time for additional cardio or strength training exercises. The desire to make changes in this regard is slowly starting to grow. The love for what one does can remain consistent and exciting due to the constant change and unpredictability of each day. If asked for career advice, the recommendation would be to lean into things that genuinely interest you. Opportunities exist in everything, even seemingly mundane or unexpected areas. In the early 2000s, working in the coffee industry was not seen as a promising career path. However, genuine passion for it coupled with encouragement and opportunity allowed for flourishing within the sector. Regardless of what the future of work holds, creativity, empathy and passion are crucial components. The 20s are seen as a period for finding what excites you, while the 30s should be dedicated to doing it well. Falling for the hustle grind culture can lead to excessive work hours and a potential hatred for what was once loved. This approach is viewed as unhealthy and misleading. Achieving success in a specific industry may not always align with passion alone. Reflecting on personal skills can help identify key factors that contributed to success in a specific field. For instance, strong communication skills played a significant role in thriving within the coffee industry.

1:15:43 – How You Built Good Communication Skills:

The speaker shared their journey in developing good communication skills. They started with writing a blog, which required them to digest information well enough to explain it back to someone else. They also had a job as a national training manager for an espresso machine company, where they traveled around the UK, lecturing to random audiences of 30 people, and trying to engage them despite their lack of initial interest. This was described as a formative experience, helping to hone public speaking skills. At age 25-26, they transformed from being a terrible public speaker to loving it. They emphasized the importance of thoroughly understanding your thoughts before expressing them. They suggested that if they had young children, they would encourage them to gain sales experience, emphasizing repetition-based learning. The speaker spent four years working in call centers on the phone, which they believe contributed significantly to their current skills in podcasting, sales, storytelling and public speaking. The speaker also highlighted that effective communication is rooted in empathy – not relying on a script but understanding the person at the other end and customizing the conversation around them. They praised the service industry as a great place to develop this skill. In cafes or restaurants, you constantly have to read people and understand their needs. They believe this empathetic approach is crucial in every interaction. The speaker further mentioned that hospitality doesn’t advertise this aspect enough. They differentiated between being a practitioner who has learned through experience and a parrot who merely repeats what they’ve heard. The speaker identified themselves as a practitioner, combining their knowledge with storytelling and appropriate intonations to keep people engaged. Finally, the speaker expressed their belief that hard work, curiosity for learning, ability to articulate knowledge effectively and likability are key contributors to successful communication. They added that spending time actually practicing a craft enhances these skills. After 20 years of such practice, they believe mastery can be achieved.

1:19:40 – Closing Message About Coffee:

Coffee is portrayed as something that is truly enjoyable and can offer a lot more than one might initially think. There’s a guarantee that a little effort invested into understanding and appreciating coffee will yield substantial returns. Irrespective of individual preferences in enjoying coffee, there is always something more to discover and appreciate about it. The conversation concludes with an increased excitement about coffee, an emotion that is hoped to be contagious. The speaker expresses a genuine interest in going on a personal journey of coffee discovery, suggesting the idea of doing a coffee tasting together. Although this is not a realistic proposal due to time constraints, the sentiment behind the invitation is appreciated.

1:20:42 – The Last Guests Question:

The final guest on the podcast was asked about the duration of his nighttime erections, a question left by the previous guest. Responding with humor, he expressed uncertainty and suggested that everyone should be finding out this information. He also had a discussion on the topic of coffee and his written works on the subject. The Atlas, now in its second edition, and another book about making the best coffee at home were mentioned. These books offer rich photography, history, and equipment information for coffee enthusiasts. The first book was written as a guide to the world of coffee, while the second book aims to simplify the process of making great coffee at home by focusing on what truly matters. The host praised these books for their beauty and usefulness, promising to link them in the description for interested listeners. Following this, there was a mention of Hu, a company sponsored by the podcast and invested in by the host. Hu has recently released a nutritionally complete snack bar with high protein content, 27 vitamins and minerals, and only 2 grams of sugar. The host commented on how difficult it is to create such a product that also tastes good, claiming that Hu has successfully done so. He encouraged listeners to try out these bars and share their experiences. The podcast episode wrapped up with recommendations for other episodes listeners might enjoy based on their interest in this one. A link to these episodes was provided in the description.

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