Here at YWAM Lausanne, we love coffee! We have our very own Café on the base, called Café des Alpes, and hold a barista seminar every summer. We got a chance to interview Ruben, who runs the Café (and makes the BEST cortados around). Read as he explains his vision and heart for coffee in the mission field.
How is coffee currently being used in the mission field?
Coffee is being used to set a platform in culture for the Kingdom to be extended. There are people who are investing their lives to become baristas and roasters. They can encourage an atmosphere that inspires growth and development. Coffee shops and roasters have become very aware of the Christian principles impact in the business sphere. Something I appreciate is the redemption focus that coffee can bring. From the farms to the cup of coffee, we can help bring redemption into what is broken. Our cafe focuses on getting fair trade beans which are locally roasted for our espressos and pour overs. That empowers people abroad and locally to live up to Kingdom standards. At the same time, we consider each cup of coffee is being made to glorify God. We want to treat each person that comes to the cafe as a child of God.
You have just completed staffing the Barista Seminar here at YWAM Lausanne. How has your worldview of Coffee changed since learning more about coffee in missions?
I can see how much redemption and restoration can come through coffee. It is helpful to see the world through the frames of Christ and how coffee can be a palpable solution for a lot of the problems. Coffee sets up a great platform for ethical ways of treating the land and people around you. It also can influence culture in the way people consume the product and the value they add to the people making it. Businesses are usually focused on making money and becoming famous by branding and advertisement. As we encourage a culture that values people and their work, it protects them while providing a good quality product. Thanks to the Barista Seminar I can see how God has placed in each human being an ability to create whether we realize it or not. This course helps to have a wider understanding of God’s creation, His land, and His people.
What is the process of producing ethically made coffee?
There is more than one way to produce coffee up to ethically good standards. When I think of producing coffee, people’s faces come to mind. These are people with dreams and hopes involved in the coffee producing process, they are not machines. Valuing them allows us to work with them and raises an awareness of our humanity even across countries. We can learn to value people and their work caring for who they are and how we can empower them. That’s how we bring the Kingdom of God to coffee production.
What has God placed on your heart for the future of Coffee Ministries?
Something God has placed in my heart has been setting up a platform for people to grow and be who they are. For a while I had a split thinking between what a sacred and secular platform could be. I could not figure out how the church could be involved in culture. This is a challenge a few are willing to take. A coffee shop can be a great way for the church to be outside of cathedrals and apply Kingdom principles in the city.
How do you get a perfect cup of coffee?
A perfect cup of coffee is served in a ceramics cup. That’s what makes it feel more at home. The coffee beans usually come from a place where people have been treated/paid well. The coffee is roasted locally so it empowers businesses. The barista understands how fine the coffee should be and is willing to dial the grinder to obtain the best flavor. Whole milk is important as it gives a creamier taste to the coffee. In the end, the latte art reflects how the barista cares for the milk and it becomes a memory of the place, like a signature.
That’s how I would describe the perfect cup of coffee.
My perfect cup of coffee has milk in it.
What is your favorite drink to make?
I love making cortados. That drink is very simple and focuses on the smoothness of the textured milk and the richness of the espresso shot. It’s a small drink so people can come for a quick drink and enjoy it without a rush.
Come and get your own!
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