Susan Sherrick is everywhere. She curates the Sherrick and Paul Gallery in Fort Houston. She makes deliciously cool leather handbags. She's also in CREMA from time to time -- her charm and easy going style have always made us big fans of hers. Susan has spent her career working in art galleries across the country, curating work from artists around the world. We're jazzed to have her in Nashville -- and we asked her this one question.
At CREMA, we try to live out the mantra "Do one thing and do it well." For us, that one thing is coffee -- we want to do it the best we can.
We are so interested in and inspired by our peers. To get to the heart of their "one thing," we've previously run a series called "What Inspires Us" in this space. That was a fun, deep look into the lives of our fellow Nashvillians.
Ask any brain-zonked college student pulling an all-nighter—coffee and scholarly study are total BFF’s.
These lifelong pals joined forces yet again on February 2nd at Vanderbilt, as the university’s Institute for Coffee Studies hosted Quality and Inequality, a panel discussion on specialty coffee. Mac Muir and William McCollum, Vandy students and research associates for the institute (and friends of CREMA), invited us to be a part. A huge turnout (our eyes guesstimated 50 or 60) from all over campus, the coffee industry, and just-happened-to-hear-about-it coffee lovers meant the coffee we brought was lick-the-pots-clean gone in about fifteen minutes—but it also meant a bunch of people participating in a necessary conversation.
I got on the plane in 2015, but I think this trip started for me sometime in 1996.
I was a senior in high school. I had a free period in the middle of the morning and a car to get off campus. So a couple of times a week I would drive four blocks to the donut shop. I would get a glazed donut, a cake donut, and a cup of coffee. The coffee was, of course, beige. It would shoot out of a spout whenever the donut-guy pressed the button on his automatic french vanilla cappuccino machine. It was sweet and syrupy and caffeinating and I would drink it in the car and try not to spill any on my shirt before class. That was coffee.
If you’re like us, the word “grading” left a bad taste in your mouth. Years of pop quizzes, red-marked papers, and grammar-crazed English teachers have left most of us pretty scarred by the grading process.
But at CREMA, grading just got a whole lot tastier.
In December, our roaster and green buyer Winston Harrison earned his Q Grading certification from the Coffee Quality Institute.
Our hammies are sore from the stair-stepper, the gluten is in the garbage, and we’re well on our way to our goal writing in our journals more in 2015.
At CREMA, we’ve made a lot of resolutions for the New Year. We’re outfitting our training lab with more room and more tools for training and classes. We’re redesigning our cafe with an eye towards improved service, comfortability, and flow (comflowtability?). We’ll be going on even more sourcing trips this year, and for the first time, we’re bringing our baristas along.
We are a coffee shop, a roastery, and a community. We get to make and serve coffee every single day. We love what we do -- and we could never do it without you.
We are so thankful for you, for buying our coffee, for smiling and knowing our names. Thank you for joining our community. We are thankful for you.
We also asked each of our baristas what they were thankful for.
Again, thank you.
CREMA and Vanderbilt are both committed to education (though we, at the moment, have fewer Pulitzer Prize winners on staff). Another thing we have in common? Coffee.
In 1999, Vanderbilt founded the Institute for Coffee Studies, a division of the University Medical Center focused on researching the medical effects of coffee. The Institute expanded its scope in 2007 (the year before CREMA was born) to encompass the "historical, literary, sociological, and economic importance" of coffee.
Over 300 people filled the Belcourt to experience A Film About Coffee, Brandon Loper's gorgeous film that tells the simple but wildly complex story of coffee. Viewers watched as Loper's camera soared above mountainous coffee farms in Honduras and Rwanda, their visual trek guided by farmers, roasters, baristas, and longtime coffee professionals. The film framed the story of coffee in an exceptional way, reminding viewers just how many people, all across the globe, are behind an exceptional cup of coffee.