the talent pool

Posted by Karl Purdy on Oct 05, 2010

Given the economic shit-storm that Ireland currently finds itself in, I am now needing a daily reminder of why I choose to remain on this vestigal island, barely clinging to fraying hem of Europe. Most days I'm satisfied that the people are doggedly lovely and the weather – whislt damp – is consistently so (i.e. wardrobe planning is easy). And there is still a romantic nationalist inside somewhere whispering that this is where I belong. Now not being overly bright, charasmatic or in any position of economy-shifting power, I don't really stand a chance of improving anyone's life in any meaningful way. But it did occur to me during today's meditative pep-talk, that my little industry ('coffee' for those less bright than I) is going through a bit of a renaissance in Ireland. And this warms me. Those who work in the local coffee industry already know that Ireland has some real innovators and progressive thinkers. We have people who ask big questions and those who can provide even bigger answers. We have people who can taste, create and challenge conventional wisdom... But does anyone else realise this??? Does the General Public know that We / Ireland have individuals setting world standards? Or that we have Irish companies creating technology that is improving morning commuter's coffee in New York, Melbourne and Moscow? At a time when feel-good stories are slim and many hearts are broken by the forces of economics and government f***-ups, I just wanted to throw out a trio names in my business that make me proud and genuinely happy to be Irish. Paul Stack (Marco Beverage Systems): Creator of the Uber Boiler. Architech of the Gold Cup Standard Program. Lecturer. Actor. Question asker. Problem solver. Paul is truly a global star and a wonderful ambassador for Ireland. He is optimism and charm pesonified. Although he confuses me much of the time, I know he is talking the 'future'. His brain makes me jealous, but I do try to listen. TWITTER: @uberproject Colin Harmon (3FE): Irish Barista Champion 2009 & 2010. World Barista Finalist 2009 & 2010. Motivator. Teacher. Methodical thinker and strategist. Ambassador. Giver. Colin doens't really need an introduction, but it should be said that he genuinely loves the world of coffee and the world of coffee loves him back. He's travelled the world and undoubtedly had lucrative offers far and wide, yet he chooses to be here and serve. We should all be grateful. TWITTER: @3FE, @dublinbarista David Walsh (www.theotherblackstuff.ie, Research Scientist): Irish Cupping Champion 2009. Irish Barista Championship Finalist 2010. World Cupping Championship 2010, 2nd place. Scientist. Reseacher. Culinary savant. Facts, not fiction. David is probably the most inspiring to me due to the fact that coffee is just a sideline for him. Much like Colin, David's rise in the international community has been phenomenal over the last couple of years. He writes with authority, challenges without fear and his insights have the potential to shift global perceptions and practices. TWITTER: @otherblackstuff As I'd mentioned, those in the coffee business will know these names already. But given that we have so little to be optimistic about these days, people that inspire surely should deserve recognition. P.S. If anyone is looking for any further info on the above individuals, you'll just have to do it yourself. And that, I fear, is something we may all get used to...