September 19, 2016 | 4min read
How to Disrupt Coffee Time at the Office
A good coffee machine is the linchpin for most companies. An American study from 2010 shows that 37 percent of employees surveyed would prefer free, daily fresh gourmet coffee or tea over a company’s annual holiday party. Usually it’s the main gathering point in every office – it is around the coffee maker that people chat about their previous or upcoming weekend, their new car or sunday hangover with a steaming cup in their hands.
At Polidea, not only we have many annual holiday parties but we also take our office coffee very seriously. Most of us here prefer to brew our coffee by ourselves: we drip, we chemex, we aeropress the best coffee coming from the whole world. Not only it makes us feel like aspiring hipsters (sic!), but it also gives us more time to socialize, relax and bond with our coworkers. The art of coffee brewing is so instilled in our work culture, that it has almost become part of our internal wiki.
It all started in 2013, on a cold November morning that Maciek, our Head of Engineering, brought into our office a strange but beautiful object: a Chemex (pronounce ke-mex). This jug, looking like taken straight out of a chemistry class, embellished with a wooden handle, was at first a counterculture artifact. Indeed, only a few were convinced by this upcoming hipster tool and willing to explore the full art of brewing. Most of us remained addicted to the fast, automated espresso machine. Old habits die hard! However, one brew at a time, the movement started to gain more followers. Until the point that Grzesiek, our now/Ceo got charmed by the connoisseur beverage and voted for an infinite supply of high quality beans from the most exquisite roasters. The subculture became mainstream, to become now iconic at Polidea.
Love for coffee is almost a pre-requisite to land a job interview, and it surely is an essential point in the integration of our new recruits. Skills are to be gained in order to brew a decent coffee, and magic needs to happen to fashion the golden nectar (yes - great coffee is not black, but golden). Any project team at Polidea will have at least one coffee expert, who will fast take the newbies through the hands-on meander of learning the dripping technique: weighing the beans, grinding them and pouring the water to finally extract the essence of the divine beverage. Soon, the freshmen will feel a greater sense of belonging, which a simple coffee machine will never offer.
Once, our full team was going to our one retreat in the the polish Lake District. Maciek took the full coffee brewing set and packed it in a Oculus Rift box. Everything fitted perfectly, the grinder, the drip, the chemex, the filters and a bag of Audun’s Columbian beans. Arriving at destination, an ineffable truth appeared in the face of everyone: Maciek had forgotten the box in the train. A team formed to go to find the missing box. They called all possible numbers given by the train company, they moved mountains to find the precious material. Nothing could be done, it was lost for good. However, already on Monday morning a full new set was bought and ready to serve coffee aficionados.
Yet coffee is only one of the many perks that can be found in our office facilities. Nuts, cereals, milk, fruits, chocolate, tea is what comes in infinite supply to nourish our employees satisfaction. It is those little things that build up Polidea identity towards a more welcoming and peaceful workplace (the way to one’s heart it through their stomach as they say).
Here come a bonus on how to start your own coffee connoisseur culture at your company:
Essentials to buy:
- Boil your water - Between 91°C and 96°C
- Weigh how much coffee you need - Around 10 grams per cup depending how strong you like your coffee but here is a perfect chart for you to use
- Grind your coffee - This step depends very much what filter you are using. Here is an other chart for you to know which size to grind, and here to understand better.
- Wet your filter- and get read of the dripped water, this is for getting rid of possible trace of paper taste…still this step is being debated often at Polidea
- Brew - Everything explain in detail in this tutorial, in case you already start to feel the connoisseur tickle