So what is a cupper, you ask? At Crimson Cup, it’s someone who is passionate about coffee. Many of our Cuppers have invested long hours – in some cases, years – in learning to objectively assess the quality of coffee. Each of our Cuppers brings a unique palate, set of skills and personality to our mission of consistently roasting the best-tasting coffee. This is one of a series of interviews with our Cuppers.
Bob Cervas got his start in specialty coffee at the Street Sweets espresso bar on the Ohio State University campus in 2006. There, he honed his barista skills and got to know Crimson Cup products. Later, while living in Italy, he explored coffee culture at its origin, experiencing the subtle nuances of different espresso beans and blends. But it wasn’t until he graduated and discovered Crimson Cup Coffee House in Clintonville that he really started to take a career in specialty coffee seriously.
Over the past four years, Bob has evolved through numerous roles. Today, he acts as Coffee House Ambassador, responsible for showcasing Crimson Cup’s expertise and passion for coffee to customers. Bob is creative spark for new and exciting customer engagement pieces that demonstrate our products.
Bob was instrumental in adding a Brew Bar to the Coffee House, where he and other baristas use single-cup brewing methods to produce some really rare and unique coffees. “We also provide a range of single-origin espressos that highlight the taste of espresso without masking it,” he says. “These drinks incorporate a higher percentage of coffee to final product, which are fun to try when we get different coffees in – your favorite daily drink can now subtly change week to week and keep your taste buds engaged!”
Bob says there are three things that really get him excited about working day in and day out at the Coffee House. “The first is that every single coffee we bring in has a different story to tell: where it is from, who was involved in growing it, how it was processed and roasted, and what unique flavors it displays.”
The second thing he loves is the brewing. “I’ve made thousands of lattes and brewed hundreds of cups of coffee, but every single time I do it I get excited,” he says. “I pay attention to everything that’s different this time, how it was last time, and what I can do better. Every day I get better and get to know what that perfect drink for my customers can be.”
The third is the “unending support” he receives from Crimson Cup. “No limits exist to keep me from pushing myself and my craft,” he says. “Crimson Cup values ambition and passion in such a way that I get more and more exited to go to work every day.”
His role at Crimson Cup even gives Bob room to explore his first love, architecture. “After completing my Master’s degree, I realized that what I’m interested in most is not the physical building blocks or the finished product, but the in-between moments that can’t be quantified … How a place makes you feel, how well pieces interact with each other, and so on. This understanding of architecture gave me the freedom to see it in fields that aren’t restricted to ‘building buildings.’ At the Coffee House, I’m able to create and tailor experiences with the store layout, menu design, and even drink preparation and presentation. It is truly a playground!”