If you practice Martial Arts with any hint of seriousness, you come to learn that it’s less about physical combat as it is the philosophical, aesthetic, and spiritual elements. In Japanese practice, there’s an underlying concept of the “beginner’s mind”, or Shoshin. It’s about approaching something with openness and a lack of preconceptions, even when practicing at an advanced level. In the beginner’s mind, there are infinite possibilities, whereas in an expert’s, there are few. It’s not to be confused with forgetting or neglecting technique, but rather, freeing yourself to be open to the imaginative, the creative, and the inventive. One could also reason that this open mindset also provides an advantage over opponents.
Enter the Dragon: Pete Licata.
Since 2005, Pete Licata has placed first in his regional barista competition five times, won the United States Barista Competition twice, and is the 2013 World Barista Competition Champion. He has also studied Martial Arts since childhood and Japanese in college. Our bet is he knows a thing or two about the beginner’s mind, the art of seeing the details in coffee that one might not normally notice, and discovering and expressing tastes, textures, and aromas as if for the first time. As if he doesn’t know what to expect, and hasn’t done it a thousand times before. And one could reason, it’s why he’s got one-up on his opponents.
Coffee lovers of the World, it’s our honour to present two VERYexclusive roasts by THE Pete Licata for ModRec Series 07.