My thought on Amateurs is that if they are dedicated they can do
better than Professionals for the simple reason that they can spend
time and money on something that for a Professional has to return a
profit. Some of the best photographers, writers, potters and
sculptors are amateurs because they do it for love rather than for
money, and can afford to devote whatever it takes to progress.
On the other hand Professionals, while they gain competence from
repetition, can suffer from boredom, burnout and forced compromises to
quality in order to make money. Sometimes the Amateur and the
Professional merge, but it's rare and often fleeting.
On Art and Craftsmanship, I'd suggest that a barista who is good
craftsman (someone who can consistently make a drink of high quality)
is all I'd aspire to. I have no desire to make one of a kind coffee
drinks. I just want excellence and repeated excellence. I don't want
to remember every great shot of espresso I've ever had, just a few
memories are fine. Coffee is a science, a craft and if someone wants
to use it to paint their faces with, I guess it's an art too.
Nothing wrong or second rate about wanting to be a amateur craftsman
of excellent drinks.
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