Coffee Craftsmanship – Qualitative Research

If you have ever had a cup of coffee, whether it was at Starbucks, a local coffee shop, or at a friends house. You would know that it is very technical, and when coffee is done right, all is right. When the water is boiled to a perfect 200 degrees, and coffee is ground and bloomed to perfection you might say as Katherine Bennet says, “it is the nectar of the gods”. There must be something deeper to that perfect cup. In order to understand what drives the creation of the cup and what goes on in the mind of the creator we asked the question, what is coffee craftsmanship?

Note: Coffee Craftsmanship was a collaborative effort. I had the extreme fortune to work on this project with two very talented designers: Harry Teng, & Daniel Yim.


What is Coffee Craftsmanship?


Enthusiasts + Baristas + Owners

In order to qualify for this study their were two main criteria. The participant must prepare coffee in a specialty method such as pour over, and they must selectively choose and grind their own coffee beans. We had people that were between a coffee enthusiast all the way to a barista. We also had the opportunity to speak to an expert. The expert qualification was such that they must be a roaster or owner of an independent coffee shop. 


Observation + Archetypes + Imagery

The qualitative research methods used in this study were observation, archetypal cards, and an image deck. The purpose of these methods are to get to the heart of what someones believes through prompted story telling or explanation.


Mind Mapping

We used the KJ method to aggregate concepts from all of the data we had gathered. 


User Experience Journey Map

To understand the users actions, emotions, problems, and needs from beginning to end.


Diagrammatic Analysis

Many types of analysis were used to further understand the user's needs and to generate insights.




Improvisation – Creativity comes from make-shift solutions.

Rhythm – Pace personalizes the experience.

Others – The process of crafting coffee takes away from social engagement.

Slow Down – A busy lifestyle does not allow enough time to craft coffee.

Effortless Accuracy – Calculation is overly tedious and detracts from enjoyment. 

Learning – Following the right protocol provides a sense of fulfillment.

Achievement –Talking about coffee evokes passion.

Brainy – Coffee shops are now serving as study locations.