Micro denotes a factor of one millionth. Imagine an object, then reduce this to a millionth. Very small. Yet, all it takes to change the flavour of a cup of coffee lie in micro details. At harvest, the right shade of red of the coffee cherry does not have a speck of yellow nor green. It is a shade of red between an overripe cherry and a plum, and producers argue about which shade in between these two is perfect.
Once the cherries are picked, the infinitesimal variations in processing involve seemingly small details - a little less or a little more time in fermentation tanks, time drying on raised beds, the angle with which to rake the beans to follow the sun's rays. Even the amount of moisture left in the beans before they are deemed ready to mill and pack is considered in tenths of a percentage.
Once in the hands of the roaster, the desired shade of roast is smelled, seen, and heard. The temperature is tightly tracked with seconds dancing closely with degrees. A spectrophotometer reads the shade of brown to tenths of a point. The roaster aims to land the roast within a set range, and often the range is narrow.
Every morning, before the door opens, the barista fusses over micro adjustment to the grind, the weight of the dose in a fraction of a gram, the rate with which the coffee extracts, and the exact amount of liquid (and total dissolved solids) in the cup.
Ultimately, each of these, is a factor in an infinite equation. A little less or a little more of each changes the total at the end. That sum is the cup of coffee a customer holds.
Micro in Barangaroo is much like a drop in the water that surrounds it. The rich satisfying cup of coffee clutched by a hand en route to work can ripple from an ordinary day to a hopeful one. A coffee that tastes every bit the elixir your senses anticipate it to be can shift perspectives, add fuel to optimism, transmute attitudes. A Micro experience can have a macro consequence.
At times we feel this small in the massive universe of coffee. Yet, this is all it takes to change the figure at the end of a big equation. Micro matters.