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It's My Choice, I Choose Me - Xu Xin

Everyone is always happy at the end of the fairy tale. The prince saved the princess.

Witches, dragons, were all defeated.

Wonderful meetings, great relationships, happy endings… everything seems perfect, because those things only happen in fairy tales.

Maybe we can learn from these wonderful things, maybe can make them real.

Maybe there is a group of people who are outstanding. Maybe all good things can come from these people.

Underneath this glorious spotlight, they are shining stars, but people always ignore how hard they work behind the scenes.

An effort that is not outwardly obvious is not one was never made, but more importantly, these efforts were made for the person they want to become.

Our lives are all about the choices we make. You make choices for what you like, what you want, but there are always people masquerading as friends, telling you to let it go, give it up, and even spending too much time to make choices will cause you to miss out some pportunities.

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But have we ever thought about the choices we made with the mindset of "ok, fine” 

and when a better option comes along, you give it up—the inconsiderate choice.

So, how should we make a right choice?

This week, we are going to talk about one girl's choice.

A Newbie in Coffee Industry

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I am Xu Xin, a girl who just jumped into the coffee industry. I come from Ningxia, and when I left my hometown, I was always happy to see the words related to Ningxia (such typical a tourist!). I love my hometown and I love coffee, and if I can open a cafe in my hometown one day, I want it to be simple, comfortable and professional.

From Architecture School to Pastry School—the Student Life

Before I entered the coffee industry, I was a student in the college of architecture and engineering. 

I was not good at spatial construction and didn’t have a great sense for numbers, which caused me to completely lose confidence in myself for specialized courses. This is probably an excuse, but actually the most important thing is I don’t like these topics. 

I became more and more anxious because I didn't understand the specialized courses and felt like I had wasted two years of college. 

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Then I started thinking about how to change my life, what I can do, and how can I realize this change.

The first thing that came to mind is to stop the status quo, stop obsessing, and start doing what I love, or at least what I think is meaningful. 

Searching my heart for all things that I want to do in my life, like opening a café with sunshine, feeling peace, sharing a smile—I can image all the details. Then I knew that this is what I wanted for my life.

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At the beginning, I thought that all I needed to open my cafe was a shop and the skills to make coffee. (I was too young and too too too simple!) 

And so, I decided to leave college to learn some coffee skills. I’ve searched a lot of schools for coffee and desserts online, and finally found a school with one class for one year, where I could learn coffee and baking.

Before I earned my economic independence, all my decisions had to be approved by my parents. With all my preparation, I told my family what I thought. There was no doubt that my family didn’t agree with me. “What a silly girl,” they all said.

It is also true that a child who has grown up with the advice of so many relatives and friends is not sensible to say such things as dropping out of school. But after all that, I cannot give up just because of a minor setback. 

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It took me about half a year to convince my father. It was also because of his support that I had more courage to face the unknown future. And I really and truly appreciate this support.

During this one year of study, I spent most of my time practicing latte art, and some brewing too, which was actually my favorite. 

Every little adjustment greatly affected the taste of the same coffee. This small difference every time really ignited my endless curiosity in coffee. It was then that I realized that I wanted to do more with coffee than just open up a cafe.

“Bitter Rice”

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In April 2017, I started my first job as a Barista. It was in an office building in Shanghai. Most of the guests there are white-collar workers working in the building—they can’t go without a cup of coffee in their daily  life. 

I really enjoyed this work,  and meeting old friends, and planning to see them every day.

There will also be some "professional" customer reviews, coffee chats, and share some ideas. I might feel guilty because I am not professional enough. Knowledge needs to be constantly accumulated, and you long for everything you are interested in.

In November 2017, I came to Pu 'er, the place of origin coffee in China. This trip took me to a new world of coffee: I took the Q-grader courses, understood how the quality of green beans could influence the taste of coffee, and the difference of regional coffee beans and different processing methods’ impact on flavor. 

Most importantly I learned how to cup coffee, and now I will not be so jealous when people are talking about the flavor of coffee, because I have learned.

Because that was also the harvest season, I was lucky to see the whole process from picking to processing coffee, and that completely changed my view of coffee. It is not just the brewing parameters that influence the flavor of a cup of coffee. 

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It can be altered in every step of the process: picking, sorting, processing, and drying. I think this is real coffee. It's too sad not to experience it once.

I was very impressed by the recruitment of "Mountain Man", because the working environment was hard and also the work was very tough. 

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I had to work with the farmers to pick and process coffee, working in mountains for three or four months. I was struggling for a while, but finally I wanted to give it a try. 

There's no surprise that I know nothing about it , but when I make it real, I can't ignore this important part of the coffee processing.

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I stayed, and finally understood the meaning of "Bitter Rice". Fresh coffee cherries keep coming in, stirring the beans in the bed over and over again, peeling the fruit skins, classify them and then cupping the final beans, until at last a bag of qualified "green beans" were produced. 

Day in and day out, until the end of the production season, for a total of four months. I'm proud to say that I can finally tell the difference between washing , natural and honey!

Choose one ending, meeting a new beginning; 

keep moving, embracing happiness.

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Every choice is an experience. I have made many choices since I left school. No matter where my choices take me, I expect a different experience.

Occasionally I feel like giving up because of some difficulties i meet along the way, but I chose what I am doing now, so I stick with my choices. 

Important and valuable things are not always easy to finish. Young people always have the energy to taste life. We choose to end one path, and look to meeting with new beginnings.

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I am very glad to meet many like-minded friends along my coffee journey. They come to me in different identities to share their experiences in coffee and life, and it feels like seeing the world through new eyes to meet the infinite possibilities of life. 

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I love my life after I met coffee. I am surrounded by awesome colleagues, a positive working atmosphere and many possibilities to meet the unknown. This makes me want to say “Hello!” to everyone every morning. 

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If you see this article and you're in TORCH, say hi to me and share your world with me.

(Editor: “She says, she wants a BF whom is taller than 180cm and also in a good shape……” Trying to be a matchmaker hahaha.)

If everyone stops drinking coffee?

If everyone stops drinking coffee, that means there must be something more interesting than coffee. Tell me what that is, and I’ll go learn about it! Hahaha…

Hotpot

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My life is not only about coffee, but also hot pot—no matter what the weather is outside. In my spare time, I like to stay in the kitchen and study for “the dark arts” of cooking—it is too “dark” to see the food or share photos!

During my first 6 months in Pu 'er, I developed a love for nature, I love to go into the mountains and other fun places.

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Choose one ending, find a new beginning; keep moving, embrace happiness.

Admire perfection but if you don't put it into action, then you just stay where you are. 

As Xu Xin said, now that you have made your choice, keep moving.Even if the road twists and turns, I hope that when you are tired of walking, you will reflect on your promise to yourself.

Positive attitudes can be reignited—continue to chase your dream!

“Tough times don’t last; tough people do.”