The photo for this article was provided by the interviewee.
The Coffee Life was the first coffee blog I read. This was the blog that introduced me to the term “coffee blog” and helped me discover many other people who passionately write about coffee.
I caught up with Jass Goodman, the author of The Coffee Life, over email to discuss how she approaches writing and her thoughts on coffee subscription boxes. This interview has been edited lightly for clarity.
For my readers, could you give us a brief overview of what The Coffee Life is and what you write about?
The Coffee Life is primarily as it sounds – a coffee blog, however I do like to write about Mental Health and other general life things – When I created The Coffee Life, I didn’t know what I wanted to write about (it actually started as jasminegoodman.blogspot.com!). When I started reviewing coffee that’s when I decided to really try and make a “coffee blog” work for me, but still getting to write what I wanted, when I wanted even if it wasnt in the “coffee niche”.
I’ve learnt that even if I do state that it is a coffee blog, it’s my space on the internet to write what I want, so if I don’t want to write about coffee one week, I don’t.
Over the last few years, you’ve tried to blog every day in May. What was your inspiration behind these posts?
I’ve never been a big birthday person, however since I’ve had my blog I’ve always celebrated my birthday with a few blog posts, so I decided that I was going to try and blog everyday throughout May (the birthday month!) - If you’ve read my blog, you’ll know that I’ve never actually completed Blogging Everyday In May – but I’m not too hard on myself about it, I tried my best and that’s all I could do – my favourite posts in May are always my “.. Things I’ve Learnt By ..”
You’ve reviewed a lot of coffee and subscription boxes. What do you keep in mind when you write these reviews?
The Coffee Life LOVES subscription boxes, and I always get really excited when I get to try a new box. There are so many incredible ones out there! For one thing I know a lot of people in the coffee industry who make these boxes, so I have to stay quite un-biased about the boxes I do get.
I also find that I’m quite honest on The Coffee Life, but don’t like to bring negativity to a post, so if I don’t happen to either like a coffee, or not enjoy the quality, I will simply say it’s not to my taste. Everyone’s taste buds are different, not everyone is going to like something and not everyone is going to have the same opinion of you if you dislike a coffee.
What would you say are the most important factors to consider for someone who wants to buy a subscription coffee box?
I would say RESEARCH – like I mentioned there are so many incredible subscription boxes out there, but every single one is different, or offers a slightly different thing. I have never found a coffee box that is the same, so you can be really fussy about what you are looking for. If you want something specific (light/med roasted coffee especially for filter, or even an espresso or decaf!) there is a box out there, you just need to do a little research.
How do you decide what to write about?
I have a lot of notebooks with messy ideas and plans, but primarily it comes down to what I’m feeling – I suffer with quite bad mental health and throughout 2020 it’s been tough to actually motivate myself to actually find the time to blog (hence all the massive gaps on my blog!) so this year I’ve tried to not be too hard on myself, and if I get some motivation to write, I’ll just go ahead and write whatever comes to mind.
I’ve also been quite lucky to be gifted coffee, so anything that I do receive will go up on The Coffee Life!
You’ve been blogging for three years (congrats!). What are your biggest takeaways from maintaining a blog for this long?
Thank you, it’s definitely been a crazy 3 years!
The biggest thing I’ve taken away from it is probably the community that I’ve created surrounding The Coffee Life, I’ve had some incredible experiences and things that I would never of gotten to do if The Coffee Life didn’t exist, the friends I’ve met, the shops I’ve got to explore and countless amounts of coffee festivals. I am eternally grateful for anyone and everyone who supports The Coffee Life, especially throughout 2020.
Its also been a huge booster for my mental health, it’s shown me that even if I want to quit something because it’s not quite right or I feel like nobody is even reading it, that I should just keep going, because in reality, I started The Coffee Life for me, and even if I’m the only one who reads a post, that’s still something I’ve created. It’s given me the confidence to go out and do new things that I would’ve never done (big highlight is Amsterdam Coffee Festival!).
What is your most memorable coffee-related experience?
Definitely Coffee Festivals – I love the atmosphere of Coffee Festivals, and you just get to meet some incredible people (and finally put instagram names to faces!!!)
What is your go-to home brewing device?
Either the classic V60, or I’ve been favouring my Kalita Wave recently!
Also my Aeropress gets a lot of use when I’m out adventuring (we love a good car brew!)
When do you usually have your first cup in the day?
As soon as humanly and physically possible – on my days off I’ll brew one straight after getting out of bed, or if I’m working I’ll wait until dial in time!
You can read Jass’ The Coffee Life blog at www.thecoffeelife.co.uk. I recommend her most recent post on the World’s Largest Coffee Tasting 2020.