Barista Magazine

APR-MAR 2014

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Page 66 of 107

with the guys in Santa Cruz, Truby's chowing down a bran muffin, and explains that he needs fuel in a bad way: sure, he prefers getting to work at 6 a.m., but it's also necessary since he's actively involved in the plan- ning and ramping up of the L.A. expansion with his Southern California retail counterpart, Keethan Kitt. "It was like they looked at us and thought, 'Here are two kids who've made coffee forever.' We've always been the 'little bros' [to Colby and Ryan] at Verve," says Truby. It made sense for Truby and Baca's skill sets to be reevaluated, and their positions, after such commitment and service, to be elevated. Truby shakes his head with wonder when he considers that "my life is developing systems. I oversee pastry people, preventative maintenance. But I can take all of those multitasking barista skills I perfected over the years and knock the work out." "It's true," Baca chimes in. ""If you're a good barista, you 100 percent are a good communicator. The fastest baristas aren't necessarily the fastest; they're the most efficient." When they realized how much of their barista skills—customer service, communi- cation, proficiency, confidence—contributed to their success in their new, more busi- ness-oriented positions, they were thrilled. The fog parted. They could truly envision solid, lifelong careers in coffee. Truby sticks his arm out the window of the Prius and assesses the surf: It's looking good. He's cool with missing out on the waves today in light of my visit, however—he makes time to surf around three days a week as it is. Baca tells a funny story about the last time he went out on the ocean and dislocated his shoulder; I should say the way he tells it is funny; the injury was so painful it's kept Baca where he's most com- fortable—on his skateboard—and far from the surf ever since. Neither one of them has a lot of free time these days, however; their commitment to Verve is matched only by their commitment to family and friends. Both are happily mar- ried, and Truby and his wife are expecting their second child this summer. It goes without saying they hang out together all the time. They practice for com- petition together, they taste coffee together, and they're always there, every time, when the other needs someone to talk to. Neither is competing this year—in fact, the company decided to take the year off after hosting regionals for the previous two years. They're likely not off the circuit for good, though; there's too much great coffee out there to rep, they say. "I literally can't practice if I don't have that coffee on my mind," Baca says of a competition-worthy coffee, like the Elida natural Catuai from Panama he competed with in the 2010 USBC, where he narrowly missed the win. "I compete because I think the coffee needs to be there. That's how my mind works." Truby nods thoughtfully. "You know that conversation that's been going on about the natural haters?" he asks, referring to the vocal online contingent not in favor of unwashed coffees. "I think one of the greatest things about coffee is how subjective it can be. It's cre- ative and individual. It's OK if I like naturals or if I don't like naturals. There's room for everyone." These two, though—save a big place at the coffee table for them. Kind and thoughtful, inspired and accomplished, and loud, laughing, fun, creative, all day, every day, Trubaca's position in the future of coffee is an absolute. 67 B o o k 5 5 - 8 8 . i n d d 6 7 Book 55-88.indd 67 3 / 1 9 / 1 4 1 0 : 0 7 P M 3/19/14 10:07 PM

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