Barista Magazine

APR-MAR 2014

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Page 68 of 107

69 tains in all of 10 minutes, there's a different farmers' market practical- ly every day, and people are really nice here. If you need that big-city vibe then it's definitely not for you, but if you love being outdoors, and would rather create your own adventure than go on someone else's, you'll love it here. Working for Verve: Coming to work at Verve in the morning is like getting to the lunch table that only your best friends sit at in the caf- eteria. I really enjoy the people here. We're a growing independent company so we have to work smart and hard. Colby [Barr] and Ryan [O'Donovan] have done really well in creating an environment that allows people to grow in their craft while also developing new skill sets. I'm a much more effective and complete employee because of Verve. On barista competitions: They promote a great basic skillset and offer direct feedback. The process of preparing for competition forces you to solve problems, and helps teach workflow, service, and time-management skills. Plus with every practice you have some sort of "ah ha!" moment you otherwise wouldn't have had. Every new barista should compete at least once. I love watching the new people compete. It's much more exciting to me than someone who's been in the circuit for years. Favorite coffee of 2014 so far: I feel like it changes every day! La Colmena from Honduras just blew my mind this week, so I'll go with that. Truby threw some in the hopper and just went H.A.M. on it. Super sweet. Delicate but with high flavor intensity. Like taking a bite out of one of those fruit hats that the locals wear on tropical islands. Clean finish. Finish is important to me—if a coffee gets that dry or funky finish, I don't want anything to do with it. On visiting coffee-producing countries: We're lucky to have cof- fee as a low-priced luxury. Seeing the work that goes into producing what will eventually be a cup of coffee is insane. The people working at the farms and mills have to work harder than I ever will. Before I went to origin, I loved coffee. When I returned, I felt like I had an obli- gation to make the most out of every coffee experience to do justice to all the hard work I didn't have to do. When you knew you'd made coffee into a career: Honestly, not until this past year. I never had plans to stop working in coffee prior to that, but I'd never really considered it a career until lately. I think breaking out of my shell and developing skills outside of coffee preparation and service made it feel like so much more of a career than it had in the past. The everyday excitement of coffee: Going out for coffee is such a big part of my life. I love the way I feel when I walk into the coffee shop in the morning and sit down at the bar for that first sip; it truly is my moment of Zen. I want to help create that experience for other people. Working in business development I get to help café owners realize their dreams while fulfilling my selfish desire for more rad coffee shops. B o o k 5 5 - 8 8 . i n d d 6 9 Book 55-88.indd 69 3 / 1 9 / 1 4 1 0 : 0 8 P M 3/19/14 10:08 PM

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