Barista Magazine

APR-MAR 2014

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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might not have thought possible. I've had so many baristas tell me that if the wrong song comes on during a rush, it can neg- atively impact their flow behind the machine. It's in the music that we can find our rhythm in a way that couldn't be possible in a silent café. Many of the artists in my cur rent heavy rotation— including Megafaun and All Tiny Creatures—are recorded by Hometapes, a Portland-based label for which I work when I'm not at BARISTA. Owned and operated by Adam and Sara Padgett-Heathcott, Hometapes has been around for more than a decade, and I've been a fan for about as long, way before I moved to Portland. I got to know Adam and Sara because they 're regulars at BARISTA; I was already playing a lot of their artists on the stereo. They invited me into their industry in part because they valued my position as a barista tuned into the role music plays in a public environment. Since becoming involved with Hometapes, I find myself asking non-cof- fee friends to recount their sound expe- riences at cafés they frequent, and I'm fascinated when they tell me—and it hap- pens a lot—that they remember the music that was playing when they're served a terrific cup of coffee. I consider coffeehouse music to be a complement to factors out of the baristas' control—the weather, for example. Dreary, rainy days don't dic- tate gloomy music, but I do lean more toward albums with a mellow, relaxing vibe on Portland's gray days. When the café is really busy—another factor I can't control—I'll select music with more energy not only so I can push through the many drink orders, but so the customers will feel energetic, rath- er than slow and focused on the fact that there's a wait. Something awesome that is in our control, however, is the local music scene in your city. Baristas have a great opportunity to showcase music from area musicians, and as cafés often play large roles in their commu- nities, supporting other members of the neighborhood is sort of a no-brain- er. At BARISTA, we ser ve local roast- ers like Stumptown, Coava, and Heart, so why not put the coffee to the music of Portland bands like Shy Girls, AU, and Yacht? Experimenting with unexpected genres can also bring new life to your workplace. My coworkers and I love R&B, and our regulars now really enjoy coming in to hear Frank Ocean or even Mariah Carey playing through the speakers. Metal Monday, curated by Daniel Gunter, was always a huge hit while he was still working with BARISTA. Even though he went to work at Evans Brothers in Idaho a few years ago, people still come in asking about that tradition. With as many types of music as there are kinds of people, it's easy to find new and unique music for the café that people will love. I like to look at music as being my lifeline to the café. Not only does it help set the tone for how I'd like my shift to go, but it gives me some influence over the general mood of the shop and the customers: We're all in this café together. 99 B o o k 5 5 - 1 0 8 . i n d d 9 9 Book 55-108.indd 99 3 / 2 4 / 1 4 7 : 1 8 A M 3/24/14 7:18 AM

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