It’s Saturday morning and you need a coffee. You arrive at a new café you read about but have never been, order from a happy looking barista, sit down and start to enjoy your latte.
The temperature is perfect, the milk is silky smooth and the espresso shot doesn’t taste bitter but surprisingly it’s not amazing. Something is missing, something that you can’t quite put your finger on… Passion is exactly what you’ll taste in a cup that comes from a barista who absolutely loves coffee. A barista who not only wakes up thinking about coffee, but who counts coffee beans to go to sleep at night. They pay special attention to detail with the whole process into making your liquid gold.
A passionate barista will have all the right tools, a clean area and will watch the espresso shot pour into your cup while checking for perfection and consistency. If anyone has a coffee-related question, the passion is expressed through the wealth of knowledge they’ve absorbed while on their journey. If you have a coffee order with certain requirements, they’ll ask you the right questions to make sure you’re getting exactly what you’re after. A smiling barista will present your milk-based take away coffee without a lid so you can enjoy the pattern they’ve created on top. You might even catch them watching you take that first sip to check for expressions of bliss. These are some of the things to look out for in search of a passion-infused coffee.
I understand that you can catch anyone, in any type of customer service, on a bad day but a barista who looks like they don’t want to be there can be a contributing factor to bad taste. Some baristas are in that position just to earn some extra money to spend on the weekend or it’s a just a job that forced them onto the machine. You may come across a barista who is new to the position and while making your coffee they might miss something technical but the taste of passion can be very forgiving.
As our consumer expectations rise, so do the standards being delivered. Employers are not only looking for someone who knows they’re way around an espresso machine, they’re looking for a barista with a genuine interest in coffee of all forms, from bean to cup. Some employers will even back their enthusiastic baristas who want to take their skill and passion to the next level and enter barista competitions. When competing they can be judged on every detail from knowledge on the beans they’ve chosen to the shape of the love heart in a latte. You’re guaranteed passion when coming across any participant in these competitions.
In a city with coffee shops in abundance, we have much to choose from. Coffee specialty boutiques are popping up everywhere, from around the city to the suburbs and are normally a safe bet for the passion ingredient but that’s not to say you won’t find that same ‘caffection’ from a barista in that franchise down the road.
When choosing a regular location with passionate baristas for your favourite coffee order to enjoy your cappuccino, sip your latte or shoot your espresso, see if you can taste the flavour of passion contributing to the whole experience that illuminates your senses.
Derek Crozier is the Managing Director of Freshly Ground Studio