Thursday, December 13, 2007

a note:

okay, i know that all baristas have their own ways of doing things.
however, i would like to think that serving shots that are not properly extracted is not one of those nuances of barista style.
if a shot pulls like espresso-colored water, it ain't worth serving.
if a shot pulls drop by drop, it ain't worth serving.
i know there's variance with the amount of water pulled through the grounds, and every shot won't be an ideal 25 seconds, and i'm perfectly okay with paying for espresso in the 22-27 second range. but i'm not okay with paying for a 12 second or 15 second or 18 second shot.
apparently, though, the barista at a lexington, ky coffee shop (that is one of the top names in the lexington cafe scene, no less) did not understand that an 14 second (yes, i timed it) shot is not worth serving. and when i asked her politely "um...that double seemed a lot fast. would you mind pulling another please?" she at first looked like she didn't know what i was talking about, and then a little offended.
this shouldn't be the case. when i'm working behind the bar, and a person comes in and knows what a good shot is and what a bad shot is, and i serve them a bad shot (which hopefully i will never be so inattentive to do) i want them to recognize it, politely call me on it, and accept an apology and an drink they're happy with.



Flagg said...

Hey Scott!

You commented on Sarah Wilson-Jones's blog (who happens to be my boss), and I really enjoyed/appreciated your comment.

I popped over to your blog, and I found this. This has been a continuing topic of conversation within the Phoenix family.

I think it's really odd that this should be something that is so popular to talk about. Where I come from there are three kinds of baristas. There are those who work for Starbucks, those who work for smaller corporate chains (Caribou), and then there are the gemstone independent specialty coffee company baristas.

If you're serving bad shots, you're lazy or poorly trained. Part of being the latter sort of barista is a sense of pride that you take in your job and what you're pumping customers up with.

I've been in your same situation at different shops, and I've done the same as you.

I think you're fab for that. Promote coffee culture yo!

Felicia Flagg

Sarah Wilson-Jones said...

Hi Scott!
Flagg and I were talking about you last night and wondering how come you're not here in Cleveland for the regional SCAA skill building workshops? It would have been so cool to meet you! I also appreciated your comment and I hope you keep blogging! Maybe I'll actually get my blog going again, rather than just posting on our Phoenixer blog.
Hope all is well in Tennessee!