Monday, July 30, 2012

day one complete

I have been a barista my entire collegiate career and I have loved mostly every second of it, as much as you can love a job. I remember my first shift at one of the cafes on our campus. It was a Wednesday night and I was working the closing shift with Calvin. I still had not quite grasped the difference between a mocha and a latte and God help me if I had to make a cappuccino. But Calvin was a good teacher and I learned pretty quickly. Soon my hands were flying around steaming all sorts of delicious beverages for those willing to pay a small sum of money in exchange for liquid goodness.

Campus Dining used my new found skill to their advantage, placing me in various shops around campus. I once considered it unlucky when the kiosk I worked at was being taken over by a coffee shop I had not ever heard of before. I thought I was going to lose my job because CD didn't have another coffee shop for me to go to.

And then this new coffee shop decided to keep me on. I was ecstatic! Not only was I no longer required to wear a uniform but I could also paint my nails! And wear my hair down! Oh the simple things in life! Plus I learned how to make designs in coffee, like leaves. You know how all the cool coffee shops do it, like champs.

I got some pretty good customer stories out of the deal too. There was a band of IT guys who would come get their coffee all at the same time. We called them the Motley Crew and they bantered and teased and wreaked havoc like it was their job. I always threatened to put pumpkin flavoring in Brian's drink. I never called Jason by his name - he was always Cappuccino Man.

Do you know, most people don't know the difference between a cappuccino and a latte? I blame those stupid gas station and continental breakfast machines you find in hotels. They dispense a cheap latte under the name 'cappuccino' and that just irks me to no end. Because then I get people who try ordering a cappuccino and when I ask them "wet or dry?" with a big fancy smile on my face, they look at me all confused like I just asked them to calculate the mass of the sun.

A cappuccino is a mostly foam. It's a really frothy and light drink. The foam can be really dry or it can be more wet, like a really foamy latte. A latte, on the other hand, is mostly milk, with a little bit of foam to top it off. I know the difference isn't very complicated, but they are two different textures in your mouth. Just learn your coffee, please. Life will be easier. For everybody.

Plus, then when I make jokes about being out of iced mochas, you'll actually understand that I can't actually be out of iced mochas. When you order coffee from a cafe, chances are they have an espresso machine and the proper ingredients, not a pre-packaged drink they grab out of the fridge and put in your hand.

But then I think back to my very first coffee experience, and I was a know-nothing who had a lot of learning to do. So really, how upset can I be when people don't the different between a caramel latte and caramel macchiato? Right.

Anyway, it's been four years since I was low man on the totem pole when it came to coffee. I just had my first day as a barista at Silverwood, and let me just say it was probably the easiest first day of a new job I will ever have in my life. Besides the fact that it was a ten hour shift and I have never worked one of those in coffee ever, I already knew how to make all the drinks. I rarely needed to ask a question, except about the till because let me just say that the till is a new learning experience every time you move to a different register. The difference in how tills are run is insane, if we're being honest.

Really the only drawback to being stuck in the Victorian House is that that's all I see for ten hours. The theme park is HUGE and I can't wait to just go and play there, not work. The Boy has never been, and once I have enough hours to get an e-ticket, that's going to change. DisneyLand is all well and good, but this park has a more laid back feel. Plus, I grew up here. This is MY park.

I just hope you like the coffee.

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