the more things stay the same, the more they change

well, i've been back to the barista grind for 6 months now, and i have to say i really, really love what i do.
i'm still the hard working barista who actually cares about making a quality beverage while making a customer connection.
every month my business grows and every week i have new regulars who can't get enough of our coffee. i can't tell you how gratifying it is to hear on a daily basis how much better our beverages are than those of coffee bean and starbucks. in fact, i've only ever had one complaint, and it was a really odd one, in my opinion.

one of our regular customers has a wife who is very picky about her espresso drinks. she ordered a small mocha from me, and returned the next morning to complain about it.

"do you make your mochas with coffee or espresso?" she asked.
"uh, we use espresso for our bar drinks," i informed her, puzzled by her question.
"oh, because it tastes like you used coffee." she replied.

knowing most customers will be accustomed to corporate chain drinks, i explained that my beans are not over-roasted, nor are they acidic or bitter, which might explain why she felt her beverage wasn't "strong" enough in flavor. i offered to make it again and double pull the espresso shot for her (yes, i have a traditional manual bar like every coffee house should) so it would have a fuller espresso flavor, that way she wouldn't have to pay for an extra shot of espresso.

she was willing to try a double pulled shot but made sure to tell me, "yeah, it's better but it still tastes like coffee and not espresso."

all i could do is shrug.
my espresso will NEVER taste like bux espresso, and my regulars are thankful for that. i have worked VERY closely with my roaster to create a unique blend especially for my coffee house. i will never brew coffee that tastes burnt or bitter. even when i worked for bux, i was all about quality made beverages and now i have the pleasure to ensure even my beans are of the highest quality (and organic, mind you).

but it's not JUST the coffee that keeps my regulars coming back. it's the all around experience of my place. when you love what you do, and you love interacting with customers, they love supporting you. it's as simple as that.

so, this blog is clearly going to have a change in tone. i don't have to deal with idiot bigwigs in seattle. i don't (not yet, at least) have to put up with entitled and prissy customers. and i don't have to deal with lazy baristas since we are a total mom and pop shop at the moment, which means no more rants!

i understand if having less things to bitch about means a decrease in readership, and honestly i'm ok with that. i hope those of you still following this blog will be ok with the more upbeat attitude :)


Zoltar Panaflex said...

I should have linked the article about Howard's fabulous book on what a soul Starbucks The Company has.

But I didn't want to make you spit up.

I'll bet your drinks are a cupful of (there is no word for this, so I'll make one up?) the mix between the wonderful mouthfeel of perfect crema, finding a $20, and doing a good deed all at once.

(word verification is HO LIKE which I thank you for, I choked on my tortellini!)

SkippyMom said...

I had to laugh at your last paragraph. I don't think anyone came to visit for your rants - they came [as did I] because we like you and your writing style.

If you have lost [or think you have lost] readers it is simply because we only see you once or twice in a few year span. It isn't because you have suddenly "turned upbeat".

Personally I think you always had a great attitude considering what went on at 'bux.

Some people just stop reading when there is nothing to read I think.

You stay on my blogroll, as always [both sites] and I am just a smiley person when you pop in.

Write, don't write, be happy, be bitchy - whatever. Just want what is best for you.

barista brat said...

zoltar panaflex - ha! love that word verification!
yes, howard's book would definitely make me queasy. his just a mouthpiece for the corporation now. there is no soul anymore.

skippymom - i love how i can always count of you to comment! i've really missed you!
i'm getting more inspired to keep up the blog, especially as i continue to have such amazing customers.

Summersweet Farm said...

I'm actually looking forward to the upbeatness. Not that you were ever a downer! But I like positivity too. :) I'd love to see some photos of your new shop - it's so inspiring how you made the leap from employee to employer.

halfinhalfout said...

Hey Brat, I agree with Skippy, I come to the blog to read because I enjoy reading about the things you're doing because you write so well, too many bloggers write badly and don't get why people won't bother to come back again.

Anonymous said...

Hey used to read this years ago when I worked at a coffee shop. Nice to see it's still alive.