On Being a Barista Who Doesn’t Like Coffee

Clickbait. I got you.

Well. Okay. The title is partly true. Let’s get the facts straight.

  1. I am not trained to be a barista (yet), but I do work at a coffee shop called Cat and Cloud. I’ll be happy to pour your cup of Joe or make you any blended drink, but espresso drinks are a true art that I have yet to master or be at any sort of competent level.
  2. I didn’t start drinking coffee until I started working here. My palette is developing, but straight espresso still makes my face scrunch up like I bit into a lemon.

IMG_0208.jpgOn the Youtube channel SoulPancake, there is an awesome series called Going There, in which a couple road-trips across the country to hear people from every background’s stories and different views on life. My favorite episode by far is this one, which focuses solely on the people. In case you didn’t know, my extrovert self loves people. My interactions with other humans are often my favorite part of my day. That’s always been the case.

But now I get to be a part of a company that values people above all else. This post may seem like an advertisement for Cat and Cloud, or something like that, but it’s not, and I genuinely cannot explain to you enough how constantly stoked I am that I work where I do. Yes, I work at a specialty coffee shop, and yes, we serve some pretty incredible, delicious, and meticulously crafted coffee and espresso drinks, but it’s a means to be able to interact with and love on and be a light in the community.

And it’s a pretty great means to accomplish such a bold task, seeing as coffee is the one thing that gets most people through the day. This magical bean juice allows me to interact with strangers I would never get to otherwise interact with.

Workers from every field imaginable, impacting the world in an infinite number of ways rush through for their to-go Joe. Neighbors stroll in to catch up with the employees. Exhausted parents drag their kids in to be able to function. Hipster students way cooler than I could ever hope to be come to dissect our espresso and post rad photos. Bible studies utilize our communal space and dive into discussion. Coffee geeks that have followed Cat and Cloud’s founders since Verve stop by to nerd out. Travelers from around the globe drop in to taste and see what all the hype is about. In the blink of an eye since I’ve started working, I’ve been able to witness the most spectacular kaleidoscope of individuals.

During my training, as I was about to begin working, I soaked in the weight suddenly placed upon my shoulders to be an ambassador of a company whose impact reaches farther than I can fathom. At first it felt heavy, because I was trying to pull from strength that I don’t have and be someone that I’m not. I mean, how could a 17 year old like me possibly be equipped to do this? But when a wise and trusted truth-teller in my life gently reminded me that being fully and freely me is enough, that load I was carrying was lifted. I’ve got whole team of people to back me up, and each of us bring something beautiful and unique.

As for the coffee?

Sometimes customers ask me questions about coffee that I don’t know. And for now that’s okay. I’ll direct them to a wiser individual, and I will learn those answers quickly and eagerly. But above all else, priority number one is and always will be putting smiles on people’s faces, causing them leave happier than when they came in.



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