Sometimes it just amazes me to think back to my beginning and realize where I have come from. I remember the first time I had a Con Panna… My friends decided to play a little joke on me and bought me one at Starbucks… Just to see my reaction. Then, I decided to start buying them to see my friends reaction. Then I began to drink them to impress people with what I could handle (Mind you, I’m 15 about this time).
Then one day, one of my current band mates, Matt Brown, decided to tell me about a little coffee shop called Lava Java… it was a place where his best friend, Billy worked… I loved the coffee… With a little in from Matt I landed a job at this place where people competed in coffee… knowing nothing. My experience at the time was short… I was young and dumb… but what I learned from that coffee nut, Billy, changed my life. The way he talked about coffee will stick in my brain forever. The first time I tasted straight espresso was with this guy. He walked me through the process as we were hit with flavors of Meyer lemon, sweet cherry, and sweet, rich chocolate… Ah hairbender!
A couple years went by, I remained friends with the owner of the shop… I left for college and took with me the knowledge I had gained from these barista… Through circumstances and the lack of good coffee in Minneapolis, I moved back to Portland… I decided it was time to take a break from school and pursure something I loved. Due to some age and maturity, the owner of that little shop, Phuong, decided to give me another chance. The rest from there is continuing to develop… So far the story included a competition, some hard training, and losing my ego… which is still happening slowly.
I owe so much thanks to some key individuals. Many people have invested time in helping me learn about coffee and customer service. This entry is here to say thank you to some awesome people… First and foremost, Phuong… you gave me many second chances and spent a lot of time training and investing in me. Without you I would not have the career opportunities before me. Joe Raines, you are one of the best day to day barista I know… Your cappuccinos amaze me… your sense of style floors me… Philip Search. You are are a well of knowledge and passion that few compare to. Your eccentricism makes me jealous. Without you I would never have questioned anything… now, I know what I know because it is science, not hear say… Billy Wilson, you inspire me. There is no need to tell you how good you are. Only a need to say thank you for being as passionate as you are. If I had not seen it, I would not be in coffee today. Brent Fortune… You have been an awesome friend and an excellent man to work for. Thank you so much for the time you spent ripping apart my cappuccino and espresso… You helped me out when I really needed it and for that I am greatful. These people have been awesome to me. We all have people who inspire and mentor us a long the way, and I guess I just felt the need to make some of then known…