A Year In The Life

It’s been a year since I began to write The Ghost World. Looking back, I am reminded of why I even started the blog. It never started as a voice into an industry, or even a way for others to hear my [often bullheaded] opinions. No, the initial purpose was to track a life that was moving too fast for me to even keep up.

My perspectives have changed quite a bit since I began all this. I’ve tasted many more coffees and grown so much as a barista. I would like to think that I am now 70% skill and 30% knowledge behind the bar, as compared to, probably, 95% skill and 5% knowledge a year ago. I was in a place where I could make great coffee, but I really couldn’t explain to you how or why I was doing the things I had been doing.

There’s still so much to learn, and the best part is I couldn’t be in a better situation to soak it all in. I’ve bounced between too many jobs since I left home. Way too many jobs. However, where I have landed is a good place to be a barista. Incredible really. Our coffee bar is the perfect place to simply shup up, and to put all the things we online coffee geeks like to rant about to use.

There are also a couple of things that have completely changed my world. Things I have come to depend on. Things that every coffee bar should have. First being the Clover. Wow! I never knew a machine could change someone like myself so much… Yet, it has. It has taught me so much. Nick Griffith said it first, but I have to agree. It’s now difficult for either of us to taste a not-so-great cup of coffee without thinking, “Wow, they need to change their contact time,” or “Hmm, another degree or so hotter would really make this sing!” We, now, actually, think Clover…

The other machine is a Synesso. My initial thoughts were extremely critical. However, in the search for the perfect espresso, this tool is essential. Or at least something like it. The key to the Synesso above any other PID machine is how easy and simple it really is to adjust the temperature. Some blends just taste to compact and too this or that… and with a couple of buttons, that blend can be perfectly balances and wonderful.

The final thing I am growing dependent on, is the Robur.  Well, I should say, I’ve been in love with the Robur for quite sometime now. Yet, it is the 3 phase model that makes me smile uncontrollably. Just imagine burs that turn so slow I can put my finger on them… They are what keeps our coffee tasting delicious all day long. It’s just a beautiful thing.

Well, I have to get running to my 8 AM shift. I promise to have more pictures up on Flickr soon. Thanks to all of you who are reading this. Thanks for checking in here and there just to see what’s happening next in the journey. I’m sure it’ll be awesome to look back on in a year and see how many more things I can wish I could take back… There’s so much to happen between now and then…

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