Once again, I’m on break in the back room of our Silverlake store. We drove back earlier today, and had just about a half an hour before Devin and I had to head in to close the bar tonight. I think you can see the weariness in our eyes.
However, moral is high. This trip is what we needed. There’s really no doubt about it. I have to be very honest and say that until we left, including Monday morning, our attitudes have been terrible. I blame much of it on tunnel vision. Our eyes had been exclusively on our coffee bar and the issues surrounding it. Our palates had been completely stuck on our coffee, all the time. everything was getting old and we were stuck on the problems with little hope of solution.
Much has been changing at the bar, and we’ve gained many new people… including a new manager. Getting everyone up to speed had been pulling both of us down. An understated responsibility had been put on us, and we really didn’t want to admit it. Along with Deanna Mustard, Devin and I are the OG’s of the coffee bar, leaving us as the motivators and examples, and we’ve been really bad at it.
Getting away from Los Angeles and being around passionate baristas again removed the tunnel vision a bit. I had a cup of coffee off of PT’s Clover that showed me good coffee is happening elsewhere. I’d kind of forgotten. Now that we’re back, it feels good to be on bar again. I’m reminded of what we are offering… not necessarily an education and gripe session about what coffee is, but simply a quality beverage. I’m getting back to shutting up and making great coffee with a smile.
I hope that in the next week we can turn all attitudes around here in the store. It’s been evident that we’re not the only ones tired. Things will settle more as people move from being new hires to true assets to this coffee bar. Devin would like me to add that he’s no longer telling customers to go fuck themselves… I think he means metaphorically, but I haven’t worked as much with him lately… So, who knows?
I can’t even begin to explain how much of a burden is lifted from my shoulders with this. It just makes me happy again. Now, it’s back to the lab to prepare for the Western. We’ve gotten some great feedback and I’m stoked to see what we can do and where we can go in the next month. Once again, congrats to the other competitors of the weekend. It was great to see 2 new kids, who have never even seen a competition, step up and try their best. It truly was inspirational. Oh, and if you’re ever in Tempe, AZ, check out Cartel Coffee!