March in motion.

Well, it’s back to the grind for me. I’ve been terribly lazy the last week and haven’t done much training or posting on coffee. I have, however, been checking on constantly with my friend, Stephen Morrissey, to see how he faired in the Irish Barista Competition. I must congratulate him on his third victory of the competition year… He is the Irish cupping, latte art, and barista champion!

I think I’ve finally nailed a signature beverage for the Western Regional. I’ll save the details so the judges can hear them first. It’s relatively delicious and I feel that it leaves room for play between the Western and the US. Though I haven’t been in the lab, the competition has been on my mind and I’m starting to sweat a bit… mostly because the official word is that Heather Perry will be returning to compete in the regional. I expected this for Minneapolis, but not Berkley.

Sunday, I saw what I am calling my best shift ever at our coffee bar. It was one of those days many would call understaffed. From my start at 1PM, we had 4 people on shift. At 4PM, we lost one of those people. Myself, our manager~ Ty McNulty, and barista Jared Linzmeier all closed the bar together. We were slammed like I’ve never seen before. The line was out the arches till 7:30. However, we all dug in and pumped out coffee all day long with relatively smiling faces.

Now, I say this was the best day because it was what business owners dream of. A long, fast moving line, operated by a minimal amount of employees, and having people by your side you can rely on. It was a dream. Walking out the door, I felt like it was a day that showed more of the potential as to what this coffee bar can be. The tips were phenomenal and I was happy.  Now, I’m crossing my fingers, hoping we can maintain the staff we currently have, and get them all up to speed, as to have more reliable crews and days like this.

Finally, I’m curious as to what many of you out there are doing in response to cell phones… and those who have them, but lack etiquette. I’ve heard stories, seen signs, but am curious as to what else is out there. We’ve had a recent outbreak of really bad cell phone behavior and would like some more ideas on how to manage it…


5 thoughts on “March in motion.

  1. Couple thoughts. First, I have often enjoyed those multi-hour-out-the-door shifts with other great baristas by my side. In my world, the greatest compliment I could ever give a barista is that I would “go into battle” with them, meaning, if a hurricane hit (or some such) and everyone’s power went out for ten miles in all directions except YOUR SHOP’S, I would want you by my side serving the throngs of customers… I love going into battle with a crew of three or four on such days.

    Cell phones…I had a friend who literally skipped over customers who got to the front and were still talking on their phones. When the customer complained she would say, “You were busy.” Obviously it worked better at certain times than at others, but I thought it was pretty darned effective.

  2. At our shop, we have a sign on the register; it’s a residential neighborhood (people aren’t usually in business mode), but it has helped and people have responded pretty well. Not sure if signs are generally helpful, tho. They’re pretty easy to miss and/or ignore, not to mention they sort of eff up the aesthetic of the store.


  3. Aaron~ We’ve tried this as well. It’s interesting since the person pulling shots first takes the order, then the person who steams the milk and pours the drink rings them up… So, sometimes people get to the register before they realize they’ve been passed up. Makes me for even more confusion. But… it is mildly effective.

    Ari~ Ty said they tried to get one for Groundwork downtown and it’s apparently illegal. We still have considered the option though… How great would that be!

    Phil~ We had a sign at Lava Java when I worked there. The solution most of the time, was to simply point them towards the sign. This ended in so many people storming out furious.

    Right now, I’m relying on my friend Jared to set the word straight for me. Apparently, he’s been simply telling customers on the phone that they need to be careful because some people in our cafe won’t serve people if they’re on their cell phone… Hopefully this works.

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