Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Barista 101 (3-19-08)

I started my training to learn the inns and outs of making and running a coffee shop last week.

Welcome To Cactus Creek Coffeshop in Raeford, NC

Ground Zero, where the Noobie Barista gets his baptism by fire... err steam.

Day 1: I spent the day with Mike Birkey who owns Cactus Creek Coffee. We started with a partially dissasembled expresso machine to show me the guts (yeah it was gruesome) and all about how it works. I took in most of it, but the really important parts were the safety shut off valves, the wrong noises one can make and why, the gagues and what they mean. From there, we went into the serving area to see how espresso is made, what it should look like and how much should be in each drink. We had to make a few things and unfortunately drink them (yum!), I also learned about fraps, smoothies and syrups (again learning about quantity to ensure consistancy). Our last stop was in the roasting room. In here I learned all about the different coffees he roasts and how they are roasted. I even got to roast some (well watch actually.) We talked about a few other things, I asked a bunch of silly questions and then Mike sent me on my way. I feel like I can intelligently discuss coffee now - great job Mike!

Na, I'm not really working here, I couldn't get Sandra to take a pic while I was working.

Day 2: My day started early as I showed up at the Raeford Rd. Cactus Creek location. I met Sandra who is “The wo-Man” (as far as making coffee is concerned). She walked me thru a few things and then BAM people started coming. I learned to make so many things that morning I didn’t think I could possibly remember it all, but it was fun. I quickly noticed how she seemed to have a relationship with many of the customers, they would discuss things that are going on in their lives and with their children. I can see how this business will open many doors for ministry. I throughly enjoyed my first day.

People drinking coffee I made, we dragged the dead and dying out before we took the picture

Sandra the Master Barista. Mike may have trained me, but Sandra showed me how things REALLY work :)

Day 3: and on have been more of the same, learning a few new techniques each day and seeing how the business flows, I am amazed at how quickly time flies by. I think I am getting close to being able to take the ball and run with it… Lord willing we will be up and running before I forget everything I have learned.

I wanted to take the time to thank God for hooking me up with Mike and Sandra. I can’t believe how much time and effort both of them have invested into learning this business. To this day I have not paid a dime to Mike, I havn’t signed any contracts or made any commitments. Mike Birkey is a great businessman and Christian brother.

Oh, and his coffee is fantastic… go to his website or his store and buy it up.

No comments: