Surprise! I’m becoming a barista?

I started work Monday, setting up children’s clothes and the Christmas section. We have super cute ornaments, if anyone was wondering.

Our gift shop also has a coffee shop in it, but the barista won’t be here until the middle of June. Because of that, our manager asked me and my friend, Claire, to learn how to make coffee.

I’ve never actually had a cup of coffee. The closest thing I can remember was when my sister took me to Starbucks in high school and got me a caramel frappecino. “There’s no coffee in it,” she assured me.

I took two sips before saying, “I think they forgot to clean the blender, because this tastes awful.” Thus her malevolent plans to trick me into liking coffee were thwarted.

Anyways, turns out making coffee is kind of hard, but also pretty fascinating. Our trainer went into a bit of the science behind it, and how the milk temperature needs to be about 160 degrees if it’s cow milk but 145 if it’s soy or almond, and the water is forced through the grounds at an exact pressure (9psi) (jk, actually 9 bar, which is more like 350 psi. Thanks to my friend and co-coffee-maker Claire for straightening me out πŸ˜‰ ) and humidity and weather can make it so you need to change the coarseness of the grounds. A lot of it went over my head, but he left a cool manual showing how to make espresso so I’ve been reading that a lot.

So far I’ve worked 2 shifts. I always seem to be throwing out half the milk I steam, even though I swear I start with the same amount that our trainer told us to. Yesterday a guy ordered a 16 ounces chai and I ended up giving him an extra 8 ounce cup because I didn’t realize how much I poured in. I’ve been watching YouTube tutorials all morning to figure out what I’m doing wrong. Pretty sure I’m getting over-excited about the foam part of the drink. Kind of like how today I forgot to turn off the steam wand before taking it out of the pitcher of half and half I was heating up. I ended up wearing half and half all day. There are worse fashion trends. By the time the summer crowds start coming in, I should be competent at it!Also, while I may be the least qualified barista ever, the shop also has an ice cream stand with 12 flavors. I’m extremely qualified at loving ice cream and handing out samples, so it balances out.

Published by Andrea Umfleet

Writer, Backpacker, Freelance Technical Editor. Owner of Trask Mountain Editing. I like the Oxford comma.

5 thoughts on “Surprise! I’m becoming a barista?

  1. So nice to see your pic, Andrea, and hear from you! Sounds like you have a very interesting job, I am sure you will have lots of customers as the summer season progresses. We seen everyone at your folks this evening, including Mark. We had a nice visit, they had pizza and Blackberry pie for their dinner..we shared a great chocolate chip cookie! Olivia and Trevor have planted a garden and look forward to lots of veggies. Pearl and I had clothing that matched, she wore a dress and I wore a blouse with a blue and white checkered pattern. Nina and the kids all seem fine as does every one. Glad you are enjoying your summer, we are sure that Mark will be up your way soon!! Well thank you for the nice photos and sharing your adventure with us. Love!! Grandma and Grandpa M


  2. Andrea; Just wondered how all was going, haven’t heard from you for awhile. All is well here, we went to the preschool graduation for Ell and Cohen, on Wednesday evening. The children looked so cute and happy to be in their ceremony. We went to the DQ in Newberg this afternoon and had lunch then went to Rays fruit stand and got some luscious cherries and local strawberries.
    We are thankful for the summer weather and hopefully our tomato plants will produce well. Well must go for now..hope all is well! Love!! Grandma and Grandpa M!


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