Holy Mother of Updates!

I've gotten some gentle nudges (and a loaned computer) from my beau to update this thing, so here we are, trudging onward despite last week's heartbreaking loss of data. Thusly, please excuse the excessive length of this post; I'll just purge of the stuff that's happened in the past fortnight. Oh, goody!

First of all, I met some swell folks last week, including the famed Jay of Jay's Shave Ice & pals Lindsay, Matt and Karen -- all the most lovely kind of coffee nerds.


It was great to wag jaws about different machines (Synesso v. Marzocco -- the ongoing debate!), talk shop a little and get to make some coffees for some folks I respect, even if I did have to split my time between chatting & closing up the store. I was lucky enough to run into them (minus Karen, sadly) the next day at Cafe Grumpy. Double trouble!

Hope you guys all had a blast visiting, if you happen to read this silly thing!

Also last week, the Joe management team stepped into the "studio" (really, just the Waverly store hooked up with lights and microphones and tripods) to record some pieces for PodcastGO!

Sarah Podcast

Over the next ten or fifteen days or so, check PodcastGO! for treats like Sarah (above) walking you through the finer points of French press coffee, Josh explaining home brewing techniques, and yours truly very nervously and awkwardly waxing geeky about latte art.

"Not only does it look good, but it tastes great, too!" Ugh. True story.

In training news, I've got a coupla espresso-lovin' dames up my sleeve, ready to unleash them unto the coffee world at large.

Brooke comes to us direct from the comedy clubs and Intelly-slinging cafes of Chicago, that toddlin' town.

Latte laughs

Two sessions into her training and she's already gearing up to pull some maximum strength latte art. Also, please enjoy her jokes! (Here is a link to her MySpace Comedy doohickey.)

Our other lovely lady is the v. sassy Anne, who can be seen making me laugh like the dickens in the following photograph:

Latte laughs 2

From Seattle via Boston (the City of My Heart, where she worked at 1369), Anne is already churning out some wicked (!) impressive early rosettas, which is about as exciting as it gets around here.

Anne's Rosetta (After Training Session #3)
Check that out!

Working with Brooke & Anne has been rewarding, thrilling and challenging in all the right ways; I've always really enjoyed teaching other people and talking to them about coffee and getting even veteran baristi excited about what we're doing, and these two have been a pair of the finest this business could toss my way.

So far, the thing I value the most in the ongoing learning process that is Becoming A Better Trainer™ is coming up with new ways to describe things that are largely visual, or almost "instinctive" at this point.

It's been a bit of a struggle for me to come up with a vocabulary for describing the process of pouring a rosetta, for instance, but with the patience and contributions of staff members both new and old, I think I'm starting to understand the language of latte art.

My fellow head barista Amanda and myself are also currently developing a standardized training manual for the company, and it's an interesting chance for me to get to analyze the ways we can use literature -- both our own and outside sources, like David Schomer's books -- as teaching tools, in addition to our specialized one-on-one sessions.

Also, there is some major girl power at Joe these days! I have a lot more to say about that, but really, could this entry be any longer as it is?!

Until next time, then.

Caffeinatedly yours,
Erin "As Short As A Double Ristretto" Meister