Tuesday, March 21, 2006

One of the better days I've had relating to work

So, I'm at work, bored. Since Starbucks put a store in just down the street, right next to campus (like we are), business has dropped considerably. I've tried offering tips to help pick things back up, but the business has been running fine as it is for years, and it's not clear if it's Starbucks or just a slow semester. Others have tried suggesting random ideas as well.

But anywho, a customer comes in today and orders a large to-go cup of Guatamala Antigua. I've talked to this guy before, and he normally orders a cup of Sumatra Mandehling, but today, he says, "for old times sake" after ordering.

The story behind this is that he has actually been to a coffee plantation in the Antigua region of Guatamala. He's told me about how he's had coffee so fresh, it was literally picked off the tree, pulped on the spot, and then roasted and brewed. First of all, let me just say that I'm not so sure he knew exactly what he was talking about when he told me this, but I'll just assume he did. While I can't say I agree with this method, or that I would consider that to be a very palatable cup of coffee, I can say that he's experienced something most people never get a chance to.
He told me about the farmer whose face lit up when he thought his coffee was the best in a blind tasting he took part in.
He asked if I knew what farm or plantation our Guat came from. I ashamedly and disappointedly told him that, no.. we don't know. We get our coffee roasted from Metro Coffee Grouppe (it's basically the back-end of Coffee Haus.. the roasting, etc..), and they don't give us a roast date, let alone the farm or crop date.

He told me about how they kept their ancient copper drum roaster polished and spotless. He couldn't say enough about his experience. He keeps telling me I should go see it, especially considering "what I'm into".. meaning, my obsession with coffee. I told him that if I ever have a chance to, I'll definitely drop by. Filadelfia Coffee Estate, Guatemala

It made my morning.

I introduced another customer (a younger guy.. I think he was a fellow student) to the concept of different flavors from different regions. He said "I'm not a coffee connoiseur" in a tone implying "I don't care". He had ordered a large cup of Guatamala Antigua (one of our coffees of the day.. in case you noticed a trend), and asked for a refill. I suggested he try just a touch of raspberry syrup in it. I personally, have found that the flavors REALLY compliment each other well. While I'm not one for flavored coffee, I'm not opposed to flavor enhancement, which I feel this does very well.

I gave him a little sample, which he loved. Maybe this will spark a bit of curiosity. Alot of people don't know what they're missing.

Another upnote:
I went up to a new(er) shop just to check it out. It's run by a married couple in their late thirties or so.

I talked to one of the owners. Told her about how I'm working at a different coffee shop. She asked what my favorite drinks to make were, and I told her a cappuccino, and a latte because of the challenge(capp) and that I like to drink them, and the latte is because I like to pour art. She seemed happy that I could pour art. She told me that her husband was trying to learn all that stuff, and I told her I would be more than happy to teach him. That I'd love to see a shop in Lubbock pour art on a consistent basis.

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