Sunday, April 23, 2006

First Day: in a few hours

I begin my first day behind the bar at this newer shop, with no formal (or otherwise) training from the owners.

I had dropped by with my g/f and my visiting friend to introduce everyone and just have a good time.

On EVERY single table is a flyer that says (per my messing around suggestion.. word for word): "What is latte art? Come find out Sunday 5-9pm" with an internet picture of a beautiful rosetta in the background. I later find out that they have had it written on the outdoor sign since the day they told me I was on.(Thursday)

Holy crap.. I haven't had much time on their machine yet, and I hadn't expected too big of a deal, but now I'm kind of nervous. Not that I'm nervous of whether or not people will like it.. I've been assured by the persons mentioned that even if it's not my best, it's more than anyone here has ever seen (probably). While this is true, I'm trying to set a standard, here. I have very high expectations for myself, and for the industry as a whole.

I feel like I'm representing not only myself, not only the shop, but the entire Third Wave to the people who will walk through the door of that shop come Sunday evening. This is where my nerves come in. I don't have an established flow on this setup yet. Not even close. The steam wands are short.. really short.. and they pivot forward until the wand is at about a 30* angle.. which makes it very difficult to properly froth the milk. I still get larger foam on this machine, but it's getting better. I'm having to get used to 32oz frothing pitchers and how the milk behaves in them after about a month of nothing but my 12oz pitcher at home.. there is a HUGE difference.

I worry about the pre-programmed shot volume. I don't want to pull lungos, but it appears that's what I get with the "double" button. I'll figure it out, I think.

I'm going to bring my timer, my 20z pitcher, and my own tamper so I'm at least comfortable with the tools I'm using. It's so strange, though. I've been praying for an opportunity like this for a long time, and now that it's here, I'm just a bundle of nerves lacking in self-confidence.

This is the first active step in the long journey of improving coffee in West Texas. I just hope this will catch on within the single shop. If that happens, then there's hope. If it doesn't, then it's all just an unfulfilled dream.

Wish me luck, people.


Possibly pictures to come.


Chris said...

Good luck!

Matthew Brinski said...

You'll be fine man ... no big deal!

Larry said...

Confidence, walk in like you own the joint!

A tip...

use the manual overide button for pulling shots instead of the pre-programmed buttons, you know when to stop the shot