What’s the hardest part being a barista? Some may say multi-tasking, keeping the bar area clean, or crafting beautiful latte art. To me, it’s waking up. Having worked as a barista for nearly 2 years, many would think opening a café at 6am should be a piece of cake by now – but the reality is, waking up at 5am only gets harder.
The way I prepare my opening shift at the Glendale café is by first and foremost, setting 6 of my alarm clocks the night before. Sounds extensive having 6 but, it’s better to have backups just in case. The alarm clock is the start of the chain reaction that leads to that beautiful cup of espresso that’ll lead to success for the rest of the shift. If this works, the rest should be smooth sailing.
Although it is a challenge to wake up so early, opening a café is one of my favorite things about my job. I get to set up the café while brewing a fresh batch of coffee that I will serve to customers, perhaps the cup of coffee that’ll start their chain reaction. There’s nothing better than being a part of someone’s day this way and providing the fuel for their journey.
For the last 10 minutes before the café opens, I take my cup of espresso and sit out by the customer area and sip slowly. I take a few sips to ensure my espresso is sweet, clean, and juicy, just as it should be. I meditate on how precious this cup of coffee is, in that it has traveled many miles and has brought farm-to-cup to life. Coffee is the type of harvest that is not just personal, but is to be shared. It brings people together. From farm into our cup, it makes waking up all worth it. Cheers.
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