How long have you been a barista?
I’ve been a barista at The Mill since September 2008
Why do you work as a barista?
Coffee is one of my favorite vices. day beer, if you will. i am always wanting to know more about coffee, the beans, roasts, regions, methods of preparation, and the nitty gritty of the wheeling and dealing.
What qualities do you believe a great barista should have?
Sass. Lots of it.
Do you plan to continue working in coffee?
If not, what would you like to do?
Eventually I would like to pursue a career in art and art education at both the elementary and college level.
What do you do outside of work, for fun?
drink coffee at The Mill or Cultiva, sketch people in coffee shops, paint, enjoy a glass or three of beer or wine.
What is you favorite coffee? Why?
Ethiopian or Kenyan. Gotta love those African beans.
Is there something you’ve learned about coffee that you think customers or other baristas should know?
Don’t freeze your coffee. Don’t grind your coffee until you are ready to prepare it. These are things that people do without realizing it really affects the taste and aromas of the coffee
What is your opinion of the coffee scene in Nebraska?
I appreciate the diverse community. At any given coffee shop there is a diverse staff and customers of people from various walks of life. I’ve met talented musicians, artists, writers, travelers, aspiring lawyers and doctors and thats just on the barista’s side of the counter. Everyone has a story and everyone has something to offer to the table.
Can you explain to those who don’t live here what they might expect when coming to Lincoln and The Mill specifically?
Again, diversity. It all depends on what you are looking for. each shop in Lincoln has there own qualities that are shared by few other coffee shops in Nebraska, let alone the star city. I would recommend Cultiva if you are looking for quality traditional espresso drinks. The baristas there painstakingly perfect each and every drink. I would recommend Crescent Moon and Indigo Cafe for studying or reading. Others you go to get good conversation, strong community, and atmosphere like at the Mill and the Coffeehouse. If you want to check out an open mic night you go to Crescent Moon or Meadowlark. Like I say it all depends on what you want out of a coffee shop and those were just a few examples of what the cafes in lincoln and nebraska has to offer. I would tell any non-lincolnite or non-nebraskan to go to as many coffee shops as you can before settling on one or another. each one is unique. you might like the tea at one, but love the lattes at another.
What are some things you do to keep learning and getting better as a barista?
Practice, asking more experienced baristas for advice, reading, youtube tutorials(im not proud!), building relationships with customers and other baristas, and more practice.