Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Judger of Coffee

I don't want to brag or anything, but I used to be a barista before that title was popular. I called myself a "delicatessen" on my resume, which would include food and fancy beverages. In reality, I manned the hotdog station every weekend and prepared approximately 400 electric pink hotdogs every week (1 for myself). These things were not made with people in mind. My stomach probably has enough pink dye in it to turn my organs an interesting shade for several decades.

Yummy! I ate one of these every week for 3 years.
Photo credit: good-times.webshot.com
Everyone had these crap types of jobs... the ones where you have to watch the employee DVD on how to do something like stock shelves correctly or make a cappuccino.  I still remember from the awful 90s instructional that enforced "espresso" is not lamely spelled with an "x," and the perfect milk steam is between 152 and 160 degrees. If you've seen this vid, you should win a prize for watching the whole thing, because those factoids are roughly 83 minutes apart (meaning you took this as seriously as I did).

Anyway, somewhere along the way a nice lady told me that I made the perfect cappuccino, and proceeded to describe it as a philosophical haiku. Just kidding, she just said it was the best one she ever had, which was substantial to a 16 year old making $5.15 an hour before taxes, and coming home every night smelling like hotdog. It occurred to me that drinking the best drink, eating the best meal, and driving the best car was something that I'd like to do one day. With my hotdog smelling paycheck, I began my "coffee perfection quest."

Today my favorite beverage is an americano, with a requisite proper amount of espresso, water, and cream to make it perfect.  If you've never had one, it's two espresso shots and hot water to fill the cup. You add as much cream to it as you would a cup of coffee, and this drink was guaranteed to be much fresher than what was sitting in the decaf carafe.  I had one of the best americano's ever tonight, and I should have told the person who made it (who is probably making $6 an hour before taxes at the University coffee shop).  At $2.55, it's a steal. I won't say classes were any shorter, but it was the best handmade drink I've had in 2011.