Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Tall, Grande, or Venti?

Today was my first day of training for my new job at Starbucks. There were two other new employees training with me as well, and they seemed pretty fun and I'm sure I'll like working with them. But I had an old-lady moment when I realized that one of my new co-workers was born in 1985, when I was in fifth grade. Holy crap.

Today was mostly about paperwork, really. You know, filling out tax forms and all that. We went over the company mission statement and some procedural things, however, the juicy stuff (coffee stuff??) will start at the next training session. We have nine days of training before we're "certified" baristas, and then I'll be able to make some kick-ass coffee drinks.

We also did our first official coffee tasting today, which is similar to wine tasting. There are four steps to tasting coffee:
1. Smell
2. Slurp (the louder, the better!)
3. Locate the experience on your tongue (Apparently this is related to the fact that different groups of tastebuds recognize different tastes, such as nutty, sweet, bitter, etc. So identifying where the coffee most strikes your tongue helps to identify more precisely the flavor. Cool, eh?)
4. Describe

Today we tasted Colombia Narino Supremo, which we discovered has a nutty but slightly sweet flavor and goes wonderfully with traditional coffee cake. Cool!

I can't believe how excited I am about this job, mostly because it's so different from the corporate career path I was on before. I hope that feeling lasts. I've worked in retail and customer service before and was horrible at it, which isn't surprising since I typically avoid too much interaction with people I don't know. And I always think the customer is wrong. However, I'm older, in a different place now and I'm trying different paths and new outlooks and new ways to focus my energy, and all this seems to contribute to a truly positive feeling about this.


Check back in after a month of me making coffee for an endless line of crabby people on their way to work. Wonder if I'll still be so positive. :)


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