Saturday, January 30, 2010

Barista Bonding and Comfort zones

So, this week I've been fighting off a killer cold.
So , I've been loading up on various cold medicines, trying to get better and trying not to gross my customers out. I mean I know that I'm being ultra careful (yea, I sure didn't cough, wipe my hand under my nose and then hand me money for a latte...not that any one's every done that to me!), but you may not realize that and keeping our customers is highly encouraged ;).

Let me just say that I work with some incredible Baristas. I don't know if I've ever worked somewhere where everyone has each others back, and honestly does, as in, they are not just waiting for you to leave so that they can talk about you.
I had such an amazingly off day the other day, and not only did they have me covered as I was at the bar, but one supervisor just went above and beyond, telling my manager that I was doing fine and how we all have off days and so on. I still almost don't know how to handle that (in a good way!)

Then the afternoon just got brighter:
We had some Barista bonding with a bit of an espresso shot competition-two of us did 8, I think the other "only" 6.

I think we might have scared a few people off...our regulars found it hilarious.
Let's say it motivated some cleaning on one of our parts (not mine this time :) ).
Good times.

One of our core values is to be welcoming.
Let me say that I've been pushed out of my comfort zone already at this job, but I really pushed myself yesterday to start more and more conversations with my customers.

The amazing God thing was that I was planning a devotional for my teen girls that I lead about loving others by seeing the needs around us (not just always focusing on our two best friends) and comfort zones, and I asked God to help me to learn this and to lead by example.

And then yesterday happened and it was awkward at first. Some people don't really want to talk.
And it's just hard for me to do that. But I found the responses incredible. People would stop and look at me like "are you talking to me?" Then they would get into the conversation. Smile. Laugh sometimes.

I had a conversation with a customer who was buying a pound of Verona. Verona is one of my favorite roasts and I told him that. He said he thought all of them were supposed to be our favorite. So, I kept talking about it and how I had tried it at home as espresso and it was amazing.
When he walked away he laughed and told me to never loose my personality.

I was just really struck by what a difference these conversations were making.
And come to think of it, were making in me as well.

We live in such a sterile society. Don't talk to me. I'll check myself out at wal-mart thank you. Just give me my product and let me go home and sit in front of my computer and television. Deliver everything to me.

But we really do crave that interaction. We NEED it.

I've just been amazed on more than one occasion at how God has used this job to bring the real me out.

Those of you who know me know this has been an ongoing thing in my life.

But, recently, God has really been convicting me ( for me personally) that it's a matter of pride to not reach out to others around me.
I say I'm shy. Maybe so (although not as much as I used to be).
But, where does that come from? I'm afraid to show who I am because what if others laugh at the real me? What if they don't like what they see and they wound me?

And? Really what difference does that make?
Does it change my value? Does it change how God sees me?
If they do not like what God created, is there something wrong with ME?

Not in the least.

I also find it very eye opening to realize in a new way that God has placed me there for a reason, and that His work is in all things. I can serve Him and others while I serve coffee.

(Oh I love that He created coffee!)

I still need a lot of work in this area, but I find this of great comfort:
Philippians 1:6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Coffee and other ramblings

So yes, I am going to attempt to be a bit more consistent at using this blog. Of course, anything is better than how I've used it thus far :). I used to blog about my life all the time. Lately it's just been for my jewelery blog, and I keep thinking of things God is teaching me that I should share and little tid bits.

This morning however is going to be about coffee. Yes ladies and gentlemen, I am now willing to agree with my husband that I am indeed a coffee snob, but I am trying to come up with a better term for it. I tell him that I have just learned to enjoy the better things in life, and somehow just end up coming across as a hilarious comic routine which leaves him hooting. Oh well.

But, this is what happens when you work for a local coffee house, begin to like better coffee, then start working for a company that sells the top selling coffee in North America. Being educated in coffee (which included tastings, called cupping, more on that later), how it's made, how to describe it, how where it's grown affects it's all adds up. Or at least this is what I keep telling myself. In all honesty I am very thankful to God for giving me a job that I so thoroughly enjoy and that I can be passionate about.

Soon after being hired at this job, I discovered the beauty of the French Press. (again, another blog ;) )

Of course said dear man added fuel to the fire by giving me my own espresso maker for Christmas. I have been having a ball with it! I am still floored over it to tell you the truth.

Which leads me to my wonderful brew of choice this morning: Verona.
But, not only Verona, but Verona as an espresso shot.
In a nut shell Verona is more of a Cocoa tinted, sweeter brew while espresso is a little more bitter with caramel notes.
But, I am in high heaven this morning with my Americano misto. (Americano=espresso shots +hot water. Misto=also some foamy milk)
And if you do not speak coffee, I sincerely apologize and will be posting more blogs about such things in the future.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

What can you do?

I know we have all been hearing about the devestation in Haiti since Tuesday.

It's easy to feel as if we have nothing to offer, or what little we do have can do little to aid such an enormous need.

But, God has called us to help the poor and needy:

Luke 12:
Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

We are told that in doing so we are shown as His children and are really doing it for Him:

Matthew 25: 31-40
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' ;

Fo Here in North America we have so much disposable income-even those of us on a tight budget!

Maybe it means giving up our entertainment for the week or month (movies, eating out, new music);

Maybe it means not buying that new pair of jeans or shoes;

Maybe it means not going out for that coffee every day, but we can all do something.

I challenge you to find a way to bless those who are in sever need. Share His Love with hurting.