Even before I became a barista at Pella, Iowa’s, Smokey Row, I had a passion for coffee. A born addict, I like to call myself. Every time I ordered a drink, I would attempt to interpret the secret dance of the barista as she tamped, poured, creamed, and flavored to the rhythm of the steamer. Her patterned movements continued to mystify me, but it wasn’t until I stepped behind the counter with my own pair of dancin’ shoes, that I began to learn her routine. Now, I am proficient in the dance.
Dust off your disco shoes, my friends, because today is your lucky day. I’m going to take you behind the scenes and beyond the audience point of view—all the strides of the intricate barista shuffle are about to be revealed:
- This weekend barista takes center stage behind the counter and with a flourish begins “the caramel latte.” With elbows pressed daintily to her hips, she fills the portafilter with grounds. With a tamp, and a click, and a flick of her wrist she pulls the lever for one shot or two.
- A pump of caramel splashed into the cup, her finger glides over a special button, beginning the magical brew.
- She fills her secret silver cup with milk for the most intricate step. Steaming and swooshing, the wand does its work as she raises and lowers the cup. One-hundred-forty degrees, frothy and smooth, the liquid is perfect at last.
- The tempo quickens and volume rises as the barista floods the caramel and espresso with frothy milk. In her fingers a long silver spoon, and the spiral begins—round and round, round and round until dizziness fogs the senses.
- As any good performer must, the barista takes her final bow. With a spin of her elbow, she adorns the drink with whipped cream and caramel drizzle. A real crowd pleaser.
So the next time you find yourself sitting behind the counter, tapping your fingers in anticipation of your drink, appreciate the dance of the barista. Watch her as she taps and flicks and spins round and round, for one day it might come in handy; one day you might do the dance yourself.
Guest Blogger: Sarah Posthuma
I am a junior at Pella Christian High School, and for the first two weeks in January I will be interning with Kathleen Evenhouse through the school’s Winterim program. Winterim internships provide students with the opportunity to explore different career fields. I am interested in a career in either writing, or psychology. Because of Kathie’s extensive experience in writing and marketing, I am confident that I will be able to reap much knowledge from her. This experience will hopefully give me a deeper insight into what God wants for my future.
These blogs posted through my internship will be from the setting of a coffee shop in Pella and are for the purpose of developing my creative skills.