If you’ve been in to our Ballance Street store this week you’ll have noticed we’ve moved our coffee machine and we’re liking the result.
Making coffee for the public is hard work and often thankless. The expectation from some customers can be so intense that staff are driven to tears. I’ve never hidden that our staff mean more to us than our customers so to see the effects of stress and pressure on successive skilled, hard working, dedicated people has become too much. We’ve flipped the machine to face the wall so that we can safely ignore the dagger eyes and concentrate on the coffee. They are working on it and you’ll get your coffee when it’s ready.
You can spend a few minutes watching that process in action. You’ll hear the grinder, see the tamp, the extraction and the split second when great extraction becomes over extraction. Count the moves, multiply by hundreds of time per day and you’ll see how hard those barista are working.
Having removed the physical barrier of the machine, you can converse face to face as equals. You’re busy when you’re working and so are they. If you’re a socially well adjusted human you’ll see when they’re ready to talk, to hand you your coffee with a smile and to appreciate that you chose to entrust your coffee to them. You’ll also appreciate that they might have plenty of other things to do and today, ‘cheers’ might be all you’re going to get.
The barista is not your slave, they are your friend. Step up and collect your coffee.