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Taylor student jobs: barista ballads

What’s it like being a barista?

By Kassidy Weemhoff | Life & Times Co-Editor

Junior Hudson Taylor has been a barista for three years. He sees his work as an art and a way to help people spend their hard earned money well.

Junior Hudson Taylor has been a barista for three years. He sees his work as an art and a way to help people spend their hard earned money well.
Photo provided by Hudson Taylor

With coffee being one of the main sources of energy for the midterm exhaustion taking over Taylor’s campus, we decided to talk to the ones who make it for us: the baristas. And these are not just any baristas, but our own peers. We asked them some questions about what it is like to create caffeinated concoctions on a daily basis, and here is what they said.

 

Hudson Taylor, Junior

Where do you work and how long have you been a barista?

I currently work at The Bridge in Upland. When I am home for the summer and for holiday breaks, I work at a shop in Naperville, Illinois called Sparrow Coffee. I have been a barista for about three years now.

 

What does a regular shift look like for you?

Commonly, a shift has its very busy moments and its very slow moments. It is usually never a constant flow but instead the busiest moments come in waves. Depending on the day, we generally have a good feel for when these will happen. The slower times are spent preparing for our next customers which would include cleaning, restocking, food prepping, etc.

 

What is the best part of being a barista at The Bridge?

I love getting to interact with people who come in from the local community, I get to work with some pretty awesome people. The Bridge also has an amazing interior with a very relaxed atmosphere. I also love having the freedom of a closing shift when I can play some of my favorite music.

 

What is your favorite drink to make? To drink?

My favorite drink to make is a latte or cappuccino because it is generally easier for me to do latte art with. My go-to drink at coffee shops is a cortado which is equal parts espresso and milk. I like to be able to taste more of the espresso and less of the milk which is why lately I have been avoiding drinks with a higher milk content.

 

How do you feel like being a barista has changed you or the way you look at things?

I really enjoy serving people by providing a good coffee/food experience for them. People have worked hard to earn the money they spend on coffee and it is my job as a barista to make sure they are getting every bit of their money’s worth by providing the very best quality I can. I really love the creative process that coffee has to offer. As a graphic design major, latte art is something that I enjoy because there are so many different designs that can be created; the possibilities are endless which I’ve realized provides a great amount of freedom in the creative process.

 

Abby Crump, Senior

Where do you work and how long have you been a barista?

I work at Starbucks in Gas City and I have been a barista since May of 2018.

 

What does a regular shift look like for you?

There are several different positions you can step into when you work at Starbucks. I could be taking orders at drive through or front register or making drinks behind the bar for customers. There’s also a customer support role where I help refill whatever we need so that the baristas can focus on making the drinks.

 

Taylor gracefully pours steamed milk into espresso to make some nice latte art. Provided by Hudson Taylor

Taylor gracefully pours steamed milk into espresso to make some nice latte art. Provided by Hudson Taylor

What is the best part of being a barista at Starbucks?

I really love getting to connect with customers and getting to know new people. Because Starbucks is a place that you’ll get to meet so many people, it’s so fun to hear about where they’re coming from and how they’re doing. Also making coffee or a favorite drink for someone is super great.

 

What is your favorite drink to make? To drink?

I really enjoy making lattes or cappuccinos with a ton of foam and attempting at fun latte art – though I’m not too great at that. I really enjoy drinking double shots on ice which is two shots of espresso with some coconut milk.

 

How do you feel like being a barista has changed you or the way you look at things?

I think making people coffee or getting them something to either help their day keep moving, or for them to drink with friends – is such a cool thing and has really made me more aware of people around me and serve them better.

 

Jaime Hughes, The Bridge Manager

Why do you hire college students?

We love the energy and flexibility they bring to The Bridge.

 

What has been the best part of working with college students?

They’re excited to be apart of our team. They have fresh ideas which is something we’re always excited about.

 

What is your favorite drink to make?

My favorite drink to make it probably a mocha- we sprinkle some cocoa powder over the espresso and mocha sauce- makes a really fun effect when pouring the milk into it.

 

What do college students bring to the work environment?

They bring a new perspective and tons of excitement and energy that we really value.

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