Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Family Baristas

I love having my brother-in-law Taraz as a fellow barista! He works at Forza in Tacoma and I work for Starbucks. One would think there would a rivalry going on between us about who's coffee is the best but you won't find that with us. (Even though I do think he should come and work for Starbucks!)

The other day Ruh, Daisy and I stopped by Ruh's parents' house after a short hike to say hi. George and Bonita were off enjoying the sunny day in their canoe but Taraz and Rahmat were there getting ready to go on a bike ride. I asked Taraz how work was going and pretty soon we were having a conversation about coffee. We talked about the different ways to make perfect foam. I love foam!! Perfect foam almost has the consistency of whipped cream. The milk has to make a specific sound when you are steaming it in order to get this kind of foam. If you are in a hurry your foam will not turn out the right consistency. One of my favorite drinks to make are cappuccinos, 'especially bone dry cappuccinos. With bone dry cappuccinos you scoop the foam out of the pitcher instead of pouring. It is so much fun to do when the perfect foam has been made. You usually hear, "Hey you guys, you have to come see this foam!!", and then everyone looks oohing and ahhing. The longer I have worked as a Barista the easier is gets to make the perfect foam. Before I started working at Starbucks I thought you just stuck the steam wand into a pitcher of milk and let 'er go, but there is a special touch to it and that's what makes it so much fun.

We also talked about brewing coffee. At Forza they brew new coffee every 3 hours. At Starbucks we brew new coffee every 30 minutes! There is a big difference there. I went to work and told the girls that Forza changes their brewed coffee every 3 hours and we all had mixed emotions about this. Our first reaction was, "Whoa! That's a long time!". Our second reaction was, "Wouldn't THAT be kind of nice!". We have four urns of coffee that have brewed coffee in them at one time. We only have two coffee brewers. There are little white kitchen timers hanging on every urn that we set for 30 minutes as soon as we brew new coffee into them. It seems like every time we turn around there is another timer beeping! One of the girls I work with compared it to having an obnoxious two year-old! As soon as you think you have all the coffee caught up and brewed there is another timer going off. But one thing we all agreed on is that our customers love our brewed coffee and if we have to brew new coffee all the time to keep them happy and coming back then it's worth it.

I really want to go and visit Taraz and work sometime! From talking with him I can tell he really cares about each drink he makes and I bet he makes a good one! Here is a picture of an espresso with foam and cinnamon sprinkled on top he made for my mother-in-law Bonita.


Bonita said...

Oh that coffee that Taraz made was good! I tried to make one like it at home, using the steam vent on my espresso maker, but it just was not the same. How I wish I could have a cup of that strong Turkish coffee that is served in a little cup, with the deep brown scum over the top. YUM!

I'm glad Starbucks goes with the 30-minute rule on coffee, as with each passing minute it becomes more acidy. I like my coffee absolutely fresh-made, not a minute old. I never get a tummy ache that way.

Katherine Hall said...

I loved this post Annie. So much fun! I do miss being able to enjoy a good cup of coffee. I'll just have to come visit you at work and breath in my taste thrill. (Bonita, I love your use of that expression.)

I love you!

Ruhiyyih Rose said...

YAY YAY YAY your back! I miss you on here! :) I love that Taraz is in the perfect job. Do you suppose ya'll could whip us up something fantastic on the camping trip :)

Ornament of God said...

this was so wonderful! we have SOO much fun! yea bone drys are so fun! anyway thanks for the great post about coffee. this is a new found love, being a barista. and i think i will for a good while.

also i have been going every other day now to the starbucks near home here on Oly and always get the drip coffee~~~ mmmm

good goin! i dont know if all forzas change their coffee in that time frame, guess it depends on the area. i cant really tell the difference though ha