Archive for the ‘Barista’ Category

Coffee Facts Friday: Bravo Barista

April 7, 2011

Does your heart race when you hear the hum of coffee grinders at your local coffeehouse? Do you admire the latte art served by your friendly barista?  Do you impress friends with your coffee lingo and awareness of coffee regions?  If you find yourself sipping your daily dosage of caffeine and admiring how the barista knows the ratio of espresso to steamed milk, then a career as a barista is your cup of cappuccino.  And this is the week to Explore Your Career Options.

In Italy, barista is a proud title bestowed only after significant apprenticeship is achieved.  In the United States the Barista Guild of America, founded in 2003, is dedicated to promoting professionalism among baristas.

The Barista Guild of America (BGA) defines barista as a coffee professional who has the experience and training to deliver coffee and espresso-based beverages to customers that demonstrate craftsmanship and quality, creating a culinary experience for the customer.



Coffee Down Under

January 24, 2011

On January 26, Australians will celebrate what is great about Australia and being Australian.  From experience, Coffeesnobology can attest to their great coffee and great baristas who know a Flat White from a Short Black.  In Australia, the baristas go to school to increase their knowledge and competence and to improve the overall coffee experience.  Visit to read about the Australian Coffee Academy in Melbourne.  To back up Coffeesnobology’s testimony, here is my story of savoring a cuppa down under.

After forty hours of flight and a three hour nap, Chuck and I set out to discover our new neighborhood.  We were in search of a much-needed cup of coffee and toilet paper, two necessities missing at our flat. We didn’t have far to travel, for coffee that is, because Cappuccino Strip was just around the corner.  Cappuccino Strip in Fremantle, Australia, comes by the nickname honestly.  Coffee cafés, small and large, line a two-block stretch on South Terrace:  nine cafes to be exact.

Coffee reigns supreme in this festive city.  Some Aussies claim the robust coffee tradition honors the many Italian immigrants who long ago traveled to this port city.  Others claim the 1987America’s Cup Races held right here in friendly Fremantle, Australia, perked the revival of the city and coffee.

Coffee cafés are serious business and coffee drinkers are serious about their coffee, serious enough for one disgruntled mate to write a letter to the editor complaining about a bad cup of coffee.  Now, that’s a true coffee snob.

Up and down the strip we found umbrella tables cozying up to busy South Terrace while trams, buses, cars and motorcycles whizzed by inches from fellow coffee lovers gathering at the all-important coffeehouse.  In contrast to the speeding traffic, Aussies linger over their cup of java laughing and chatting.  We sat close to a man who spread his newspaper out wide on the round table while his well behaved dog slept at his feet.  Sleeping dogs nestled under the sidewalk tables are so common that merchants set out bowls of water for their canine customers.

No tap, tap of a laptop is heard at these bustling cafes.  You do hear “Have a seat Mate” and “No worries, I’ll have a Flat White.”  Cyclists, sporting yellow and orange neon-colored jerseys, prop their bicycles against the iron railings and cluster around having a natter—that’s Australian for a chat.

Typically, coffee is served with a bit of flair, fancy even.  I felt pampered drinking my latte from a slender, clear-glass cup capped with a swirl of froth; a triangle of a white napkin secured the cup; and a long-handed spoon rests on the saucer alongside a paper cylinder of sugar.  Always sugar, either served alongside the saucer in a paper cylinder or packets heaped in a bowl.  Winter or summer, the scene rarely changes on Cappuccino Strip: Coffee aficionados gather alfresco trading stylish boots for flip-flops and oblong scarves and leggings for surfer shorts and sundresses.

Across from my university office, in Fremantle’s heritage district, I frequented Blink, a café so narrow that if you bink—you will miss it.  But I couldn’t miss the caffeine lovers queuing outside chatting with co-workers waiting for their chance to step over the threshold.  One step in, one customer at a time, one steaming brew served.  A scene that would make the “Soup Nazi” envious. 
Everyday we had coffee at one favorite coffeehouse after another.  Tucked on Essex Street is Fidel’s Café’ boasting the sign Still serving the Best coffee in the whole world…ever!!  As voted by one guy who came here—one time.

Shop Small this November 27

November 27, 2010

Small Business Saturday is the day coffee enthusiasts can give favorite coffee houses a java jolt of appreciation.  I’m off to The Grind, a Coffee-house and Roaster, in Fort Myers, Florida, where the Barista knows your name. Coffee lovers make a list and check it twice.  Two packages of freshly-roasted Brasil Bourbon beans are on my list.  On my wish list….a new coffee maker.

URLove It Link: Sleepless in Stumptown

October 12, 2010

Coffee snobs, are you wondering…

  • Latte art – sure it’s pretty, but what does it reveal?
  • Why won’t a snobby barista let you take your espresso to go?
  • Where does one go to get a stellar cup of coffee in New York?

The answers to these and other brewing questions are in this informative New York Times article by Oliver Strand. We think URLove it!

via New York Is Finally Taking Its Coffee Seriously –

Wordless Wednesday

August 11, 2010

Coffee Shop Poetry

July 24, 2010


“How you bean, man?”

Ah, you come,

bringing bean,

buoying up spirits,


compassionate conversationalists,

compository of bean lore,

brewing doing, blendings,


Be proud of your lineage,

the old beatniks with their jazz

and funky shoestring haunts,

their big brass espresso machines

like something out of Jules Verne,

of the folkies, poets, social revolutionaries

bohemians and artists,

their chessboards and blues.

Be proud of yourselves,

creators also,

underpaid, undertipped,


– Anthony  Swann 6/10/10