Kimberly D. (Beverly Hills, California)

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JOE: So how long have you been a barista?

KD: Around six years.

JOE: And have you worked in other areas besides Beverly Hills?

KD: I have, I worked in Santa Clarita, which is about a half-hour north of here.

JOE: So is there a difference in the clientele there and here in what they order?

KD: I would definitely say so. I think that there’s just a difference in popularity drinks.

JOE: Like what?

KD: Iced lattes and shakeratos are really popular as well.

JOE: What is that?

KD: Shakeratos is a brown sugar shaken iced latte.

KD: Sounds good. So has anybody ever asked for like a custom drink or something that you even thought was gross or you couldn’t make?

KD: I think if it breaks the health code, we can’t make it. It depends, you know like if we have to add ice to a hot beverage with milk, we can’t accommodate that unless we serve it on the side. Other than that we’re pretty accommodating. You can pretty much say yes to anything.

JOE: What’s the biggest tip you ever got?

KD: $200.

JOE: That’s a lot, even in the Beverly Hills area. Did you know the customer?

KD: It was a long time ago. Yeah.

JOE: Okay. And has anybody ever gotten angry or not nice or you had trouble dealing with them?

KD: Sure. I think that if someone waiting a long time and their drink isn’t ready then there’s usually an upset and de-escalating is a big part of the job.

JOE: Do you like working alone or with other baristas better?

KD: I love working with other people. I think that the support aspect is really important when it comes to possibility.

JOE: And what brought you to become a barista? How did you decide to do this?

KD: It was a college job. I was doing it part-time while I was in school full-time. Good. Yeah. As a freelancing musician.

JOE: Any celebrities come in? Do you ever serve famous people?

KD: Yeah. Famous people come in sometimes it’s not up to me to disclose, but yeah.

JOE: Are they easier or more difficult or the same as any other customer.

KD: I think they’re the same. I think if anything it’s just fun, keeps things interesting like, oh, we all know this person.

JOE: What’s your favorite part of the job?

KD: I think my favorite thing about the job is being able to just connect with people, talk to people about coffee or have that register interaction. Give someone a coffee that they’ve never had and they really enjoy.

JOE: Do you make suggestions to people who say like what should I have today?

KD: Sure. Yeah, of course. All the time.

JOE: Do you ever get special requests asking for two things put together that didn’t belong together?

KD: Well, someone last week asked me what we have that tastes like a latte. And I said, well, we have a latte. And then they said no, something that tastes like a latte. So I think that that was kind of funny to me because I was jumping around it. Well, we have a cappuccino or we could make a latte iced, you know, finding whatever I could to get out of that situation.

JOE: I’ve seen photographs of the cups of cappuccino that have images on the foam of people’s faces and things, not just the palm leaf. How do they do that? Do you do that here?

KD: We don’t, we stick to the traditional latte art here. But to be able to do that, you can use a spoon or tools to move the foam around.

JOE: You have to be an artist to do that.

KD:  Yeah, Yeah. All right.

JOE: Anything else come to mind?

KD: I think that being a barista is a lot of fun at the end of the day and it should be kept fun. You know it should be fun with the team, fun with the staff. That’s what matters.

 

 

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