Being a people person with a coffee addiction is what makes being a barista at Bully Brew Coffee Company so rewarding. I have worked in coffee shops before, but nothing like here.

When I first started in August, I was excited and terrified at the same time. I had no idea what the environment would be like. Would I be slammed with a million orders and angry customers in dire need of caffeine? Would I forget and add regular vanilla into a latte when sugar-free vanilla was the request? Would I get to know the regulars and memorize their orders? Would people be affected by my smile and have a better day because of me?

I jumped right in on my first day.

I consider myself a fast learner, and I really like to figure things out on my own. When I clocked in my first day,  I had no idea what I was doing or what I was supposed to do, but I was determined to figure it out.

I had a few bumps on that road and I still have questions on occasion, but life in general is a learning process.

My favorite part of being a barista is making the drinks. It might sound lame, but I truly try to make each drink, whether latte or Big Train or mocha, etc., individualized and special. Although it needs to be timely, I take my time on each order to make sure it is perfect and something I would want. All too often we rush through our days not caring what the end product is. Think about school or work? How often do we rush through an assignment just to get it over with and turn it in? Do we urge meetings to go faster at work so we can move onto something else? I don’t want to live a life like that and I hope my coffee reflects that.

On movies or TV shows, I would often see a scene at a local coffee shop where the barista knew the names of their customers and could talk with them about life. Little did I know that I would get to experience this for myself at Bully Brew. I have come to know so many of my regulars and it is so amazing. I can freely chat about weekend plans while making their favorite drink. Some of my favorite individualized drinks include an iced triple shot white chocolate mocha with whip cream mixed in, a large latte with 2 pumps of vanilla extra shot extra hot, or a large sugar free chocolate latte with just 2 shots and no foam. *If you are reading this and one of these is your order, thank you for testing my memory!*

Some of my regulars also know about my personal life. While I get the Moroccan Mint tea steeping, I continue the conversation with a former professor about my classes and how I am doing since recently changing my major. This same person is the one who really talked me through the pros and cons of changing my major. I thank him from the bottom of my heart.

It’s not just about making a drink and moving on. It’s about a connection that goes so much deeper than a cup of coffee.

If I had to guess where my love for coffee originated, I would say from my parents. I remember as a small girl asking my mom if I could have some of hers. She has always liked her coffee black, but it smelled so sweet to me. After my persistence, she made me a cup with cream and sugar. My dad likes his coffee with so much cream and sugar that it is nearly white. In turn, I took mine this way for many years. I never dappled in fancy coffees and coffee shops until late junior high/early high school, but I got hooked. Over the years I have come to learn that I do not like the taste of straight espresso, nor do I like caramel or white chocolate or many other things, but I still love it when I wake up on a Sunday morning in my childhood home to the smell of a creamy and sugary cup of coffee my dad has made.

Coffee is one of my loves.

The smell of a brewing pot of coffee, the humming of the espresso bean hopper, and the whirring of the perfect shot are all what make being a barista so great. It is an experience like no other to share my love for coffee with each and every person who walks through that door.

Autumn is all about changes. Classes resume, the days get shorter, the weather gets colder, and the leaves drop, but my favorite change this year has been becoming a Barista.

Being a Barista in College

With love,

Summer S.



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