the in-house

22Jun09

Tomorrow evening I will be participating in the JJ Bean Coffee Roasters in-house barista competition. The desirable outcome of this event will be to select 2? 3? baristi to represent our company in the upcoming Western Regional Barista Competition in August. My nerves are an absolute wreck.

Competition is something I’m unfamiliar with, it is foreign territory fraught with perils and opposition. Basically I’ll be stepping far out of my comfort zone, a zone I’ve lovingly padded with cushions and candies over the past year down at my workplace. A constant plague of tiny, yet fully reasonable, doubts is nagging at the back of my mind, telling me I’m forgetting this or that. I need to relax, and soon.

The night itself (actually the span of two nights) should be a lot of fun. Once my fifteen minutes is up and my stomach has settled I can get down to cheering on my fellow workmates doing what they do best. Everyone says not to be stressed because everyone I’ll be performing for are friends, and most know what it’s like to be in that very same spot. I think it’s for this exact reason that I am a nervous wreck, my reputation is at stake! I’m kidding, I don’t have a reputation, or at least one that does me any grace.

A barista competition is basically broken down into three parts, serving twelve delicious beverages, being efficient and clean, and entertaining your judges. Cram all of the above into a fifteen minute span that feels all too short and you have an embarassingly brief description of what the competition involves. I would go into more detail but there is plenty of information to be found with even the quickest google.

Right now I’m heating up some milk and steeping some star anise for my signature drink tomorrow. So far everyone who’s tried it has reacted favourably to the taste. I found this surprising since anise is quite often an acquired taste, but even my girlfriend, who loathes anything similar to licorice, enjoyed the drink. Combined with tapioca syrup to sweeten and orange zest the drink is a nice burst of taste and smell on the senses. Hopefully the judges agree.

Wish me luck!

Crumbled star anise seed pods


4 Responses to “the in-house”  

  1. 1 Justin

    Luck luck luck. Nah, you don’t need it. Your reputation Jesse, is the cool guy behind the bar who cannot be fazed. You take everything in your stride, while making drinks, and even giving lip without it even sounding like you’re giving lip. You are Mr. cool, the ice-man, even on the hottest day of the year with the line out the door!

    I wish I could be there to see it man.

  2. 2 Steve

    I’ll be coming tonight! If they let me in, that is…. Actually, I tried going there 30 minutes ago but the doors were shut. Didn’t know the starting time. So I’m leeching wifi… 15 more minutes and I’ll head over for try 2.

    If I don’t see you for some reason, Good luck, man! It’s good to venture out of your comfort zone every now and then. ;)

  3. 3 Mom

    woohoo! you did it! I wish I had been there, but perhaps that would have been more pressure than you needed. Congratulations and well done.
    xoxoxo….Mom

  1. 1 in a flux at out the window

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