a barista is trained to serve your drink as silently as possible...
I'm not good at introductions. In my daily life, they aren't really important or necessary. "What can I get for you?" is pretty much how I introduce myself to people most of the time, since I am serving coffee pretty much ALL of my time. And this blog is not really about me at all. I'm just a barista, your coffee girl; that anonymous face that takes your order; the silent hand that drops your favourite drink at the bar. If you're cute, maybe I'll give you a smile. I'm the shy and silent type:
Perfect for service
If you live in anywhere in Toronto, I have probably served you. I've worked everywhere in the city, from Starbucks on every block to new indie cafés, industry events and parties, you name it- I've served there. You won't remember me. And I'd like to keep it that way. But I really hope you liked my coffee or whatever crazy concoction you craved- I hope I got your order right. Even if you are one of those people with a faux gluten allergy, obsessed with extra-creamy foam (or ABSOLUTELY NO FOAM), or is dissatisfied no matter how pretty the latte art is under the lid you crammed on without even looking at the heart, or my sympathetic face- yes, you need coffee most of all.
but this isn't about coffee.
No, this blog is not about the coffee, well not really. You can easily google how to make the best coffee, what the trendiest café near you is, what all the cool kids are drinking these days, the difference between a latte and a flat white, or where to order organic/fair trade/rainforest-friendly beans (that doesn't exist by the way). No, you don't need me for any of that; you have your neighbourhood barista and the internet.
What keeps me in the business of serving and why I decided to share my stories, is the unparalleled access I get to all aspects of life, which is made possible by you- our, the world, the universe's- need for caffeine, for coffee, the constant craving for something we don't have.
The human connection.
This is where I come in and why I chose to write in the first place. I, all baristas, are the bridge between you, and the coffee. We not only fill your empty cup, we fill the emptiness. Yes, you can make coffee at home or the office. But judging by my die-hard regulars, and the crowds of people who come through my doorway each day, you don't. Or not always. Most people at some point in their lives, will depend on the coffeeshop for that human connection, that safe space away from the empty place in ourselves, in life. Even if it's just me there, the anonymous coffee girl, at the coffeeshop- I am always there for someone, maybe for you too. Yes, when I put on my apron and step behind the counter, suddenly you, the world, trusts me. Not just with your coffee, your drinks, but with your lives. Your stories.
And Your Secrets.
And underneath my uniform, I'm actually human too so I can't help but make my own connections. I spend my life listening, observing, and responding. That's the beauty of the service industry- we don't discriminate; we're paid (minimally) to act on your behalf. I have served literally everyone- celebrities, socialites, investment bankers, soccer moms, grandfathers, criminals, strippers, pimps, refugees, you- all my customers, all the same in my eyes. The café is a safe space for everyone. I don't judge the messes that bring people within my café walls, I just clean them up. My job is to make something from nothing, and to make everything pretty again. And I even when I tried to get out and give up the barista life. I can't.
"coffee is a powerful drug. But making it is even more addictive"
-Isaac Neuton, owner of The Mermaid Café aka where I pulled my first shot
Being a barista, living on scraps of cookies, uncalled for criticism, and lousy tips, I am privileged enough to experience the truth, witness life uncensored, and human beings at their rawest. A lot can happen when you think nobody is watching, when you believe the person you are confiding in behind the counter, doesn't matter. In the grand scheme of things, I don't matter. After all, I'm just one coffee girl in a billion. That means billions of stories.
I am always watching.
This blog is an account of all the memorable moments that I have observed, all the secrets and gossip from movies stars to teenage princess, all the heartbreak and real-life magic I have witnessed, and all the wisdom that has been shared with me over the counter, over all my years as a little barista girl in the big city. So many memories have piled up inside me while serving, it's my turn to share them.
this is real life.
This is where you can find a real girl, underneath the apron, without the coffee or counter, and hear the real stories from the coffee shop.
Stories shared here are 100% true but 100% anonymous to protect the identities of my beloved regulars and the strangers whose lives have become intertwined with mine. I am only human after all so this is an anonymous space for me to share my anonymous life. Or what's left of it.