Wednesday, November 10, 2010
The Dancing Barista
Every second Tuesday arvo I get a coffee on my way home, to keep myself awake for Toastmasters. I go to this cafe near where I get the train. when I get there, there's only the one guy left, and he's already in 'it's nearly the end of the day, let's be very jovial' mode.
Disconcertingly, whenever I turn up there, he is singing at the top his voice, and the singing doesn't stop when I'm there. He always seems to have this song blaring, and he belts it out in his native tongue, dancing along with a very serious expression on his face.
When I ask for my coffee, it's kind of like I'm asking a bit of a favour. Well, I am currently dancing and singing, and you've now basically mucked up my routine, but okay, being that I'm a lover and not a fighter, I will make you a coffee.
And he then makes my coffee like a fancy cocktail guy. Spinning around, getting the milk out of the bar fridge with a flourish of spirit fingers. Putting the lid on my cup like Fred Astaire putting his top-hat on. I get my coffee, and I'm gone, highly relieved to be out of this strange Spanish twilight zone that I have momentarily stepped in to.
All that is well and good, but I've decided that there is a really important prerequisite to being so flourishy and sparkly with your coffee making. You need to be able to make a reasonable coffee. Otherwise it's all just showboating.
And the coffee Shakira makes, well, frankly it's not really up to scratch. Too much time spent on dance moves, not enough actual barista-ing. (Baristization?) If you strain really hard, you can maybe sense that at some point there was temporarily a coffee bean in the same township as the cow who made the milk he's using. But it requires a fair bit of imagination.
And yet, I'm a loyal guy. Bad coffee or not, I'll see you Tuesday week, my strange all-singing, all-dancing barista bloke.