Anne hearts coffee.
Neil says we write too many paragraphs so far in our blog. Is this true?Well, short-blog-post readers, this one’s gonna be a doozy. So watch out.
So, let’s start with the basic fact of life for Anne Nylander:
I love coffee.
Last year, I went on a work-related road trip with my co-workers from Apple. For this trip, we were sent to “Boston” to work at an Apple store that was having a tax free event. When the trip was first announced, I was stoked. Not because I was going on an adventure with my cowokers, or working in a new place, or seeing the beautiful Connecticut countryside (cough). No. It was because I would get to buy two gallons of cold-brewed iced coffee from the 1369 Coffeehouse on Apple’s dime!
And hence, this picture:
This picture, in essence, is my life. If you know me, even a little bit, you know some additional basic facts about me:
1. I do not leave the house without consuming coffee, even though I work at one of new york’s best coffee shops. Even my coworkers think this is weird, but I like to be caffeinated and competent by the time I get to work, not once the coffee gets brewed there.
2. I talk about coffee incessantly. Even if you have no idea what coffee is, I can talk to you for hours on end about barista competitions, latte art, coffee shop business models, why I love gimme! coffee’s menu more than anybody’s, and on, and on, and on. Relatedly, I read about coffee almost exclusively. Firefox is my dedicated “coffee” browser, where I check over 100 coffee blogs and read the forums too. The last two books I read? The Schomer book again, and The Illy book.
3. I converted Neil to coffee. Before he met me, Neil thought coffee was “gross”. I finally talked him into giving it a go on another trip to Boston the first year we met. Neil fell in love with the specialty coffee mocha and has been hooked ever since. The one time he went to Starbucks he threw the cup away, and just this week he drank his coffee black for the first time ever.
4. I lived at Espresso Vivace for a year in college. Ok, so many of you may not know this about me, but the school year from 2002-2003 was spent almost entirely at Vivace in Seattle. I lived down the street on Denny way, but I didn’t have any internet access… so… I drank four lattes a day. To this day, I am still stunned when I think about how much coffee I consumed there (or at Bauhaus, or at Top Pot on Summit). I went broke, but I watched those baristas. Still, thinking of the smell of walking behind the grinders first thing in the morning is one of my fondest sensory memories.
5. I just, I really like coffee? Ok? I will try any kind of coffee.
So… now that you know how much I love coffee, you should understand that I’m a big fan of people too. I wouldn’t be the barista that I am without the baristas and trainers and friends who have coached me, shown me, inspired me and wooed me into this misbegotten business. So, may I forever be beholden to Erin Meister, who taught me or re-focused everything I know, Victor Trey, my original barista from Mr. Spot’s Chai House almost ten years ago, Jeff and Hannah from Vivace (and all the other baristas there) that made that year in Seattle livable, Chad States of Bauhaus, the “original” Chris Owens, Sarah Allen of 1369, who gave me impeccable business sense and a brick-solid foundation, and Daniel Humphries, my newest coffee colleague who perpetually reminds me that coffee is just as awesome as I think it is.
When I come to visit you, oh barista reader, I hope you know that it’s with respect for the mutual love of coffee that we both have. I’m not interested in bad-mouthing your business or telling you what kind of coffee/grinder/machine/tamper you should use. I want to see your techniques, the ways that you’ve decided best represents the coffee that you have. I want to be inspired by your work, and learn things from you that I wouldn’t have otherwise learned. I want to be excited about coffee for each macchiato I drink from coast to coast.