Six years ago now, I met the love of my life. I’ve never fallen so hard and fast. Not for anyone, or for anything.
It was late afternoon and I was helping close up the café I worked casually at. I was sixteen years old and I was drawn by my curiosity. Curiosity fuelled my every move toward creating this insatiable thirst for a love I never thought I’d know….
Coffee created at Please Say Please by me
“If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
– Marc Anthony
I started making a coffee or two in the late afternoon before closing down the machine. That is when I really got a taste for the breathtaking art that is coffee. When I say that, I don’t mean the mere flavour in the cup, but the scent of the coffee beans being ground into a scrumptious dust and the sublime liquid that pours from the group handle into the cup to create a beautiful golden pool. However, the thing that truly had me falling head over heels was the way the milk would be poured into the cup, rising up the edge of the cup with the crema like the sun climbs over the horizon every morning.
Once I found my passion for coffee, I decided to take a couple of classes on the creation of espresso coffee. Once I had a qualification, it made it much easier for me to find work in cafés. I moved from town to town for a couple of years before I finally decided to move back to where my heart deemed home – Adelaide. I worked at a café that roasted their own coffee and once again, my curiosity was sparked like lightning in the sky (haha puns). I made a decision that once I had the ability, I would learn to roast coffee beans myself. That chance still hasn’t reared its beautiful head, but I’m determined and if not determined, I am stubborn.
Soon, my greatest dream was born. I decided that one day, I would open my own 100% vegan café. I’ve found a lot of employers who taught me how to not run a business. I’ve changed jobs quite a lot due to these experiences and others, but I have taken many tiny pieces of valuable knowledge with me to carry in my pockets of life. All of the lessons I learn along the way, will equip me to run my dream café to the absolute best of my ability.
After moving back to Adelaide, it didn’t take me long to visit the first café that put on a breathtaking display of latte art. Now, latte art really tickled my fancy. I couldn’t for the life of me work out how on earth something so captivating could be created inside something I cherished beyond comprehension. This time, I took to YouTube. I watched hours of videos on how to texture milk to perfection for the creation of latte art. Then it was time to put the knowledge in my mind into a cup. I practiced in takeaway coffees so that when I created something that wasn’t quite to my (fairly high) expectations, I could hide it beneath a lid. Then soon enough, I was able to create a satisfactory heart or tulip in almost every cup I poured. I was more proud of myself than I ever imagined possible. Next, I conquered the rosetta. The first time I managed to create one of the more challenging ‘simple’ latte art images, I was just about reduced to tears. I was so incredibly happy with the progression of my abilities.
A couple of months ago, I was approached by an employment agency and asked if they could use one of my latte art photos for advertising barista positions. It was the most incredible compliment I had ever received. I now see my latte art floating around with my name stapled on it just as I see artists names stamped on their art work to show that they created a masterpiece.
Coffee created at Cibo Espresso by me
When I first moved to Adelaide, a good friend of mine showed me a cute little coffee bar in the city called Please Say Please. I fell in love instantaneously. For two years, I dreamed of working there – and one day, that dream came true. I recently started working at the café of my dreams and I’ve never been happier. My ‘boss’ is more like a friend and I’ve finally found someone who might show me how to run a business the right way. I honestly can’t tell this incredibly woman how much she means to me, and how appreciative I am of all that she teaches me.
There is something magical about coffee. From sitting with friends in a café, full of sunshine, to standing behind a machine for hours on end creating a liquid gold that other human beings have come to rely upon to get them through each day. When I make a coffee, I find a flow that is similar to that which I feel in yoga. For me, it is therapy. As I pour a coffee into a cup, knowing it will help someone survive their day, I feel all of my stresses roll off my shoulders, I watch all of my worries fly out the door. There is not a moment I wish I had taken another path.