So, this is going to be a bit of a different one today, and I hope you like it. I get a lot of private messages from people following me on social media who read my blog, asking me where I've worked as a barista myself. So heck, I thought I'd tap into their instagram accounts, grab some photographs*, and show you. All of them are worth a visit, to be completely honest. (although, I am slightly biased I guess..)
*for this blog post, I will be taking images off of each of the coffee shop's social media profiles. If any of you have been following me for long enough, you'll know of the disaster that was coffee being spilled on my last two laptops (not even at the same time, oops), which lead to me losing a lot of old photographs I had stored there. I've taken photos in these shops in the past, but no longer have access to a lot of them. The lesson I've learned from that? Well, I'm no longer allowed to drink coffee by my laptop, for starters.
1. Yorks Bakery Cafe, Birmingham.
Ah, Yorkie Yorks. The first ever 'specialty' coffee shop I worked at. They've moved locations now, but when I was there I was in their Newburn Street (If i remember correctly) location. I don't tend to use them as an example as when I trained, however, as I didn't spend one day on the coffee machine whilst I was there. But hey ho. I did get to take home a super snazzy bookelt though all about specialty coffee, and I guess that began my love for it.
2. Plaza Coffee, Bromsgrove (Worcestershire)
Out of all of the coffee shops I've worked in, this was the most non-specialty out there. However, I always found this really funny as although it looked like a very generic 'cafe' in a small run down high street, the owner actually used monmouth espresso beans in her coffee. But she refused to tell people, and I'm never entirely sure as to why she didn't. But yeah, this is where I started to advance as a barista. Note: they didn't have V60s there when I was working, but their instagram really didn't have a good choice of photos for this blog post oops.
3. Notes Coffee, Music and Wine, Trafalgar Square
Ah, my first coffee shop I worked in where I was properly and formally trained (sorry Plaza, you don't count). It was also the first coffee shop I worked in once I'd moved to London and began university, and so I always say that Notes was the place to enlighten me into what was the coffee culture of London - and thus, the world! Was not only coffee trained there, but also wine trained - which was a great bonus. I can even make a cocktail or two now (including the espresso martini, always a great staple at a party you host). Also, Notes was the coffee shop I actually stayed the longest with as a barista (and later supervisor which I was dead chuffed about). I vividly remember receiving my first mark on my paper whilst working an evening shift and being like 'I GOT A FIRST' and no one gave a toss. Yep, welcome to London...!
4. St Clements Cafe, Parsons Green (London)
If it wasn't for the overly dramatic day ins and outs of this coffee shop, I would say that I loved my time there. I only say this because it's situated in a. super affluent area of Fulham/Chelsea, so you really got some funny sorts coming in. Heck, saying that, Hugh Grant came in once and I nearly died.
5. Story Coffee, Clapham Junction (London)
By far the. most aesthetically pleasing coffee shop I've worked in. Well, to be honest, Story Coffee is probably the most aesthetically pleasing coffee shop I will ever visit. It's gorgeous, and everyone's lovely there, and they know their stuff. Seriously, I need to get going soon and write up a proper blog about these guys - they sure as heck deserve it. It's consistently rated as one of the best coffee shops in London (including on the 'Best Coffee App', and so it was an honour to work and make coffee there.
6. The Press Room, Surbiton (Greater London)
I'm going to keep this one short and snappy, because this was. by far my least favourite shop to work in. To the point I deleted the blog post I wrote about them before I worked there. Hey ho. Moving swiftly along.
7. Cornercopia Coffee, Brixton (London)
I always said that this was an unfortunate time to be with cornercopia. I loved working here, it was a great little place to tide my days as a barista over by and the two owners who ran the place (and the nearby gift shop) were absolute gems. It was just a shame that I had graduated and was using that job as a filler between finishing University and landing a 'professional' job. I loved all of the interesting people I'd meet working there, and the owners were on a very similar wavelength to me so there were hardly any disagreements. Oh, and they had a resident cat called Ginger - that helped the days go by.
8. Department of Coffee and Social Affairs, London
And lastly, we reach the present. I'm currently working with the wonderful Department of Coffee Affairs in charge of their marketing. I know, don't I feel like a grown up? I've yet to formally say this on my blog, so this is a first for me and I hope you take it well, but they're an absolute wonderful company to be a part of.
I mean the job is living the absolute dream too, especially as it goes side by side with my long-term career aspirations as a social media manager for coffee shops! Taking photos of coffee and selling what is an extremely glorious brand of coffee shops is hardly the worst job in the world. And I can tell you now, I absolutely love mondays.