Chatting with the Baristas at the Coffee Company

The baristas at Zingerman’s Coffee Company at the Southside are a fun bunch of people to hang with during a mid-afternoon break. We found them all working today so we took the opportunity to ask them a few silly questions.

How do you like your coffee?
Nathan: Espresso.
Matt: Right side up.
Anya: At 2pm.
Chris: Unground green eaten like popcorn.

Har har. Okay, now seriously.
Nathan: Honduran Finca Liquidambar using an inverted AeroPress with a metal filter.
Matt: Guatemalan in a press pot.
Anya: Monsoon Malabar Indian as a Turkish coffee without sugar.
Chris: Depends on the coffee, but I’ve been high on the Ethiopian as a Clever recently.

How long have you been a barista?
Nathan: 4 years.
Matt: 9 months.
Anya: 6 years.
Chris: 2 years.

Any interesting stories from behind the counter?
Matt: An AeroPress exploded on Nathan once.
Nathan: Always make sure the filter is locked.
Chris: Mostly just shaming Nathan with my obvious super skills (sarcasm).
Anya: One time I pulled a ton of espresso shots and had to drink every shot. I lost count after 18.

Why would you do something like that??
Anya: I had to do it until it was good.

When you visit a cafe, what do you look for?
Anya: Jazz music playing. Only jazz music. Also I found that if a place smells like cigarette smoke, the espresso is usually good.
Matt: A bathroom.
Chris: This is kind of shameful, but I immediately look at the espresso machine and whether or not they have manual brew methods.
Nathan: Tight jeans, plaid shirt, forearm tattoos. Oddly enough, none of the above applies to me.
(Matt has two out of three today.)

If baristas were rockstars, what would your names be?
Nathan: Natro the Destroyer.
Anya: Big muscle-y barista girl?
Matt: I don’t have a name yet.
Anya: Matt needs a title. We should give him one right now.
Nathan: Long pour.
Matt: Yeah. Matthew “Long Pour” Bodary.
Nathan: Chris already has one. He’s Denver. A customer said he looked like a Denver and it stuck.
Chris: Though I’ve been called “The Kid” occasionally as well.

What other cool skills do you have other than making awesome coffee?
Matt: I can play the guitar. Chris can do nunchucks.
Anya: And the lindy hop.
Chris: And bike repair. And gee-tar.
Anya: I can do a fireman’s carry in wrestling.
Nathan: I’m a hopper. I can hop over stuff really good.
Anya: He has natural born parkour skills.

Next time you come in, stump them with an interesting question of your own!