Is The Barista The New Bartender?

barista.jpeg

Have you ever asked a barista at a coffee shop to recommend a drink? If so, chances are it didn’t feel all that different from the kinds of conversations you’ve been having with bartenders for years… 

Here’s a few questions that go through the heads of baristas when asked to make recommendations: 

  • What do you like to drink? 

  • What flavors do you not like?

  • Do you like really fruit forward flavors?” 

Often the response is, "Oh, I don't want it too strong." 

That's an interesting adjective because, do they mean super caffeinated? Do they mean really, really acid, too bitey of a flavor? Too much body? 

Baristas have to extrapolate meaning from this…  so there’s another list of follow-up questions: 

  • Are you looking for caffeine? 

  • Is that what you mean by “strong”?

  • You don't like it super dark and full bodied?  

If they say no to bold flavors, a mild option would be something like a Guatemalan roast,  a really good in-between of not too fruit forward, not too bright, but it's got a really good kind of cocoa, and almost like a honey, syrupy flavor to it. This delicate acidity comes from the rich volcanic ash of the Pacaya region of Guatemala. 

If it turns out they want something really strong, over at 8&R we’d recommend something like Shakiso (below). 

Looking to expand your palette? Try ordering both options at shop.8thandroast.com and do a blind taste test. And the next time you’re in your favorite locally owned coffee shop, ask your barista what they think… chances are, they’ll have plenty to offer.

8th and Roast