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Espresso Roast – At the Core of It All

It has been nearly five years since I joined the coffee department. And while I have many great memories, my favorite one has to be the everyday connection I make with my team around the espresso machine.

Now this is not just any espresso machine – this is the two-group La Marzocco® espresso machine that sits in our tasting room. The original 1971 Starbucks logo hangs on the wall, a reminder of our heritage as a coffee company.

In the beginning these connections were made in the morning, before the day’s work began. The first person to arrive at work was the designated barista. They would “dial in” the machine to ensure the espresso shots were perfect. Espresso Roast filled the hopper of the Astoria® grinder, the oils on the beans glistening as an indication of the magic that was about to unfold.

Grind, dose, tamp – the portafilter was locked and loaded. The sweet-roasty aroma filled the room. Then came the moment every barista longs for – the perfect shot. The first cup filled with this dense, syrupy-sweet elixir. Espresso Roast at its best. Folks continued to roll in, lining up with their mug of choice. Americanos were the “house beverage,” with cream being the only offered condiment. We would spend minutes – sometimes many, sometimes few – enjoying our coffee and time together.

Time has passed and my current team has created our own tradition, preferring to gather in the afternoon, but still at our beloved La Marzocco. We sip espressos and macchiatos, and we are still excited by the first perfect pull of the day. I have to confess, playing barista is my favorite part – I love handcrafting beverages for my team. It is a way of sharing a part of me and creating something special for friends who are as excited as I am about coffee and these moments we share.

Many things have changed over the years – people have come, people have gone – but the time around the La Marzocco, enjoying coffee and each other, continues to be the best part of my day.

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