Katrina Kathleen Spiva
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Profile Information

What is your position in the coffee industry?
barista, barista trainer, coffee roaster, entrepreneur
Where are you located? ( City and Country )
Heber City, Utah
How many years have you been in the industry?
5
If you are a barista or shop, are you interested in a barista exchange with another coffee shop/barista?
yes
Tell us more about your coffee shop or barista skills.
I've worked in several shops, all very different from the others. One was a cafe/espresso bar that had just opened in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City. After being there for a while my barista skills improved miraculously! I went from not knowing skim from whole milk, to understanding the complexities in how the difference between the milks may vary the consistency in your latte art. It was my own personal Barista school, my boss as a mentor, my coworkers as classmates and my customers as individual 'tests' of my accomplishments. Eventually I became so passionate about not only the science and the art of coffee but for my work place as well, gaining me the unofficial title of supervisor. I then began to struggle knowing their was more to learn, the universe soon responded to my adolescent cries of outrage as I began to feel as though I was being 'held back' by my responsibilities. The day after asking my boss for more hours, I was offered a job at a local roasting company that was famous all around town. It was the middle of winter right before the holidays and they were struggling after losing 2 valuable employees. One had unfortunately passed away and the other resigned shortly after. I had gone in just a couple times after moving around the corner and was soon approached by the owner asking me if I was interested in helping them out for the season. It being their busiest time of year, along with their recent losses, and my recent outburst to the universe asking for more experience, I was obviously elated and jumped right in. After a couple weeks I began roasting. I learned as much about the trade as I could possibly bear, I literally dove in head first. Because of how busy they we're I wasn't fortunate enough to undergo training and had to wing it til it was appropriate to ask for further understanding. Luckily I caught on pretty quick. Soon I had fully integrated myself into their shop and stopped working at the cafe all together. Being an non traditional coffee shop and more of a community roasting company, we didn't open til 10. My boss and I agreed that this would change and I would be the one to start opening at 8 instead. I loved this!! I was the opener at my previous job and appreciated it much more than the alternative, its the sunrise that stuns your day into the infinite moment of life. Not long after we began the new schedule, a shift began to take place. I had already given my boss and coworkers a heads up on wanting to give up a few hours due to my desire to teach yoga fairly steadily. We had hired a replacement, but she soon moved to New York. Just before one of my other coworkers, who was not only a very dear friend but a valuable employee as well had planned to move to Colorado at the end of the month. This caused a lot of stress for my boss and the rest of us as well. After a series of strikingly dramatic and compromising events, I had to resign. I lost all trust and faith in my boss. Needless to say I learned everything I had originally desired to. Not only about coffee but about business and human decency as well. It was a wonderful experience. I am no currently working back in my home town at the coffee shop that started my career. When I first began here I sucked thoroughly. I had no flippin' clue as to what the hell I was doing. Now I'm swinging rosettas left and right keeping humble as to my knowledge (and geekiness) towards the bean. Respecting every moment I have to be able to stand behind the espresso machine. Loving every question my customers have about the art in which I feel so captivated by. My only desire now is to either find another job part time nearby where I can continue to pursue roasting or save up to experiment roasting on my own. One day I know I will be grand master behind some random obsessive shop with all the odd quarks that entertain my life being able to fully manifest themselves. Until then....
What cities or countries are you interested in traveling to?
Anywhere on the West side of the US as well as just about any other country.
About Me:
I still consider myself to be an apprentice to the bean, after 5 years of Barista experience I only know that there is much more to know. I've spent some time roasting and would love to become more integrated in the art. For now I'm perfecting my latte art and diving into the history of the coffee bean. I try to eat and drink raw as often as possible and have been recently looking for ways to brew 'raw' coffee. Skipping roasting all together (unfortunately) and using the green bean alone.
What is your favorite thing about the coffee industry?
Latte Art and the people
Website:
http://www.facebook.com/katrina.spiva

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