Coffee and cocktails

octane_coffee_logo

I work here.

As some of you may know, I work in a coffee shop that serves alcohol. That said, you won’t find Kahlua or Bailey’s on our shelves. We’re not trained to make hundreds and hundreds of shots that will get you white girl wasted. But we are nerds. Any of the denizens of coffee world can talk your ear off about our espresso beverages and coffee beans, and any of us bartenders comes with a huge repository of product and classic cocktail knowledge.

Despite my description, Octane doesn’t employ a cadre of fully functional (and well-coiffed) coffee- and booze-savvy robots. In the words of one of my coworkers, “We’re the nerds who finally get to be cool because we’re into coffee and cocktails.” We geek out on this stuff because it’s cool to us, not because of its newly christened place in popular culture. As a writer with a column on cocktail chemistry, I’m constantly looking to study parts of the drink making process that I haven’t examined before. Personally, as a perfectionist who studied under one of the best (thanks, Angel!), my technique can always use a little work.

It’s not perfect or truly glamorous work. In the past six months, I’ve lost weight from running around…and taken more time to recover from late nights. I might be young, but I don’t bounce back as quickly from sleep deprivation as I used to. On average, I drink less than I used to, mainly because my palate has evolved so that I can’t tolerate things I used to like a lot.

Over the past six months, I’ve learned a lot about how I like to live and work. After almost nine months of jobs I tolerated to pay the bills, not dreading waking up has been an amazingly positive change. It’s also made a huge difference to know that I want to learn more about everything I’m doing when I go home. My cocktail book collection is growing at a very steady pace and doesn’t appear to be stopping any time soon, and my home bar is getting stocked very slowly.

It’s been amazing to see what a change of work environment has done in six months. Needless to say, I’m really excited to see where it will take me next. Until then, I’ll be meeting the plethora of deadlines I have looming over the next two weeks.

2 Comments

Filed under BlogLikeCrazy, See Clair Mix, See Clair Write

2 responses to “Coffee and cocktails

  1. davidgriner

    I remember really doubting the Octane model when I first heard about it. As a coffee shop addict my entire life, I’ve never found one where the bar side didn’t ruin the vibe in the late afternoon. So I’ve been really impressed with Octane’s ability to have a top-notch bar that doesn’t derail the relaxed atmosphere of the coffee shop.

    I would say you deserve a lot of credit for that (which you do), but I’ve generally just been impressed with the management’s focus on hiring people like you. Staffing makes all the difference in a business that’s trying to maintain a well-crafted atmosphere, and one or two bad hires can wreck the whole experience. So I’m glad they’ve put the emphasis on finding people like you to keep it interesting, welcoming and relaxed.

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