Name and Role: Sloane Wachob, Barista at Novo Coffee
Experience: 3+ Years
How you got into coffee: I started at Coda Coffee about 3 and a half years ago. I just kind of jumped on from being a sales person at Best Buy so I didn’t ever really anticipate this was going to be a career for me, I was really tech focused…
Something you’re loving about coffee these days: Training. For me, I do like customer service, and I like being a barista but I always want more, I always want to do more and I don’t feel like I always have the ability to do that in my role, teach and educate. So teaching gives me the ability to express so much what I love…so teaching for me was kind of like being proprietor and expressing how much I’ve learned and what I love and being a bigger part of this community in a more meaningful way.
Reflections on the teaching role: I remember taking this class about 2 and a half years ago. The brewing class is now the one that I teach and I was really excited about that, Seed to Cup, I was super excited. I want to be a part of this. When I got to Novo, I wasn’t as assured to teach, like feeling really comfortable doing that. And now its easy peasy, I could talk about what I do for hours.
What keeps you in coffee: I went to school to do web development. I think what really sparked it, being here, was just seeing how far I could go. When I started doing competitions that’s when the switch flipped. I was like, “Oh my God I’m actually really good at this!” I’m not just a barista, I’m kind of a forced to be reckoned with and that was eye opening for me. I think that’s what makes me stay, just learning and growing, pushing my boundaries, and pushing boundaries within the Denver coffee scene because I am a very small minority here. So I don’t want to quit and give up just because things aren’t necessarily in my favor. I think that’s what keeps me going, and the people I meet. The people are really exceptional.
Your Barista Flair and Enamel Pins: “Spros Before Bros” is kind of like the motto. Coffee before everything. My partner knows that coffee is my life and he is coming second. The Crema one just because I have a couple of homegirls at Crema that I really adore…I got my Black Flag patch here, they’re my favorite band…I wanted to give a little more personality to my apron, its not just work, its me here.
Something very Sloane about your shift: My closing ritual. I put on a lot of Carly Rae Jepsen to get me through close. I get real tired and I need something to amp me up so I just play her whole album and then I’m ready to go.
That thing that throws off your groove: Eventhough I love brewing, I’m so tired of pourovers. We do so many of them here, and it gets to be really tasking because we are busy all the time and its just, back and forth. I love pourovers but then there’s also that double edged sword of “we’re really busy, we need to get drinks out the door” and I kind of wish I had a machine to do that for me. That way I don’t have to step off bar all the time or this person has to jump on register and its just one giant cluster of craziness.
Shoutouts: Mostly my manager, Heather. She has been such a life changer for me… she came in and brightened everything up. She’s been really supportive in my competition stuff and I love her for it. Everybody at Novo for being really encouraging and loving and supporting, being there for everything, its been really wonderful. My parents for being really supportive, I know they didn’t expect their daughter to go into coffee but they have showed up to competitions and they come here and get coffee from me and I love it. And my partner for being ultra supportive and patient while I get going crazy over this competition stuff and work