Name and Role: Niko Anderson, Barista and General Helper-Outter
Experience: 3+ Years of Coffee in the High Desert and High Sierras of Reno
Your 2 cents on the customer experience: Customers are really easy. Most people just want coffee and they just need to get where they need to be…so, getting people where they need to be and keeping them as happy as you can.
What keeps you in coffee: Coffee is just really interesting because it’s so subjective and most of it is just about you doing the best that you can…of course you won’t like everything in my store, but I’ll still try my best to find whatever you want regardless… taste is subjective and everybody knows that. So it’s a lot of fun to figure out what people want and getting that to them, it’s a really new, baby industry and it has so much room to grow and everybody can help it grow and perfect it the way it needs to get. Its super awesome, it’s a nice new industry to be in.
Something in coffee that is not for you: Not gonna lie, blenders. I guess I just don’t like ice drinks anyway, they’re not my favorite. I’d rather just sweat my life out drinking something really hot and enjoyable rather than drinking something just iced and diluted with all that water. It’s not my favorite thing, but every once in a while it’s super nice.
Quick coffee confession: I’m honestly a big sucker for diner coffee. Sometimes you just wanna go to Denny’s and have gritty, awful coffee and be like “this is so good” and then go back to a Third Wave cup of coffee that is really crisp and be like there are differences, but you can still enjoy all of them.
Something in coffee you might want to check out down the line: It would be fun to dive into roasting just a little bit and get more of an understanding of how roasting effects what exactly you’re making. Roasting would be a lot of fun. I honestly just want to hone in my skills in training and helping people understand dialing in espresso … and just understanding the differences in milk textures between everything. I need to hone those skills in myself as well, but that’s how you get good at training is by talking about it and doing it and so that would be a lot of fun.
Something special about being part of the Hub: The fact that my boss is very very adamant about where he gets his beans… He understands what the farmer does and how they grow their beans and how far in the family they’ve had all of these farms and then he brings that to Reno. I think we were the first Third Wave coffee in town so, people didn’t understand where coffee came from and that it could be good, that it could be holistic…that it could benefit everybody. That’s what he’s really proud of, and me too.
Rituals: At the Riverside store…a lot of times we like to open to the Mike Jones Pandora Station. It’s a lot of good hype music and that’s what we need to close, it’s good energy. Everybody knows the lyrics so we all sing along as we are closing or opening. If I’m up at the UNR (University of Nevada, Reno) location…I’ll play a lot of Saude and a lot of K-Pop, because I’m guilty of liking that…but I’ll keep it appropriate for the rest of the day, just easy listening, easy studious kind of stuff.
Shout-outs: I’d like to thank Hub Coffee Roasters because I’m where I am now because of Mark and this company…Also Magpie because we do have a good local coffee scene in general, it’s not competitive or anything like that. We’re just very good to eachother because it’s still such a small business in this town, and my friends Jamal and Eka and Vince and just a lot of people for getting me where I am now.