Saturday, June 18, 2011

Handmade Totalmente

Two bottles of Gahara Vanilla Syrup starting their journey.

So far, 2011 has been a busy year. I've been back and forth to Central and South America, as well as southern North America several times. My times at home have been short and it wasn't until last month when I actually had time to slow down and return to my roots, so to speak.

In May, I was home for 22 days. Time to slow down. Time to focus. Time to work. Time to re-connect with my baristas and get back to what we do best. People think I'm lucky because I am given the opportunity to travel. I think I'm lucky because I return to a great team focused on making fantastic products for our guests.

For the past couple of days, after recovering from the haze that was the World Barista Championship in Bogota, Colombia, I've been working in the bowels of Spro working with ingredients, tasting coffees and whipping up new batches of handmade this and that. I've been back on the farmers market circuit seeing what's new and available, and planning new menu items for the heat of summer.

It brings me back to the aspect of barista that I like the most: preparing everything handmade. I'm happy to say that nothing at Spro is commercially processed. We prepare everything in-house or work with purveyors who share our same passion for doing things "the hard way." From making the coffees individually to order to the handmade syrups to the traditionally made agua fresca to the quirky take on classic sorbets whipped up in the PacoJet. Everything is sourced thoughtfully and carefully. Everything is tasted and vetted before we present it to our guests.

I'm fortunate to have the opportunity to travel the world, work with baristas and judge barista competitions. I meet wonderful people and make incredible friends. But at the end of the day, I find myself inspired most by the very people I work day in and day out - the team at Spro.