A week after the last event of 2014, long standing member of the team, Reece Wilde, has been reflecting on The Barista’s achievements in what has been a busy and exciting 12 months. In a two part blog series, Reece gives us his event highlights and an insight into the miles we cover to serve coffee at top trade shows UK wide.
In the last 12 months I’ve set up coffee bars at 54 different events and served more than 24,000 coffees. From agricultural exhibitions, to medical conferences, product launches, pop up shops and even a private wedding (no pressure!), there certainly hasn’t been a dull moment.
It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since I was dispatched to Gillette HQ in Reading to set up the first coffee bar of the season. Gillette, I mean I’m not exactly familiar with their products! They didn’t mind though, because they wanted coffee of the highest order and that’s exactly what they got. It was a busy service using office mugs of all shapes and sizes, but I relished the chance to be back in front of a coffee machine and even produced semi-decent latte art in a Sports Direct mug – those things are huge!
One event that sticks in my mind is the Marc Jacobs ‘Tweet Shop’ which took place in a small shop on the market square of Covent Garden. It was a simple but effective PR concept from the fashion designer to boost online interaction – the public were invited in for free coffee and the chance to win perfumes and accessories, in return for tweeting comments, photos and videos. The event was a roaring success.
The reason we get to work with such renowned luxury names such as Marc Jacobs, is because the coffee we serve is of the highest possible quality. At each and every job, we receive comments and praise on the positive impact our presence has had on the event, and customers often ask how we manage to produce such wonderful drinks from a mobile facility. But just like the other baristas in the team, I take time to craft each cup perfectly, even on very busy days.
Speaking of busy days – one of our busiest events this year was at The British Society for Rheumatology in London where we served 750 coffees each day!
Of all the positive comments we receive, I particularly like to hear from those who have tasted our Northern Espresso – our very own blend which we began to roast in 2014. I’m immensely proud to have been a big part of this process and although It’s been a steep learning curve, I’ve reached the summit a more knowledgeable and passionate barista.
2014 was a great year for The Barista and for me on a personal level too. It was the year a bearded gent served coffee at Gillette HQ. And it was the year I almost came full circle, from roasting, to blending, to serving. What will next year bring?