Training Session

So I am WAY behind on my blogging.  And by way behind, I mean we had a training session on July 3rd that I was supposed to blog about…..and I’m just now finishing it up.  I saw this quote recently and I’m pretty sure it was written just for me:


Anyone else feel this way? Just me?

A few weeks ago, the Java Jolt team was given the opportunity to visit O’Henry’s Coffee Roasters in Birmingham for a training session.  We’ve recently brought in a few new employees, so this was a great way for old members to brush up on their barista skills and new members to get in extra training.

photo 1              photo 2

photo 3              _MG_0120

We tried LOTS of espresso (espresso not eXpresso), in order to understand the importance of running a correct shot.  Many factors affect the quality of your drink, including the grind size, water pressure and filtration, and the running time of the shot.  We tried an under extracted shot that ran too short, which tasted weak.  We then tried an over extracted shot that ran too long, which tasted bitter and had a slightly burnt taste to it.  We then tried several shots that ran the correct amount of time, and we could all taste a difference.  This shot of espresso had good overall body, a pleasant aftertaste, and filled the entire mouth with flavor.

_MG_0123     _MG_0124

         _MG_0127     _MG_0121         

The benefit of this showed us that tasting the product regularly shows that you care about your guests; that you want to provide them with a great product and a positive experience.


Next was snack time!  We got to sample these DELICIOUS Ginger Crunch Bars



All of our team members then got a chance to practice their milk steaming skills!


_MG_0132 _MG_0134


_MG_0137 _MG_0138 _MG_0142


Our final part of the day was getting to tour their roasting room.  The have two roasters, their very first -The Little Red Roaster (i thought the name was adorable!), which can roast 25 lbs of coffee at a time, and a bigger version which roasts 50 lbs.  The owner explained the entire coffee process, which was really interesting!  Did you know:

  • Coffee is grown in tropical mountainous regions
  • When the coffee “cherries” are ripe, they turn red and are then picked by hand by local farmers
  • Inside ONE cherry is TWO coffee beans; which shows how many cherries must be picked to give one pound of coffee
  • The “roast” of your coffee is determined by the length of time it is roasted; think roasting marshmallows- a light roast is a golden marshmallow, dark roast is a crispy, flaming marshmallow
  • O’Henry’s uses the Swiss water process to decaffeinate their coffee, meaning no chemicals are used!
  • A shot of espresso has 1/3 LESS caffeine than a cup of regular coffee (How many of you are shocked right now??)
  • Coffee is the friendliest beverage!

_MG_0145                     _MG_0144

_MG_0146      _MG_0147       _MG_0154

_MG_0149         _MG_0148

As you can see, we had a blast!  We are all super thankful that the O’Henry’s team took the time to provide us with extra training and give us a lesson in how coffee is produced.

I think one of my favorite things that I learned was something they said: “Coffee houses are places to build relationships; it’s about family and friends.  We use the word guests, not customers, because we care.”  Coffee houses are the places we go to to talk out our problems.  They’re where we go to learn, to relax, to escape.  Where we can laugh, cry or pray with friends.  To those that are just passing through, it may just be a place to grab a cup of coffee and be on their way.  But to the regulars, those faces and drinks we have remembered, a local coffee house is home.  We’re friends and family.  And we’re glad that you are part of ours.