Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Week beginning April 28 - Jessica 'Talbs' Talbot - Kaffeine legend

We've known this day was coming for a long time. Does not make it any easier to say goodbye though. Today is Jessica's last day at Kaffeine as her visa has come to and end and she is off to travel the world.

Jessica 'Talbs' Talbot came to us in July 2012 and started as a barista from Melbourne, with New Zealand heritage. Not only that, she had a hospitality heritage, having worked in the industry since being a teenager. This is one of the important attributes that you need to look for in potential employees, the natural ability to be hospitable, to provide hospitality. Danny Meyer in his book 'Setting the Table' talks how he looks for his employees to have at least 51% hospitality.

Jessica not only has skills as a barista, as a manager and as a server, and she has not just 51% hospitality, Jessica has what I would call 100% hospitality. I sit in my 'office under the stairs' and listen to the buzz of the crowd, the clatter of the plates, the knocking of the portafilter and the footsteps on the floorboards.  Above all of that, I can hear Jessica laughing away and having a great time, smashing out coffee after coffee after coffee, working the floor, the till, the service area, chatting away to anybody and everybody.

She admitted to me a while ago she almost did not stay at the start. She started with James 'Obi Wan' Broadhurst as lead barista, a 21 year old Aeropress Champion called Shaun Young and a Polish cup tasting champion Blazej 'Blaze' Stempin. Three boys, all very, very particular about how espresso and service should be and is accomplished at Kaffeine. It was a hard introduction.

In January 2013, she unfortunately broke her leg and was off work for 8 weeks, having to return home to NZ to recuperate. We were able to keep her job open for her, we had to, we wanted to, so that when she returned to London she was able to come back part time at first, then full time as her leg got stronger. When Shaun left, she took over the teaching of the classes we have at nights, latte art classes and one on ones. She came to me and said 'it's amazing, I never knew I knew so much, I love it'.

Of course she excelled at it.

She was also an Assistant manager, and while also being a senior barista, this not an easy job to do. Most of our managers work the floor as the concentration required on coffee takes you away from working the floor and it is a hard task to achieve, but she did, laughing and being hospitable all the time.

There is so many things we could say about Jessica, as there is about all the legends who have worked at Kaffeine, who made their impression and made their mark. The easiest thing to say though, is that she will be missed - very, very much.

Jessica Talbot - July 2012 to April 2014 - Kaffeine legend.

We hope you enjoy this weeks menu, as we will enjoy bringing it to you.

Traditional bircher muesli with rhubarb and raspberry compote 3.60
Granola muesli with pomegranate molasses and rhubarb and raspberry compote 3.60
Fruit salad (pineapple, mango, strawberries, grapes, passion fruit) 3.70
Ciabatta roll with omelette, pancetta, rocket and tomato salsa 4.90
Ciabatta roll with courgette omelette, rocket and tomato salsa 4.90
Croissant with Italian roast ham, talleggio cheese, spinach & plum tomatoes 4.90
Seven seed bakery bloomer toast with home made preserves 1.90
Pumpkin seed and apricot fruit toast 2.40
Banana bread 2.40
Porridge with choices of cinnamon, dried fruit, chopped nuts, honey, golden syrup or compote 3.00

Pastries by Seven Seed bakery
French butter croissant 1.90
Pain au chocolat 2.50
Almond croissant 2.80

Baked Treats
Sweet Muffin: Mixed berry 2.40
Savoury Scone: Red peppers and feta 2.40
Yarrow and blood orange friands 2.40
Super moist chocolate brownies 2.40
White chocolate blondies 2.40
Portuguese tarts 2.00
ANZAC cookies 2.00
Afgan Biscuits 2.00

French retro baguettes 5.00
Ham, red wine mayonnaise, raspberries, brie and rocket
Slow cooked tomatoes, cucumber, parmesan, red onion and spinach

Foccacias 5.30
Pancetta, roasted fennel, salsa verde and spinach
Tuna and onion melt with avocado and salsa

Salads: 5.50/6.90
Hot smoked salmon with raw asparagus and champagne rhubarb
Baked purple baby aubergine with crushed roasted peanuts and scruvygrass flowers with a sweet fish sauce dressing
Yellow bean succotash

Tart: 4.40 or 7.90 with salad
Fish cake with sea kale broccoli and Buckthorn curd

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