Topic: Spokane Barista Academy
COMMENTS: A while back, I was shooting the breeze with Bobby Enslow, owner of Indaba Coffee, in their West Central location. He pointed to a box on the floor, which contained a brand-spankin'-new Breville espresso machine.
"Check out what Eric helped us get," he said, referring to our mutual friend Eric Frickle, owner of The Kitchen Engine. "We're going to use it to help teenagers in the neighborhood learn some barista skills," he said with a smile.
"Oh, that's cool," I said. I figured maybe they'd set it up in their newly remodeled space, and it would just sit there so that, during down times, Bobby and his team could mess around on the machine with kids who hang around the shop.
A few months later, I'm browsing the Interwebs and I see the launch of the Spokane Barista Academy, a summer program that will run in 2016, in partnership with Project Hope and Union Gospel Mission. As I read the blog post, it became clear that this is not just messing around. It will mean real skills, relationships, and hope for teenagers who are less privileged in those areas. So yeah. That is cool.
KEY FEATURES: For 16-20 year olds in Spokane, this is a chance to gain coffee knowledge and technique, customer service skills, and a mentor who cares. West Central is historically one of the lowest-income neighborhoods in the state, in which many people are experiencing generational cycles of poverty.
RECOMMENDATIONS: Stay tuned for a late-summer graduation: a latte art competition, where you can taste and see the skills the class of '16 picked up.