April 20, 2021

Getting to Know the Bistro Baristas

Constance Tyne '22 - Staff Reporter

Photo courtesy of library.gordon.edu

You rely on them for your daily caffeine IV. Without them, your between-classes chocolate croissant wouldn’t even exist. Who are these khaki-clad, pony-tailed superheroes? Here’s a bit about the Bistro Baristas who so kindly provide us with our daily needs and whose deft cash register skills are the source of our unremitting meal-point depletion.

Elizabeth Nakoneczny Barista at Bistro class of 2022 

How did you get into coffee? 

My grandma gave me my first cup of coffee when I was 16, and I was hooked. I broke out the old coffeepot that my parents got when they got married and put it to actual use– we usually saved it for guests! I started learning how to make specialty drinks of my own, experimenting with different dairy options and learning about the different drinks. I got an espresso machine complete with a milk steamer for my 18th birthday, and it’s still fun to break out at home every once and a while! 

When and why did you start working for Bistro? 

This is actually my first year working for Bistro. I started back in the fall. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to work in a coffee shop, so Bistro was a perfect fit. Also, have you seen those khaki pants? Truly stunning. That’s sarcasm. 

Pros/cons of your work? 

Pros: The other workers are fantastic, so fun to work with, and make Bistro a really positive environment to work in. Cons: the khaki pants 

What is a typical day like? 

Each day at Bistro is different. Some days it’s very quiet, but once I saw someone drink 5 iced London Fogs in the span of 30 minutes, so it can get pretty crazy. In all seriousness, it really depends on the time that your shift is. The between-classes rush is always especially busy. 

Have you worked in other coffee shops, and if so, how is your experience with Gordon’s coffee offerings different? 

I’ve never worked in another coffee shop before, and Gordon’s coffee shops are similar to other coffee shops that I’ve visited, but I can definitely say that I’ve never worked in a coffee shop that’s also in a library! It really makes Jenks a hub of student connection and supports all those late night study sessions in the library. Also, having gelato available is a really nice touch. 

How would you describe Gordon’s roast? 

Gordon’s roast is somewhere between Starbucks’ coffee and the stereotypical “church coffee” found in fellowship halls throughout the country. It’s not the best coffee I’ve ever had, but I do genuinely enjoy it and it gets the job done. 

What’s a really simple coffee recipe that students can make at home? 

You can make a really easy mocha using normal brewed coffee and packaged hot chocolate! Just brew a cup of your favorite roast and add a package or two of powdered hot chocolate to your desired level of chocolatey sweetness. 

Who picks the playlist in Bistro? And what is it? 

It depends who’s working! The music changes depending on who’s controlling the AUX cord, and it can be anything from Disney tunes to early 2000s jams! Personally, I like a mix of chill indie and grunge, if I’m being honest. 

Rosie Baker: Barista at Bistro class of 2020 

How did you get into coffee? 

I never got into coffee. I drink tea all the time, but I’ve never had a latte. I hope I make good lattes. 

Pros/cons of your work? 

Pros: I get to choose the music while I work. I get to work in the evenings. My team of coworkers make my job really enjoyable. I get a free drink when I work… Cons: the Bistro is open late and sometimes I would just rather be asleep. 

What is a typical day like? 

A typical day at the Bistro includes the pre-class and post-chapel rushes, the late afternoon dead period, and the odd stragglers around 7 o’clock who realize they haven’t eaten dinner yet. In any given shift, I will wipe down most of the counters, restock the waters, make a few drinks, and bag some chocolate pretzels. 

What are the best drinks that you make? 

The best drink I make, personally, is my London Fog. I don’t make it too sweet to drink. But that’s a matter of opinion, I know, and depends on what level of sugar you are expecting from your drink. 

Who picks the playlist in Bistro?? And what is it? 

When I work, I generally pick the music- my phone can plug in. Generally my playlist is my Daily Mix from Spotify, and includes mostly folk music. I could play country, but I don’t. 

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