Behind the Coffee Bar

By Sam DePaul


Name/Hometown/Coffee shop

Daniel Weihe/Cuyahoga Falls/Artisan Coffee

Have you ever worked behind an actual bar? If so, how is it similar or different to making coffee? If not, would you ever want to bartend?

No, but I used to occasionally work as a bar back in a hotel lounge. Barista is Italian for bartender, and often I make myself available to people who may need to vent or complain about their day. In the same way that a bartender takes pride in making a perfect drink, I enjoy getting to prepare and serve a carefully crafted, quality beverage. I don’t think I’d want to be a bartender because I really enjoy my sleep.

Have you ever received an excessive tip?

We all split our tips, so I’ve never personally received an excessive tip. However, when we have a special fundraising day, people are particularly generous.

“Coffee art”…how in the hell do you do that?

Industry secret that we are sworn to never divulge. No, just kidding! It takes lots of practice to learn how to pull a proper espresso shot, smoothly steam the milk, and pour it to create different designs.

What’s your favorite drink to make?

I really enjoy making a pour over or any drink that allows me to do latte art.

How do you take YOUR coffee?

Black and sometimes with a dash of cinnamon.

What is the strangest request or question you’ve ever received from a customer?

Hmm…well, we have the most amazing blackberry lime scones. They have fresh lime zest on top and they are probably one of the best things you’ll ever eat. One time, we had a new customer come in and as they were checking out the baked goods they asked us if that was real mold on the scones. No one really knew what to say.

Sam DePaul leads a double life as a bartender and aspiring screenwriter. This one time Al Pacino was across the street from her in New York.