When we last left our heroine, she was apron clad in khaki and black, slinging 20oz cappuccinos through a drive-thru. But, fear not! She was not down-hearted, she was not discouraged, for she had the internet. She had hours of latte art videos, archives of coffee blogs, and a keen nose for quality. She had no where to go but up and so, up she went.

I knew when I was bringing my own milk to practice my latte art at a job that generally frowned upon anything that took longer than ten seconds that it was maybe time for a change. I had been frequenting all the good Austin shops, sitting where I could see the shots pulled and the milk perfectly textured and I was starting to taste a common denominator: Cuvee Coffee. At the time, I was French-pressing with very little precision and so enamored with coffee that I was blowing through bags of sub-par discounted coffee from my job. So, I decided I’d treat myself to something new. One press of Meritage and a Google search later, I had decided what to do. I think it’s important that I note here how terrible a decision-maker I am. Big ones usually involve tears and ice cream, small ones are guaranteed some signature lip-biting. The fact that I saw the Professional Barista Training Course on Cuvee’s website and immediately asked for help to pay for it was a pretty big deal. A few weeks later, thanks to an amazing friend, I was signed up.

In classic Kait fashion, I left too early, ate too little, and thought too much about what I was wearing. However, against my typical nature, I pulled it together, drove right up to the roasterie and couldn’t open the door. Literally… It wasn’t locked… I pulled and it was a push or something dumb like that. So, I got looking like a fool out of the way, but the rest of the day was amazing.

I got a tour of the roasterie (which is one big room, but it was a tour nonetheless!), met the entire Cuvee staff (all four of them, at the time), and cleared up all the myths I’d heard about what a macchiato is and is not and how there’s an entire association that has quality standards and competitions for coffee at all points in its journey. I spent the day with a group of baristas from Waco who all worked at the same shop which functioned as my introduction to the coffee community and the way it has room for everyone with passion. I got the fundamentals straightened out, my milk technique tweaked and I even poured a heart that also slightly resembled a butt. It was a lot of information all at once, but I could’ve listened for days. My understanding of espresso was still foggy, but I knew that I loved it and that’s all that mattered. After our time with Clancy Rose, our instructor and one of the roasters, we got to meet Mike McKim, the owner of Cuvee. I thought for sure we’d just say hi and thanks and let him get about his business, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. We said hi and thanks and then he asked us how it went and if we had any questions. I had questions.

We spent a good hour talking about processing methods, direct-trade relationships, and how to taste things. Mike brewed us a Chemex of a new Kenyan coffee they had just received and as if I needed more reasons to love them. I left Cuvee over-caffeinated and more motivated than ever to find a new job.

This is part 2 of Kait’s Journey series. Check out and shop for some Cuvee Coffee at www.cuveecoffee.com