Jenny Smith, Central Coffee’s Barista OG

“We worked together for nearly a year before I really got to know Jenny Smith. She’s reserved, not the typical, bubbly personality that you think of when you think of a barista. The longer we worked together, the more I began to notice qualities- in both her work ethic and her demeanor- that I think are the definition of a professional. There’s a mutual respect between Jenny and her customers. She is honest and task-oriented. And although you won’t find her using her down time to gossip with customers or check Facebook, she is incredibly friendly and ridiculously hilarious… [Jenny is] a valuable representative for women in coffee everywhere.” -Lindsey Pitman, owner/operator of the Daily Press and former co-worker of Jenny’s

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What is your name and age?
Jenny, in my twenties

How long have you worked in coffee?
8 1/2 years

Where do you currently work and how long have you worked there?
Central Coffee Co. for 5 years

Complete this sentence: “I can’t go a day without __________”
Aquaphor

What’s your passion? What are you doing to pursue it?
Road trips, drawing and writing in my notebook, also making collages. I try to set aside time (and money) for myself and my family to enjoy quality care free time together. I have a lot of interests, mostly things that involve creativity. Or fighting.

What frustrates you/any pet peeves?
Latte art in a dry cappuccino. Not being able to live forever.

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Describe your perfect day.
My happy children behaving and not having to yell once.

What is your go-to drink when you’re at the shop?
TWO SHOT$

What band/musician/artist is really amazing you right now?
Drake. The Ohio Players.

What motivates/inspires you?
My kids motivate me. Literally. They be like “Wake Up Mommy!” Museums, poetry. The weather and nature, they set the vibe for the whole planet.

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What would you like to see happen in the Charlotte coffee community?
An overnight lock-in at one of the shops. Baristas Only. Coffee cocktails, throw down, jams, popcorn, pillow fight. Coffee games. We can invent some.

Why do you love working in coffee?
Anyone that has ever worked in a coffee shop misses being a barista. No matter what they are currently doing, they will always think back on the joys of working in a coffee shop. You don’t forget the feeling of loving what you do for a living. I don’t dread having to work. You pick the tunes, experiment with espresso, taste new coffee varieties, learn different methods of brewing. I love that customers feel comfortable and open up to their barista, forming a bond. Everyone cares for each other. Witnessing how the shops, roasters, and customers all work together and look out for one another warms my heart. Raising money for causes or helping a ‘rival’ shop when in need. Life is more pleasant when everyone works together. I’ve always been one to live in the moment and go with the flow. Being a barista – it’s just plain enjoyable.

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I'm an SCA-certified Instructor & Examiner, the Director of Coffee at Undercurrent Coffee and a huge nerd. Other interests include cuddling with my cats, exploring the Carolinas with my husband, binge-watching Netflix and binge-eating Nutella.

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