When you meet Jaymin for the first time, you are struck by two things: his tall, lanky frame and his huge grin. Jaymin is a the textbook positive person, going with the flow, looking on the bright side, and having no trouble making people laugh along the way. He’s a true goofball, who seems to feel more at home making silly faces than striking a serious pose for the camera. Above all, he truly loves coffee and the people he gets to serve it to. He’s a real people-person and would rather take his time to get to know the folks he’s serving than to push them through the queue. This relationship-focused attitude is what makes Jaymin a standout barista, and the perfect man to run the coffee program over at the Pickled Peach. I had the pleasure of spending a quiet afternoon with Jaymin in Davidson, talking coffee and community in between side-splitting laughter at his jokes and antics.
What’s your full name and age?
Jaymin Conner McAffrey, 22 years old
How long have you worked in coffee?
I’ve been working with this beautiful, brown bean for about 2 years and 6 weeks.
Where do you work & how long have you worked there?
I am currently running the coffee program at a restaurant in Davidson, NC called The Pickled Peach. I’m coming up on a year in October. (Although I love hanging out with my friends behind bar at The Daily Press whenever I can. Holla.)
What do you think cats dream about?
I’ve only loved one cat in my lifetime. This beastly orange cat, Tobias, dreamed of catching delicious jack rabbits on the Texas plains, wallowing in piles of catnip, conquering various diseases, scaring away rattlesnakes, and tearing holes in my living room couch. He was too badass for me to care about the extra character he was giving to my furniture. R.I.P. Tobias.
Would you rather have to always say what’s on your mind or never be able to speak again?
I would absolutely say everything on my mind. Not speaking would destroy me. I’m close to achieving that anyway. It wouldn’t be too bad. I feel like I don’t think excessive amounts of nasty thoughts, thanks to Roald Dahl: “If a person thinks ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face.”
What’s your passion?
It’s hard for me to narrow my passions down to one specific thing. I believe my top two passions would easily be community and creating things. That seems to be pretty typical among a lot of people. Which is totally fine with me, because that means that I get to create something within a community that we created. It’s the freaking circle of life, and coffee’s right in the middle of it.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I was actually just recently asking myself, and my wife, this question. Our answer was the same and I really felt content with the answer we had: I have no idea. I have no idea at all and am so glad that I don’t have that planned. I love where I am and I love the direction I’m headed, even though I can’t exactly say where that is. Although I do plan on making the wisest (not the safest) decisions I possibly can along the way.
What’s your go-to drink when you’re at work?
When the craving hits me for some delicious bean broth as it does through out the day, I almost always make myself a cappuccino. It’s so simple, so buttery, so gratifying.
What’s your most embarrassing moment?
That’s difficult. The only thing that comes to mind is the time my best friend and my brother tricked me into drinking an entire bottle of magnesium citrate. If you know what that is, you know what happened. I’m not going any further into that story.
What inspires you?
Like my passions, I feel like I have so much that inspires me that it’s hard to narrow it down. I am so lucky to have such a large number of people that mean so much to my life, where I am and where I will be, they all inspire me live my life and love what I’m doing. I always feel like the day before inspires me, as well. Knowing that, with whatever it is, I can do better than I did the day before, I can achieve that goal.
What would you like to see happen in the Charlotte coffee community?
I’d love to see more of the shops working together to create more coffee community. I really want to see more collaborated events. Throw downs happening more often and more things like the #BrewTang Barista Jam would really make me happy. There are so many different shops with so many different baristas with unending amounts of different ideas. I’d love to see a more open forum where those ideas can be shared, with friendly competition aside.
Why do you love working in coffee?
I love working in coffee because there is so much to explore. There are so few things that allow you to experience as much as coffee. It requires all of your senses. It’s so complex, yet allows you to create something more from it. All the while being the centerpiece for so many interactions between so many people. It’s freaking tasty and people flock to it.