The Grind: Baristas Reveal Their Coffee Rituals

The Grind: Baristas Reveal Their Coffee Rituals

Cassidy North-Reist 07.14.22

Odeko presents The Grind - a video series that puts the spotlight on the people behind the counter at your favorite cafés across the country. Our first two episodes feature Nicholas Hollins of Atlanta, GA and Christopher Ortiz of Jersey City, NJ and their shared experiences as a barista (Christopher) and event manager (Nicholas). 

“At home I have my [coffee] ritual and then when I get to Taproom, I’m a part of everyone else’s ritual, which is kind of great.” Nicholas Hollins

Nicholas Hollins, of Atlanta, Georgia, is a barista and events manager at Taproom Coffee whose smile is nothing short of magical. As a person of color, Nicholas highlights the importance of making the coffee industry a welcoming place of both work and pleasure, citing Taproom Coffee as being one of the first cafes he ever felt truly comfortable in. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Taproom Coffee is a specialty coffee and craft beer bar located in the historic Kirkwood neighborhood that prides itself on its exceptional drink quality, partnering with East Pole Coffee Co. for their beans and local breweries all over the state. For Nicholas, coffee is something that has the power to bring people from all walks of life together, and his work at Taproom helps every tourist feel like a regular upon walking in, whether it’s for their first cup of the day or for an exclusive event after hours.  

“We just need to be the people that appreciate [coffee] and show it the love and care it deserves.” Christopher Ortiz

Both Nicholas and Christopher start their mornings with a freshly-made pour-over style coffee - for Nicholas, it is a ritual shared with his partner, and for Christopher, it is the first of three cups he’ll enjoy over the course of the day. Christopher Ortiz is a barista at modcup coffee co. and is known for his three-cup system for a productive day in and out of the coffee shop. After his initial coffee, Chris’ second cup is to wake up, and the third cup is for pleasure, setting the tone for the day. As a barista, his day is often filled with recommending various brews, crafting lattes, and being the face of modcup coffee co. for new customers and regulars alike. Inspired by the Mod movement in the UK, modcup coffee grew from a garage roastery to a brick and mortar with distributing rights in South Korea, helping introduce people to unique blends and flavors from all over the world. For Christopher, the innovative nature of his coffee shop helps him feel like an integral part of the community, reminding him of spending mornings with his grandmother appreciating every sip of coffee.

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