Last month, we posted our very first "Coffee Break" interview to highlight some of our favorite local baristas! This month, we shine the spotlight on a super cool barista, Connor Shields, from Hendershot's Coffee located in Athens, GA.
What is your favorite part about being a barista?
I really like the process of making the drinks for customers. I enjoy perfecting every order - from pulling the espresso and making sure the crema comes out just right to creating the fun designs on the top layer.
What is your favorite "hidden menu" drink?
Each barista has their own signature drink. For example, one barista does something called the "Shakarto" - it's 2 shots of espresso, a little half and half and simple sugar shaken in a high ball glass to give it a nice thick top layer.
My own signature drink is called the "Honey Nut Cheerio Latte" - it's a little bit of hazelnut in a Cubano Conleche.
What is something cool that you learned while being a barista?
Before this, I worked at Jittery Joe's. While there I was able to watch and learn about the coffee bean roasting process because we had a roaster in Athens.
What makes this coffee shop special and different from the other shops in Athens?
Our location in Athens is great because we aren't quite downtown - but we aren't too far out of it - we are right on the edge. Being where we are, we get a lot of the townies and super chill people who want to come out of their way to get here.
We also have a full functioning venue. We host events almost every night, from comedy shows to live music events.
Who are you outside of being a barista?
I'm currently a student at UGA. My skills and interests are focused in on graphic design and photography at the moment. When I graduate, I hope to either be over seas getting my master's in graphic design or in Portland - it has a such a cool culture and I love the weather!
Check out some of Connor's photography and graphic design work by following him on Instagram at @shieldsconnor.
Follow Hendershot's Coffee on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with the latest and greatest... and possibly find something better to do than studying you're life away or going to the same ole' bars every weekend (because did I also mention they have a full bar?).