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Baristas of DFW – Coffee Talk Series #5 with West Oak

Interview with Joshua Smith, Barista for West Oak Coffee – Denton

What makes a good barista stand out in the world of competitive coffee shops in DFW?

I ultimately believe that the way we relate and interact with people is what sets us apart as baristas. We’re in business about relationships, and that’s something that we really take pride in. If you don’t care about building a relationship with your guests, even for a three-minute exchange, they’re not going to remember you.

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Your top 3 tips on making a great cup of coffee?

  • Start off with good coffee
  • Try to get a good grinder
  • Use good filtered water.

Your coffee is only going to be as good as the sum of its parts, so try to use the best that you can!

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In your opinion what makes a specialty coffee shop stand out from the commercial ones?

I feel that DFW doesn’t get as much recognition as it should when it comes to the coffee scene, and part of that is due to how spread out the metroplex is. There are some really phenomenal companies here that don’t get the recognition they deserve because they’re not in a “major” center.  Another one of my favorite things about our company is the knowledge we have about where our beans come and how we support and work with the farmers that grow our coffee, so they also get the attention they deserve.

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What do your customers want that keeps them coming back to your coffee store?

We’re dedicated to our relationships with our guests, and I think that’s what makes the difference. People want to come back because some actual relationships and conversations happen here. We get to be a part of each other’s lives daily, and I think that’s something that doesn’t get enough attention. It also helps that our coffee is excellent!

Pics supplied by West Oak Coffee