Here's another installment of our At the Bar series, where we interview Coffeebar's bold, bad ass baristas, chefs and Hospitalians to learn about their journey and passions, both in front of and away from the espresso machine. We hope these conversations inspire and demystify the people and process behind your cup of coffee. These are the hands, hearts and minds you'll find at the bar.
This week, we're talking to Coffeebar Truckee Barista and musician Joel Schmidt. Enjoy!
You are a Coffeebar vet nearing your fourth anniversary! What are some of your fondest memories over the years as a barista?
Oh so many but I think my favorite Coffeebar memory has to be the time that we (a group of managers-in-training and our former Director of Coffee) had to go down to Oakland to pick up something for one of the stores and we ended up going to see the Menlo Park store a year before it opened. We drank a bunch of awesome coffee in the Bay and we also went to the beach. One of the best days of my life spent with my best friends, all while getting paid which was even better, haha.
We recently had a staff art show at our Downtown Truckee location and you displayed your photography, including a landscape of the mountains in Wyoming. Are you often inspired by nature? What other things inspire you to create art?
Nature has always been a safe place for me. Whenever I felt alone or upset I used to just walk for hours taking pictures. With that I feel my art is very driven by emotion and atmosphere and I try to capture what I'm feeling rather than seeing.
We heard you are also quite the badass drummer in the band Viva Revenge. What kind of music do you guys play and what gets you most amped up about it?
Viva Revenge is punk with ska thrown in for fun. My favorite part about this band is that it's not so much about the music itself, it's more about the show and the spectacle. That's why my singer runs around on stage with a luchador mask on.
What’s your secret to great hair?
You know how on the bottle it says ‘Lather, rinse, repeat?’ I don’t repeat
Top three favorite bands?
Amigo the Devil, Teenage Bottlerocket, Napalm Death
If you could recommend one book or movie to us what would it be and why?
I know people hate this book but I would have to say A Million Little Pieces, by James Frey. It is a book about strength, moving forward, and dealing when your world is crumbling and it came into my life at a time when I needed something like that.
Coffee drink of choice?
Cappuccino or cold brew.
If you could have coffee with anyone, living or dead who would it be?
Harry Houdini. He got me into the world of magic and I find his work in debunking spiritualists to be fascinating.