Interviewing The Coffee Industry - Millie Gay

Today's lovely guest is Millie. I've followed Millie for a long while now on Instagram, so it was brilliant to get her involved in this interview series. She's an incredible barista and also does barista training too! What a dream!

How are you?
Okay! This lockdown was definitely very different from the first. The first one, I was full of ideas and plans - got loads of random things done. This one? Complete and utter sloth child! I mainly got through it by trying new coffees and chatting to friends online.

Where do you work? What is your role?
I work at a cafe called Woods Cafe (@woodscafe) full time and then do pat time barista training for Cornico Coffee Roastery (@cornicocoffee)

How has Coronavirus affected your job?
Well, we were furloughed March until the end of June and then again more recently. It has hugely affected how things run at the cafe and how we serve people/what we serve people/where we serve people. However, we are really lucky to have been able to keep out jobs unlike many other baristas and other people in the Coffee Industry.

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced in the Coffee Industry in 2020?
I have been very lucky to have kept my job - so the main difference for me has been the social aspect as well as some of the personal goals I had for myself. I wanted o do another course that was more sensory based. I wanted to compete in more latte art throwdowns and I also wanted to go to more coffee cuppings/learn more about flavours. Whilst these aren't massively life changing/huge things - the saying that you don't miss something until it's gone is massively true. I super miss the events and getting to learn!
I have also found that this has brought out the best and worse in people - customer wise! Some people are amazing, they are so happy to have some form o normality left and are super appreciative of the fact you might be short staffed/slower than usual/not serving their fave thing but you are there. Other people not so much! It has been a little disheartening at times to see people lose their sh*t over the fact you cannot make them a sausage sandwich or the fact they had to queue.. or the list goes on! Lucky those people are few and far between but it has been interesting to see the difference for sure!

How have you felt about the Coffee Industry in 2020?
I have actually felt more involved in more things in a weird way! I guess because of being in Cornwall, usually events happen in London or Birmingham or Manchester and I wouldn't be able to go. However - zoom life is meaning that I can actually "go" to a few more things that I wouldn't be able to usually! It has also been amazing that so many events have still run but in a very edited format. I feel like I have made a load of friends because everyone is trying to pull together. We are all going through the same things and some of the projects/ideas that have come out of this have been awesome. I have been going along to the Kore coffee mornings and getting to meet loads of amazing people who work in different capacity's in the coffee industry. It is really lovely to form connections with other people who love the same things you do. I now have a massive list of coffee shops, roasters and people to visit when it is safe to do so (and a new appreciation of how much I adore just sitting in a nice cafe with good coffee and a book.)

What is something you've missed in the Coffee Industry in 2020?
I am kinda splitting socialisation into "real-life" and online. I really miss the real-life stuff! I miss the throwdowns with pizza, beer and supreme nerves that I am going to make a tit out of myself. I miss coffee cuppings with the faint background of horror that I will accidently say that a chocolate-y coffee is floral. I miss coffee shop hopping in big cities - getting so caffeinated I can hear colours. So, whilst I have had an awesome time attending more events than I ever would have usually - now I really want to go do "real-life" stuff and visit all these awesome coffee shops!

How did Coronavirus/Lockdown affect your mental health?
The first lockdown was a corona-coaster. A few days of productivity and getting sh*t done attitude followed by a day of WHATS WRONG WITH THIS WORLD duvet monster.
This lockdown? Technically, I have struggled! I live by myself and found it hard especially with no sunshine and it being all cold and horrible. However, I recognised it for being a tough time so just let myself do what felt ok - aka - curl up and binge watch NCIS. Not productive in the slightest but it was needed!

What are you looking forward to in 2021?
Can we call his "looking forward to when this hell is over?" (Jass: Absolutely we can!)
I cannot wait to get to those things where you are like I never appreciated this before but this is PERFECT. 
Nights out where you don't have to book a table/remember masks/work out if there is more than 6/worry that you will get a track and trace call.
Coffee Shop hopping and curling up in one with a good book.
Meeting people and going to coffee events.
City trips getting utterly over-caffeinated and then drinking espresso martinis all night.
So so many things! 

Find Millie 
Instagram - Click Here

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