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Home Features A Day In The Life of a 10:31 Barista

By Benjamin Gordon

    Concordia is fortunate enough to have its own coffee shop, 10:31. Most students have spent a few Bulldog Bucks and ordered coffee there, but no one really knows what goes on behind the scenes with the efforts of the hard-working baristas.

     The day starts off with the with a manager coming in to open the coffee shop with the barista that has the opening shift. Opening tasks include stocking the needed equipment for the day and preparing the register. The barista then has a short break before the chaos of the rush before morning classes.

    Most baristas describe the morning customers as “still waking up and not as conversational as later times in the day.” Professors are a relatively common sight in the mornings as they get their daily cup of coffee.

“(The morning shift) is very, very busy, but I like to make drinks a lot, so (it’s) also very fun at the same time,” sophomore barista Trevor Fiala said.

    During the morning rush,  an off-duty barista will sometimes come to help if they notice the barista on-duty is overwhelmed by orders. “It’s nice to know to that there are other people willing to jump in,…and it’s nice to know you can be that barista that is willing to jump in,” junior barista Dana Simpkin said.

This is an example of the kindness and camaraderie many baristas expressed about the work environment at 10:31.

    Around noon, the barista on shift has to deal with the chapel and lunch rushes. This is when baristas may get the chance to do their assigned tasks for their shift. A shift usually lasts about an hour and a half, and each barista is assigned a specific job. These can include taking out the recycling, cleaning out the coolers, throwing out milk cartons, or cleaning the microwave.

    During the afternoon and night. things tend to slow down a little bit with just a trickle of people coming. Baristas describe the customers that do come as very friendly and social.  Many baristas report that the social aspect is their favorite part of their job

“I like talking to people, just hearing about their day…seeing their smiles…it’s just a cool part of our day,” sophomore barista Tim Oberdieck said.

     Even with the slowdown of service and socializing, the 10:31 baristas stay busy with their assigned shift tasks and monthly tasks that are taken care of when a barista has free time during a shift, such as cleaning the muffin container.

   As the day goes on, the kinds of drinks sold may change. Baristas reported that black coffee is more popular in the mornings, and sugary coffees tend to be more popular in the afternoons. Seasonal drinks tend to be very popular, and smoothies are more common on Fridays.  Occasionally, baristas may get the chance to make some of their favorite drinks. Barista recommendations include the Vanilla Peach White Mocha, the Iced Chocolate Macchiato, and the Brown Sugar and English Toffee Latte.

    At the end of the day during closing time, the barista on the closing shift will do the closing procedure, which includes cleaning the portafilters, closing the registers, and wiping down surface areas. Then they will put away the food and supplies so they are ready for the next morning.

   To learn more about 10:31 Coffee, visit their website at

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