flourish by ingridfnl

10 Oct
Wet Cappuccino with heart latte art

flourish

Bob was just adding a final leaf to the foam rose for the cappuccino which sat in front of him when his boss, Peter, tapped him on the shoulder. He nodded towards the long line of customers who were standing impatiently in line and said, “Really? Five minutes for a cappuccino? We’re going to lose all of our customers if you don’t speed it up.”

Bob nodded to Peter and looked down flushed, “Sss-sorry sir. I’m just… ”

“Now, I can see that you’re putting some real effort into your creations, but I think you should just give this last one to lady waiting so we can carry on with business.”

Bob looked up quickly meeting the eyes of the waiting customer and handed her the frothy coffee concoction. She looked down at the coffee and then back up at Bob and smiled broadly. “This is beautiful! You’re so talented!” Her face was so lit up with wonder that Bob had to look away.

Peter, still standing behind Bob, said, “Well, what do you say to the lady? She just paid you a mighty fine comment for all of your slow fancy diddling in the milk, so say thank you and work on your other orders…”

Bob was filled with two conflicting emotions. On one hand he was completely flustered by the reaction of the customer that his hands were now shaking and his face flushed but on the other hand… “diddling”. How dare he. How dare he underestimate the work and craftsmanship that Bob had put into designing each individual cup.

But, aware that Peter was still glaring at him, Bob looked up at the girl and said, stiffly, “Your welcome,” then immediately looked away and fulfilled the remaining orders–cappucinos, espressos, mochaccinos and chais, americanos, lattes, frappacinos and macchiatos– creating feather-light foam and limiting himself to a simple clover pattern or a fern. It seemed that today was not the day for his more elaborate brocade decoration he had worked out only the evening before.

Over the next half hour, the woman sat by the seat closest to the counter. Taking small sips of her coffee and looking up wistfully at Bob. From the lip of her large purse, on the seat beside her, her small dog’s head appeared. Now animals were not officially allowed in the cafe but Bob could not see the harm of the small pony-tailed Pomeranian. Bob saw her feed the small dog teaspoonfuls of foamed milk from a teaspoon. She would then grin shyly back up at Bob with still that light and wonder in her eyes.

Bob had never been looked at with wonder before.

His shift was about to end, and she was still there, and by this point, Bob’s heart was pounding in his ears because he knew he had to talk to her, the gentle woman with the now highly-caffeinated small dog who was now running in circles at her feet.

As a finale to his shift, he made a half-caf moccachino special with a shot of carmel-caper coffee enhancer and a dash of cinnamon. He then created an elaborate rendering of her dog in the foam on the top.

Holding the saucer of the cup with both trembling hands Bob walked towards her proudly and her dog ran frantically and territorially towards him, biting Bob’s ankle just as Bob reached her table.

(The lady in question was Emma, who previously appeared in “Dog Coat“.)

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One Response to “flourish by ingridfnl”

  1. juleshg October 25, 2010 at 12:15 am #

    We were on the same wave-length again.

    I was careful not to read any of the other “Bob the barista” stories until I finished mine. Your Bob making a picture of Emma’s dog in the latte only proves that great minds think alike!

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