I had the pleasure of working with Karyn from September until a couple weeks ago when she left on a year long trip around the world (Mainly Thailand and  Australia!)!!!!!!!!!!!
Karyn recently graduated from NSCAD and makes beautiful jewellery. She loves coffee and tea and has the knack of being able to chat with any customer! Karyn is super chill and also has the ability to  rock a bar rush like no other.
When working with K-Ron (as I like to call her) you can always count on listening to some good hip-hop, having a dance session and drinking a sweet cappuccino that she is more than happy to make for you! I look forward to working with Karyn again someday (hopefully) and she is really being missed around Just Us! by staff and customers a like!

Photo by Shaun Simpson

1. What do you love about coffee?
I love the smell of coffee, I love how it tastes, and rouses me from unconsciousness and helps me to feel human in the morning. I love the ritual surrounding it just in its simple preparation at home, and getting to stop and savour something in a busy day.

2. Tell me a bit about your coffee background? How did you come to work in cafes? What was your first relationship with coffee?
When I was a teenager in my hometown, which is really small, we had an awesome tea house, and I loved hanging out there, drinking coffee or tea, and listening to my friends play music there, it was kind of a central place for the artsy kids to chill out at. My first cafe job was at Delany’s on Denman in Vancouver, which is right by the beach at English Bay, and I loved my co-workers and the vibe of the place…For the most part, I think independent and small-scale coffeehouses all foster a friendly, relaxed and creative atmosphere, and that’s what I’ve sought out in a job. When you’re at work, and it simultaneously feels like you’re getting paid to hang out with your friends, I think that’s pretty rare in a workplace environment. But I’ve found that consistently working at coffee shops, which is why I keep coming back, even when I think I’m done with serving people and dealing with douchy customers. My first relationship with coffee is pretty standard; I loved the smell of it in the mornings when my parents would brew it, but did it ever just taste like junk when I’d try it. I could choke it down with ridiculous amounts of sugar, but for the most part I didn’t drink it at all….until I was introduced to the magnificence of a single cappuccino, and how it would get me through those long hours in the jewellery studio…. And then I was hired at Just Us. And then I was hooked.

3. Do you think you will continue to work with coffee?
Its been…what….two weeks since my last day at work? I already know I will. I’m so tired of serving people, but heck do I dig the cafe vibe. And you end up meeting so many cool people…. and I’m the only person in my non-cafe group of friends who can give a diatribe on the sexiness of well-made micro foam. And I mean it. That shit is sexy.

4. What’s your favourite drink to drink and to make?
To drink? A real fucking cappuccino, which is unnecessarily hard to find. 2 oz finely pulled espresso, and 4 oz finely steamed milk. That’s all it needs to be baby, so why can’t I find it at 90% of the cafe’s I go. Oh the HUMANITY!
To make? Capps, hands down. Or machiatto’s. But I can’t help but taste it when I make a good capp for someone. I know they’re going to dig it.

5. Your favourite cafe you have ever been to/why/explain it?
I don’t want to come off like a name dropper, but the Grumpy Cafe in New York. It’s really small, they make a capp that you just can’t drink with your eyes open, and there’s no computers allowed. None. It’s like….heaven.

Karyn's last Just Us! Capp!

Thanks for answering my questions, Karyn, and we all wish you well on your adventure!!!!

Cheers,

-Ceilidh

PS Karyn also has rad dreads and a pretty little cat named Mocha…. awesome!

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