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From Her Hands to Your Mouth


Posted on April 24, 2017

Photography by Rachel Valley

EVEN THOUGH SHE GRADUATED from Sac State with a bachelor’s in government and a minor in Middle Eastern Islamic studies, Kelly Hill says she could see herself working in the coffee industry forever. For the past five years, Hill has worked for Temple Coffee, where she started as a barista. Currently, she trains employees and teaches classes for the public. “It’s my favorite thing to do: talk to people,” she says. “After teaching a class, I’ve had people say, ‘I should really appreciate my baristas more.’ They absolutely walk away with a greater appreciation for coffee and the work baristas put into it.” Hill placed third at SPLAT (Sac-ramento Public Latte Art Tournament) last year—the first woman to place in the overall competition.

What’s your favorite coffee drink to make?
A Gibraltar. It’s a double shot of espresso and milk served in a small glass called a Gibraltar. It has the perfect ratio of milk to coffee. You can see the layers.

What do you usually drink?
Drip coffee or pour-over.

What do you wish people knew about ordering coffee?
They need to get off their cellphones so we can take their orders.

What’s the most difficult coffee drink to make?
A true cappuccino. It’s difficult to get the espresso and milk balance right. The foam has to have a shiny, silky texture. It has to be the right temperature.

Craziest coffee order you’ve ever had?
I had a customer who’d bring in a Pyrex measuring cup containing melted butter. I added espresso and milk to make her drink.

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