Our Meet Your Barista series introduces our incredible humans who make Dark Heart extra special. Enjoy reading their industry starts, personal experiences, goals outside of the industry, and more. Get it, get it, get it. And get inspired!
My name is Madisen, and I’m Dark Heart's Lead Barista!
When Dark Heart started as a coffee cart in 2015, I was just 9 years old. When the cafe opened in 2017, my family would go there all of the time, and it was our favorite coffee shop. I would have chess dates with my father, or make a quick stop before running errands with my mother. I remember telling the baristas working at the time how I wanted to work there when I was older.
Fast forward to "when I was older," and I started at Dark Heart as a dishwasher when I was 15. I had almost zero knowledge about coffee and was mostly just excited to have a job there. As I began learning more about coffee, and about Dark Heart as a business, I became more and more passionate and excited to be a part of it. I trained at the roastery pulling shots, steaming milk, and pouring drinks over and over until I was confident I could serve something I was proud of every time.
Dark Heart's Magic
What makes Dark Heart special? I would say Dark Heart is unique because of the people who run it. The owners, Allison and Justin, are incredible people with so much passion and dedication. They have worked so hard to create a one-of-a-kind experience, while building a team of humans who are passionate and excited to learn about coffee and serve something fantastic!
What is my favorite drink? My favorite drink to make is probably a cortado. It is one of my favorite drinks to sip, as well, and it is definitely slightly more challenging to create than a regular latte. A cortado is equal parts espresso and milk and is served in a 4.5 oz glass. There is very little room in a cortado to pour art, which is a good challenge that I think is fun!
What specialty coffee offering do I usually recommend to a first time Dark Heart visitor? It definitely depends on what they usually get at a coffee shop, as I want to serve them something I know they'll enjoy. If they normally get something like a vanilla latte, I would probably offer them our honey latte. It's not overly sweet and would be a good intro to the world of specialty coffee. If they're interested in diving more into specialty coffee, then I would encourage them to try a cortado or even straight espresso.
Goals, Aspirations, and Interests
What are my barista goals? There is so much to learn about specialty coffee, and I feel like I’ve only just started. I want to learn as much as I can and really perfect the skills I have developed. Latte art is something I am specifically interested in. I have competed in a few little competitions, but it would be insane to go to SCA (US Coffee Championships) and compete!
As far as my personal aspirations outside of the coffee world go, I am only 17, and I feel like there is a world of possibilities right now. Currently, I am very interested in art and have been pursuing different art mediums outside of work. I draw and paint occasionally. I would really like to learn how to sculpt, and becoming a tattoo artist is something I would love to pursue.
When I'm not at Dark Heart, I enjoy spending a lot of time with my family. I also spin wool into yarn and knit and crochet, and I like to draw a lot!
Why Madisen is Awesome
(Our blog writer had to know!)
I would say I am very hard working; I don't give up on things and stick with it to the end. I'm a fast learner, and when I'm excited about something, I pick it up very quickly. My family would call me a peacemaker, as I'm good at navigating conflict and making friends with people. I'm definitely a dreamer, I have big ideas and plans for my life, and I have a lot of passion and joy to share with the world.
And we will leave you with Madisen's favorite quote:
“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean it is not real?” -Albus Dumbledore
We love you, and we love growing with you, Madisen!