Best Barista

Sammy Rodriques, Liquid Planet

If Sammy Rodriques is doing his job well, he says customers shouldn’t know the difference between his lattes and those made by any other Liquid Planet barista. Consistency, he says, “is the key ingredient to making a good coffee shop.” Rodriques is the Missoula company’s corporate trainer, but readers will also recognize him as the outgoing, attentive manager of the new Liquid Planet Grille across the street from the University of Montana. It’s a gig he earned after six years in the coffee business, starting with a stint at a kiosk in Polson. “Don’t be a tool,” Rodriques tells the corporate coffee slingers he trains. “Be a genuine person with customers.” Consistently, of course.

Finalists, Best Barista

2. Kendra Bell, Drum Coffee

3. Megan O'Dell, Loose Caboose

Best Barista: Sammy Rodriques - PHOTO BY CATHRINE L. WALTERS
  • photo by Cathrine L. Walters
  • Best Barista: Sammy Rodriques
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