espresso machine

Barista, Coffee, Coffee Shop, Denton, UNT, Big Mike's Coffee, Texas

On a Cold Day

On a cold Monday in February, Jenna, my girlfriend wakes up at 6:30 to get ready for work in Denton and wakes me to get ready with her. It’s our normal routine. Today I’m headed up to Denton though my Quantitative Research Methods isn’t for another 12 hours.

While we eat breakfast, she says it will be cold today, but I don’t listen to her, she’s always cold. So I mistakenly wear a light jacket, not anticipating the wind and shiver as I walk around the university area to grab some interviews before finishing some assignments. A light drizzle wets my hair and I can hear my stomach growl over the cold. I forgot to eat breakfast.

I pass Big Mike’s Coffee, and realize I have never been in before, so peek inside. It looks empty. I step in and ask what’s good, planning on ignoring their recommendations anyway. I know what I want. Since nobody is behind me, I realize now would be a perfect time for an interview, if only I can have a few sips of that coffee.


Sadie Ryckoff, a barista at Big Mike’s Coffee on Hickory in Denton, shows up for work at 5:45 a.m. She turns on the espresso machine to get it heated up to temp and begins to roast the coffee, the same way she has for the past three and a half years.

Sadie continues her routine as she goes around and make sure everything is clean and organized, straightened up, ready for a super busy day here at the coffee shop.

“Monday through Friday is pretty hopping,” she said as if she had four cups of espresso herself. “Usually when you get set up you are really efficient and it makes for a smooth morning and a lot of fun for everyone.”

Sadie’s morning is going really well. The weather, when it’s rainy, can be hit or miss. Either people sleep in or the shop will be slammed as guests seek something warm and cozy to drink.

“I love making espresso, to be behind the machine is where I’m most happy,” she said. “I love serving people.”

On cue, a swarm of young men enter the shop seeking refuge, pulling off their gloves to order drink that will warm them more efficiently.