Cool Jobs

March 12, 2013

Cool Job: espresso-machine guru Bryan Arndt

Cool Job: espresso-machine guru Bryan Arndt

Bryan Arndt is a service writer at Seattle Coffee Gear, which specializes in equipment for brewing coffee at home. (Courtesy of Seattle Coffee Gear)

What do you do? My job description [at Seattle Coffee Gear] reads: Interface with customer to give accurate estimates and on-site repairs; is the liaison between our customers and our techs. What this really means is that I translate tech talk to customers ... so that anyone can understand what's happening (or not happening) inside their espresso machine.

How did you get that job? I have five years of coffee experience in a cafe setting, so my background is tried-and-true customer service paired with an understanding of the machines from a user's point of view. I really enjoy educating our customers and geeking out about coffee!

What's a typical day like? Well, first I make myself an Americano coffee on a Rocket Espresso R58 Dual Boiler, and then I pull up my favorite Pandora station with Neil Young. I perform paperwork to check in espresso machines that were shipped to us for service, just like I do when people bring their espresso machines in through the front door.

Throughout the day, I make more coffee, diagnose problems, perform machine maintenance, and make more coffee. Sometimes I take calls to diagnose repairs with customers over the phone while drinking coffee. It is really fun to open up a customer's espresso machine right in front of them. It really helps to demystify the process.

What's the best part of the job? It is an amazing job that lets you drink coffee and talk about it all day. I love being able to make a customer happy with a while-you-wait repair. Most of the time these are easy fixes that we don't even charge for; our policies are great like that. If we can solve the issue then they can take their machine home and enjoy some coffee!

What surprises people about your job? From the outside it looks like I sit in a dark, windowless room all day alone writing up repair orders, but it is quite the opposite. Customers come in and out, and we talk about making great coffee. I have a nice balance between paperwork, repair work and customer service. Plus there's always something new to learn. The people that work here are awesome, too.

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