The Work We Do: Colette Steele, North Fork Roasting Company

Hi, I’m Colette Steele and I am a barista at North Fork Roasting Company in Southold. 

On an average day, I come in at 6:45 a.m. and I brew the coffee, bake the pastries and put everything in order. Then I wait for customers to come.

My favorite part is learning about speciality coffee. My bosses actually sent me to barista camp this past year, where I studied with the Specialty Coffee Association. It helped me get really in depth with the whole coffee world, learning about single-origin coffees and the different flavor notes they have … and making all different beverages that way.

I started working here and the coffee world found me. We offer all traditional espresso beverages, we have drip coffee and an extensive tea menu.

The customer will tell me what they want or I’ll help them decide. My favorite drink to make is the Dirty Pumpkin. It’s our homemade pumpkin purée, house-made chai latte and then a shot of espresso. You mix all three of those together for the perfect fall beverage. I’ve made like 30 today (we interviewed her on Halloween).

Steaming the milk is pretty easy, you just pour it and aerate it a little bit and it becomes nice and frothy. Latte art is super fun to try and make. It doesn’t always work, but sometimes I get lucky and then I get a pretty leaf.

A great part of working here is having such a great team. My bosses and coworkers are amazing. It really makes work feel like not work. I enjoy basically every moment here.

I think my favorite part of the job is being close with the community, because those regulars do come in every day and I get to have that little conversation with them.

It’s a comforting part. I feel like a part of the community.

“The Work We Do” is a Suffolk Times multimedia project profiling workers on the North Fork. See more photos every Monday on Instagram @thesuffolktimes.