Northwest Military Blogs: Served blog

October 20, 2014 at 6:47am

Served Blog Banner Girl: Q&A with Rachele Piety of Valhalla Coffee Co.

Rachele Piety has a mocha with your name on it at Valhalla Coffee Co. at 3918 Sixth Ave. in Tacoma. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

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Every week we swap out the Served banner art above, introducing you to the people who serve food and drinks in the South Sound. This week, meet Rachele Piety.

Server Banner Girl, Oct. 20-26, 2014

Rachele Piety

The South Sound is teeming with baristas: tattooed, spike-haired baristas; convenience-store baristas; baristas entombed in drive-up booths; barely breathing baristas. But once in a while you come across someone who just understands the art of making espresso, and Rachele Piety has clearly bean there and done that. She patiently extracts her wicked brew from Valhalla Coffee Company's espresso machine, but that's after giving you a shout out as you walk in the door. Piety has had a handful of jobs the last 10 years - including Big Foot Java where she worked evenings for about 5 years. "I was well known by my regulars as 'the chick with dreads'," she says. Piety has been a "barista" for eight years, but she became a "real" barista two years ago when she met A.J. Anderson, owner of Valhalla in Tacoma. "A.J. taught me everything I know. I learned quickly to dispose of my old fast-paced, drive-through barista habits and replace them with knowledge of craft coffee." When she's not pulling shots or managing Valhalla's retail side, she's crafting, baking, gardening, living green and playing with her almost 4-year-old daughter, Ivie.

Why do you serve?

"I serve for the smiles. I have always been a people person, and love that I can be myself at Valhalla. I am here to caffeinate the community!" 

Who is your favorite server in the South Sound?

"There are a lot of great servers in the South Sound. Definitely my mom, Robbin Piety, she is an excellent server and one of the hardest workers I know. Being raised by a waitress, I was taught at an early age what a server should and shouldn't do. Jil at Marlene's Market and Deli is such a crowd pleaser. Her witty humor, excessive tie-dyed shirts, and knowledge of health food are astonishing. That woman is contagious and has the biggest heart.  Anyone who can handle a crowd with a smile, and show they are working to better the customer's experience through their product is a good server in my eyes."

What are you most proud to serve?

"I am proud of everything we put out at Valhalla. Our staff goes above and beyond to produce quality, and nothing but that. A.J. runs a tight ship, and that shows through our product and consistency. Seeing a customer light up over the latte art in their cup is absolutely gratifying. I'm also proud of our mochas. We use a semi-sweet chocolate made by Trop's Chocolates in Gig Harbor, and it pairs so well with our Espresso Blend. When someone comes in baffled by the simplicity of our menu: I always recommend the mocha."

What's your current drink of choice?

"My drink is dependent on my mood and the weather. I could drink pour overs of the Ethiopian Harrar all day long at work. Sometimes, I drink a quad shot vanilla Americano, but sometimes I just want a honey latte. At home it's mostly Rainier beer. I have been on a green smoothie kick, though."

Favorite movie?

"My favorite movie is Almost Famous. Everything seventies, all the time!"

What don't you serve?

"We do not serve anything ‘trendy, or fluffy.'  We serve traditional Northwest style drinks. Everything is done by the cup, and is handcrafted.  If you're looking for that blended fluff - you're gonna have to travel elsewhere."

What's on your radar at Valhalla Coffee Co.?

"Since I started with Valhalla we have only progressed. We are gaining new customers daily, and even shipping pounds across the country weekly. Winning ("Best Coffee" in the Weekly Volcano's 2014) Best of Tacoma was a great mark for us and we plan to hold the crown for the years to follow. As a company, and for myself, the answer is growth. We will continue to climb uphill and are ready for a busy holiday season. Save Tacoma, drink Valhalla Coffee."

LINK: Meet other South Sound servers

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About this blog

Served, a blog by the Weekly Volcano, is the region’s feedbag of fresh chow daily, local restaurant news, New Beer Column, bar and restaurant openings and closings, breaking culinary news and breaking culinary ground - all brought to the table with a dollop of Internet frivolity on top.

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