Radames Roldan is a barista from Blueprint coffee who floats with us on a regular basis. Most notably, he came into FLOAT while he was training for a national barista competition he recently participated in. We had the opportunity to speak with Radames about the relationship between his passion for coffee and his experiences at FLOAT.
What excites you about coffee?
The significance of community is a large part of what drives me to share coffee. The opportunity to experience moments of genuine goodness and serendipity day after day is uncommon in everyday life. It’s a unique position to be in, and to recognize it makes me love coffee that much more.
Tell us about the sense of community at FLOAT.
There’s a lot of talk of the impact of “third spaces” in communities. Given that I work in one, cafes aren’t always my first choice for downtime. However, in the time I’ve spent at FLOAT, that sense of community feels realized. There’s an openness that weaves itself into interactions with friends and strangers alike.
You competed in a national barista competition this year and floated a few times prior to competing. Did floating have an impact on your performance?
The stress of preparing and presenting in competition has weighed heavily at points, and after my first float I realized that floating is one of the best ways to relax my mind and body in a complete way that fits into a packed schedule. So, I incorporated it into my prep and found it provided the mental clarity to help me assess my motivations and create in a very singular way.
Why do you continue to float?
I keep coming back to float because the experience is never quite the same. I come away from each session with something personally insightful and new. And while the floating experience changes, the sense of comfort and rapport I feel with the people in my city who I get to meet at FLOAT always refreshes my optimism for St. Louis.