Meet Your Barista: Layne @ Vint
Layne is a literal bright spot when you walk into Vint – her hair has awesome teal streaks and she’s usually wearing cheerful colors – but it’s her open and friendly demeanor that really puts the sunshine in your day.
“Layne has been with us for a few months, but she’s already an amazing barista!” Georgia, her manager at Vint Coffee, raves. “In her spare time, she works with horses at the barn she rides at.”
Not only will she tell you about the latest true crime podcast she’s listening to, Layne can also tell you some great stories about her 2 horses and her travels. Stop by to say hello – Layne’s not horsing around when it comes to pouring a great latte!
How long have you been working at Vint?
I’ve been working here for around a year and a half.
Louisville Native or Transplant?
Transplant. I’m from Asheville, NC.
How do you spend your time, when you’re not hanging out at Vint?
I’m pretty much either working for hanging out/working at the barn where my horses are. Also hanging out with some of my great coworkers!
You ride & care for horses – can you tell us a little bit about how you got started doing that?
I have been riding horses since I was about 7. It is definitely a passion (and an obsession!) I majored in Horse science in college and would love to spend my days riding and training horses in all my spare time. Basically when I was 7 my mom decided she wanted to go take a riding lesson one time just for the heck of it and I pestered her until she agreed to take me with her. Then I continued to insist she take me back to lessons every week and I basically just never stopped!
You own 2 of your own horses – tell us a little bit about them!
I have two horses of my own now. A quarter horse and a Thoroughbred. They are my children and I love being around them. They each have very specific personalities. Chigger (the quarter horse) is the super sweet and goofy one. His favorite thing to do other than eat treats and chew on things that he shouldn’t is rest his nose on your shoulder and breath in your ear. Alfie is such a character. He kinda comes off as a jerk be he really just wants someone to pay attention to him and he’s constantly doing things to make me laugh. He’s also super talented!
What do you love about riding most?
My favorite thing about riding is the relationship you get to build with each horse you ride. There is definitely a difference between riding a horse that knows and trusts you and one that doesn’t. It is incredibly fun and rewarding to build that feeling with a horse and see how much harder they try for you and how much further you can get when they do. Plus it’s so liberating and quite an adrenaline rush to gallop around over fences on the back of a 1,000 pound animal.
What kind of riding do you do?
I do Eventing which is a combination of three riding disciplines. At a show you would do a dressage test on the flat (no jumps). You want the lowest score possible because the other two tests build on that score and whatever penalties you get will be added to your score and the lowest score wins. Next you do cross country which is where you gallop over solid jumps in a large field. Lastly you do show jumping where you jump over a set course of jumps where you try to keep from knocking down any of the jump poles. I love it and one of the best top level eventing shows is held here in KY at the horse park every year.
Georgia said to ask you to tell us about the time you drove to SC during Hurricane Florence.
About a year ago the World Equestrian Games were held In Tryon, NC where I used to work when I lived in NC. It just so happened to be during the time when the NC coast got hit hard with Hurricane Florence so while everyone was packing up and trying to get away from the weather I just drove straight into it. To be fair the World Equestrian Games are only every few years and normally held in a different country so it was TOTALLY worth it!
Where’s the best place you’ve ever traveled (for any reason) and why?
My favorite place I have ever traveled would have to be Bilbao Spain. I studied abroad there for 5 months when I was in college and loved it. It is the coolest city. If you can imagine the fun hippie/unique qualities of Asheville with a twist of a fun big modern city surrounded by beautiful green mountains and only a short metro ride to the ocean, THAT is Bilbao. If I ever live outside of the US that is where I would want to be. There are some of the nicest people with the most incredible culture there and I for sure want to go back and visit.
Any plans for vacations in the future?
I did a lot of traveling this fall, including a lot of first visits places. I went to Minnesota for a reunion with some study abroad friends, went to Colorado to visit my parents, and of course several NC visits (including one to make a pretty great lip sync battle video with my old bosses and coworkers) but I don’t have anything lined up yet coming up. I’m sure I’ll come up with something good since traveling is something I’m really wanting to do a lot more!
I go through phases with my favorite drinks but my constant that I continue to come back to is probably a Matcha latte with lavender and honey. I love espresso and espresso drinks but there’s just something different about matcha that is so satisfying! The mixture of lavender and honey sweetens it just enough to complement the earthy taste of matcha but in a natural and super delicious way. I would suggest that drink to anyone who wants to try something different and change things up a bit.
You were recently on the two-person Heine Brothers’ team that won second place in America’s Best Cold Brew. What can you tell us about the experience?
Coffeefest was a blast! I was lucky enough to help our Head of Training and QC, Joe, compete in the Cold Brew competition. We spent a few weeks testing out different types of beans trying to figure out the best balance of brightness, sweetness, and flavor complexity. We tried so many different types that we didn’t decide on our blend until the day before the competition! We finally decided on a blend of Natural Ethiopia and Natural Peru Coyona. We made it through the first two rounds of both audience voting and official judges votes and got second place going up against teams from all over the US! It was a great experience, I would definitely suggest going to Coffeefest to anyone!