Today in Seeing Red, we'll start our feature of Red Rooster employees with none-other than one of our best baristas, Ijenla Ifill. Ijenla is known for making some of, if not, the best cappuccinos in Harlem. Originally from Georgetown, Guyana, she first learned to make her coffee specialties when she arrived in New York City. She now works the morning shift at the Rooster and serves our customers during our Brunch hours. Her knowledge of coffee and teas, along with her warm smile, make her a crowd pleaser for those looking for just the right Brunch drink. That's why we're pleased to feature her as our first Seeing Red employee:
"Well, the foam! A cappuccino comes with two short shots of espresso and the way I foam the milk turns it to cream. So it has a really creamy texture. It also has to do with the coffee I use. The coffee we sell comes from Africa, specifically Ethiopia and Rwanda."
How long have you worked as a barista?
"I've been here at the Rooster for six months, but I've worked as a barista for over four years. I worked at different coffee shops and learned how to make all the different coffee drinks and perfect my cappuccino."
I understand you have some other interests besides the coffee business?
"I love the coffee business, but another passion I have is helping others, especially children and the elderly. I want to work with disabled kids in the school system in the long run, anything that has to do with caring for them or watching over them is my passion. I'm a caring person and helping them is one of my major goals. I don't like to see people unable to help themselves, so I would like to provide that help for them."
What are some things you do for fun?
"I have a daughter so I try to spend as much time with her as I can. So I'll take her out and spend time with her. She loves to go shopping with me, especially in malls since she gets to look at different things all at once."
"I love that I can provide good cappuccinos and teas to the guest. My favorite part is interacting with the customers and telling them about our new teas. We have a lot of new flavors for customers to try out. I also love the management at Red Rooster, even if I leave my house in a bad mood, everyone at work is always pleasant so that puts me in a good mood.
What are some of the new teas at the Rooster?
"We have a lot of new flavors like the Smoky Earl Grey, the Honey and Hibiscus, a Black Ceylon English Breakfast, and the Lemongrass with Honey. My favorite is the new 'Sweet and Sticky.' It's good black but it's better with sugar and milk. It has peanut butter, pecans, chocolate, and a very cool milky taste to it. It also has walnuts and I love walnuts! It's a great choice, but those who are allergic to nuts shouldn't order it."
So come to Red Rooster to meet Ijenla Ifill and try out her amazing cappuccinos! See you at the Rooster!
Photos: Cyndi Amaya