If you walk into the Wet Planet shop on a quiet weekday afternoon, you may be surprised to find a group crowded around the espresso machine, craning their necks for a better view of the perfect milk foaming technique. While our focus at Wet Planet is centered on whitewater and outdoor adventure, the interests of our staff are as varied as the rivers we travel. Base manager and lead barista Sophia Jensen has a demonstrated an interest, or more accurately, a passion and expertise for the art and science of the perfect espresso. From pouring shots with a perfect crema to getting the ideal blend of milk and foam, Sophia is the resident espresso master and has been sharing her skills with the Wet Planet base team.
Sophia learned the art of coffee making at a little café in Ashland, OR called Mix Sweet Shop. She progressed through a Stumptown hosted “coffee school” with experienced Stumptown baristas. “Coffee school” involved long hours learning about coffee varietals and observing the tastes and aromas of different brewed coffees in a practice called cupping (similar to wine tasting). Sophia developed her palette and love for coffee through these Stumptown workshops and followed her new interest to a barista position at Pekoe, a coffee and tea house in Boulder, CO.
At Pekoe, Sophia’s education continued into the world of teas. This education, as well as her previous coffee training, led Sophia to a lead barista position at a small French bakery and café in Missoula, MT called Le Petit Outre. Here, she followed her passion for, in Sophia’s own words, “creating beautiful tasty drinks for cool people”. Sophia’s experience as a barista throughout the country allowed her to join the Wet Planet team as lead barista and artist, where rafting guests and locals alike appreciate her talent and dedication to the art of espresso.
The Wet Planet team strives to provide a well-rounded and all-inclusive experience for folks joining us for rafting or kayaking adventures. Part of this experience includes a full service espresso and tea bar, retail shop, and freshly baked local pastries.
Sophia is raising these services to new heights by bringing her thoughtfulness and precision to the espresso bar. Training for new base staff (and eager river guides) now includes barista lessons, which includes a blend of science, art and great care. Sophia impresses and amazes with the pride and artistic finesse that goes into each drink that she creates. It is clear that every latte recipient appreciates the thoughtful design and effort in their cup, as we regularly hear exclamations of “Wow! Look at this flower!” or “What beautiful art!”
In addition to the day-to-day latte creations, Sophia has branched out our offerings by adding a menu of Good Medicine teas from the local Hood River tea shop, and is working to include even more local goods. We are thrilled to offer pairings that include favorites like the White Salmon Baking Co. almond biscotti with a spicy chai latte, or the delicious cappuccino (made with 10 Speed Roasters coffee beans) with a double chocolate sea salt cookie. The Wet Planet espresso and tea bar is growing into its own, with Sophia taking the lead, in between rafting check-in and running shuttles, of course.