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Sam Tolhurst | Analog Stories

July 9, 2015

Sam Tolhurst

Sam Tolhurst

 

We have an incredible team at Analog, with each person sharing different passions and having unique stories. Meet Sam Tolhurst, an Aussie living in Canada and is one of our great barista’s at Analog. Read our interview below on his thoughts towards Canada, coffee and Calgary!

How long have you lived in Canada?

My wife & I have called Calgary home for almost 3 & a half years. We moved here from Cronulla, a happening sunny beachside suburb just south of Sydney in March of 2012.

Name a few differences in Canada vs Australia?

Weather, Wildlife & Landscape. I come from the Land Downunder, the sunburnt Land of Oz. When we first arrived I didn’t believe that -40 was even on the thermometer let alone reaching it but it happens eventually here every year, but with a thankful heart I look forward to Chinooks. Snow is still a novelty to me, having to go out & sweep the snow off my car & start it earlier than when I need it just so it warms up. From where I am from in Oz this couldn’t be further from normal. The winters can be long here & the beautiful summers never long enough. Crazy weather & all four seasons in a day is one thing I have come to expect from Calgary weather patterns – oh it says rain is forecast, give it 5 minutes it’ll change.

I do never tire of being one of those tourists who will pull off the road to snap a photo of a bear, moose, elk, deer, mountain goat, longhorn sheep, wolves, cougars, coyotes or even a prairie dog or ground squirrel. Although I do admit the difference in this fascination is the same for those who come to Oz & wonder at our kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, koala bears, emus, platypus, & of course our sharks, snakes, crocodiles & drop bears.The Great North is quite a sparse & varied country with most of the population living towards the border with the USA, with mountains, prairies, desert, rock shields & snow for as far as the eye can see but this diversity is a similarity not a difference to Australia with the majority of our population living closer to the coast & on the Eastern side, we have beaches, mountains & valleys, deserts & yes a few small snow fields. I am always in awe of the Rocky Mountains which are spectacularly magnificent my heart does belong to the ocean.

How have you seen Calgary grow over the past few years?

I have been excited to see Calgary grow over the past few years in its finding a passion for all things boutique. Whether that be fashion, coffee, food & wine. All of these areas have very much been huge growth areas in Calgary with a now booming number of ‘foodie’ places to try out on any budget. You can experience exceptional specialty coffee from many regions from around the globe prepared like a science project right here in front of you at many a cafe in Calgary. You can taste the farm freshness with many fine local eateries doing their best to source locally & know the hands & practices of those who have prepared it for them. Our feel like you are in a fashion mecca by having access to some wildly talented local designers who have come to call Calgary home.

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What is the best thing about working at Analog?

My favourite thing about working at Analog is the community. It is actually the best & my most favourite thing about the coffee industry is community. Good food & great coffee will always bring people together. I love being a part of this community seeing & hearing the joys of people loving time spent together. Analog has an incredible team that I love working with & a vast number of brilliant regulars. We love having that quick couple of minutes conversation to hear about the daily happenings in their lives.

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What is one thing people should know about making the perfect cup of coffee?

There is no perfect cup of coffee. It can be a love hate relationship – we like to think much more love than hate of course. It is a game of trial & error, a journey of discovery. For everyone coffee will be different depending on flavours that are enjoyed, light & dark, bright or bold, milk or black. It will always come down to personal preference. We at Analog, along with those many other fine baristas at specialty cafes around the city, love being able to expand peoples view of coffee, broaden their palates, get them to experience the difference between the boring & bland to the fun & exciting side of coffee. Come join us down the rabbit hole as we continually learn more about coffee.

How would you explain the community at Analog?

The community here at Analog is vibrant. We have customers young & old & everything in between. Whether it be their first time or their 101st time we always endeavor to greet them with a smile, a genuine heart & an ability to give them an experience they would love to come back for time & time again. You may see laptops & tablets out on tables, people reading books, girls giggling over the latte art they received, strangers becoming friends, business deals being done, welcome backs it’s so great to see you again & sad farewells to the many travelers among us all taking place simultaneously.
At Analog we often hear that there is never a place to sit but never let that persuade you coming to visit our baristas are exceptional at everything they do & very fast. If you ever get a chance during one of our many busy & seemingly hectic rushes just watch behind the bar to see how the team work together like a well oiled machine. Moving quickly but smoothly almost dancing at times & if you are lucky enough you may even hear them sing.Everyone is welcome & no one should miss out on being swept up into this community.