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Perks staff receives training from award-winning company
biz slt perks
A representative of PTs Coffee recently trained the Perks baristas in up-to-date techniques. From left to right are: Candace Tomlin; Bonnie Kuhn, Perks manager; Leah Shinkle of PTs; Flor Reyes; Daniela Reyes; and Maria Pasos. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

Since Perks Coffee Shoppe features the award-winning PT’s Coffee, the staff wanted to learn more about the product and went directly to the source.
A PT’s representative was in Great Bend recently to train the baristas on the best techniques for serving a satisfying cup of coffee.
PT’s is a Topeka-based specialty coffee roaster. It obtains its coffee from the origin and roasts it at its own facility.
Bonnie Kuhn, Perks manager, said she and her colleagues appreciate the personal touch from the company.
“Leah Shinkle came here and taught us new ways to make our coffees properly and more efficiently,” Kuhn said. “We think our customers appreciate this extra effort.”
Kuhn noted that PT’s is well respected in the industry and has won a number of awards over the years.
These honors include: Roaster of the Year Award for Roast Magazine in 2009; Second Best Coffeehouse in America in 2015; and many other awards. The company’s Topeka café, 1635 Washburn Ave., also has won Best of Topeka many times.
Shinkle, who is PT’s director of training and education, was impressed with the Perks staff when she visited the downtown shop at 1216 Main.
“They are a fun group,” Shinkle commented. “They have good energy with one another, which is always a plus.”
The information she shared involved espresso extraction, milk-steaming techniques and proper use of the equipment.
“Our training also involves some basic coffee education such as learning about where it comes from and the process entailed from crop to cup,” she commented. “There is always something new to learn.
“We want to inspire baristas to want to know more about their product,” Shinkle added.
PT’s offers on-site training on a regular basis “to ensure businesses are set up to be as successful as possible,” she noted. “We want employees to feel confident with the product they are serving.
“We also want Perks and other cafes to be the best they can be,” she elaborated. “They are using the best product and it is important to provide the support necessary for them to be confident and successful.”
In addition to its café in Topeka, PT’s roasting facility and headquarters are located just south of the capital city.
Of the eight Perks employees, five are baristas. In addition to coffee, Perks offers sandwiches, breakfasts, daily lunch specials, homemade-baked goodies and a variety of teas.
Its hours are 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.