Café Momento owner Jazmin Ramirez makes announcements Aug. 26 at the coffee shop’s Latte Art Throwdown. Ramirez and her sister, Jeanette Ramirez, are part of The Gifted Group, which opened Café Momento, Point of View Gallery and Bookshop, Harmoni Home and Lifestyle Shop, Naabi House and Gifted Fort Worth in April 2023 on 6th Avenue. (Cristian ArguetaSoto | Fort Worth Report)

Alissa Probst, 38, quit her corporate job and joined the coffee community as a barista 10 years ago. 

“It just wasn’t doing it for me. I was not happy and just not what I wanted. So, I decided that even if I take a pay cut, I want to do something that I enjoy,” Probst said. “Community is a huge part of coffee shops.”

Flat Track Coffee Operations Director Alissa Probst, 38, steams milk Aug. 26 at the Latte Art Throwdown at Café Momento, 1200 6th Ave. Having stepped away from pulling espresso shots and pouring beautiful designs for a while, Probst competed in the throwdown despite feeling nervous. The competition brought hundreds of people out to watch baristas from Fort Worth, Dallas, Houston and Austin steam milk and pour themselves into latte art. Prizes included $1,000 and a year’s supply of oat milk, according to Café Momento owner Jazmin Ramirez. (Cristian ArguetaSoto | Fort Worth Report)
Probst pours a heart latte design on Aug. 26. Jazmin and her sister, Jeanette Ramirez, opened Café Momento in April as part of their business team The Gifted Group’s shopping center. Jazmin said the throwdown was their way of bringing the community together at their newly opened coffee shop and bookstore. “I wanted to meet my community because I left right after high school, so I had no idea of the Fort Worth community so for me working in coffee was like a gateway to get to know my people,” Jazmin said. “I definitely didn’t expect for coffee to take off as a career for me.” (Cristian ArguetaSoto | Fort Worth Report)
Café Momento Latte Art Throwdown judges Efrain Quiñonez, left, and Hana Kaneshige, right, watch as competing baristas present their latte art on Aug. 26. The throwdown officially introduced the café to Fort Worth, Jazmin said. The competition also served as a way to help baristas get their names out there. “A lot of times baristas are still underpaid, and the industry is suffering because of that,” Jazmin said. “I want to help in any way.” (Cristian ArguetaSoto | Fort Worth Report)
Probst celebrates as she advances to the next round of the latte art competition on Aug. 26. For Probst, coffee is a way to bring people together. If people don’t want to go to a bar to catch up with people, coffee shops are a really good, safe place for people to come in and have that conversation, she said. That’s why Probst and her business partner, Samantha Lawson, plan to open the first Flat Track Coffee location in Fort Worth by Fall 2023. The Austin-based coffee shop will move into the former Lazy Daisy Coffee Shop location, 6475 Camp Bowie Blvd. (Cristian ArguetaSoto | Fort Worth Report)

Lawson has 15 years of experience in the coffee industry, mostly at Starbucks and at Flat Track Coffee, she said. To her, having connections with the barista community and patrons is important to opening a new coffee shop.

The team wants to create connections organically by providing good coffee, good customer service and building up their regular customer base.

“We’re looking at long-term, big-picture goals,” Probst said.

And step one in creating connections is participating in community events like Café Momento’s throwdown. Although Probst didn’t exit victorious, she’s definitely picking up steam — she got back behind the bar and competed in face of her nerves. That’s a win.

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him by email or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Cristian is a May 2021 graduate of Texas Christian University. At TCU, ArguetaSoto served as staff photographer at TCU360 and later as its visual editor, overseeing other photojournalists. A Fort Worth...