Trent is a Strategic Partnerships Manager & Latte Connoisseur
Trent returns to the podcast from episode #90 to talk about how he has been dealing with not being able to travel recently, why Australian coffee is the best in the world, and how his passion for lattes and coffee help establish relationships in the office!
• Dealing with the lock down
• Best countries in the world to get coffee
• “Hipsters Who Drink Coffee” office Slack channel
• Establishing relationships through his love of coffee
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Welcome to Episode 304 of What’s Your “And”? Follow-Up Friday Edition. This is John Garrett, and each Friday I follow up with a guest who had been on the show a few years ago to hear what’s new with their passions outside of work and also hear how this message might have impacted them since we last talked.
I’m so excited to let everyone know that my book is being published next month, and you can pre-order in just a few weeks on Amazon, Indigo, a few other websites, so check out whatsyourand.com for all the details, or sign up for my exclusive list, and I’ll let you know when that pre-order’s happening or when it’s being published.
Please don’t forget to hit subscribe to the podcast, so you don’t miss any of the future episodes. I love sharing such interesting stories each and every week, and this Follow-Up Friday is no different with my guest, Trent McLaren. He’s the Senior Partnerships Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa Region at Practice Ignition, now based in London, and he’s with me here today. Trent, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?
Trent: John, my friend, it’s so great to see you again.
John: Definitely, man. You know that we do the rapid-fire questions right out of the gate now. These are questions I probably should have asked you before we hung out, a couple of years ago, in San Jose at QuickBooks Connect and went to that weird diner at random hours. Anyway, here we go. If you had to choose, Harry Potter or Game of Thrones.
Trent: Harry Potter. You can’t beat the classic. I actually went to the cafe that she wrote the book in, when I was in Edinburgh in New Year’s Eve. It’s called The Elephant Cafe or something like that. I’ll probably get it wrong now. That was the cafe that JK Rowling went and wrote the entire series, out of that cafe.
John: Holy cow! That’s awesome, man. Very cool. Okay, so then going onto books, are you more Kindle or real books?
Trent: Real books because you’ve got to feel the knowledge, not just see the knowledge. You’ve got to feel the knowledge.
John: There you go. You know what? I think I need that blurb for my book cover.
Trent: Don’t buy it on Kindle. Buy both.
John: Buy both. You’re my new sales manager. I like this. How about a favorite sports team?
Trent: The Brooklyn Nets.
John: All right, just making sure you didn’t switch.
Trent: That’s very likely that that could happen to someone, not me, but someone.
John: Right, right. Okay, okay. How about a good hamburger or good pizza?
Trent: Well, hamburger, yeah, cheeseburger, to be specific.
John: Cheeseburger, okay, next level, okay, with bacon on top, if you want. Okay, all right. This is an easy one, suit and tie or jeans and a t-shirt.
Trent: Jeans and a t-shirt every day of the week. Even when I have to wear a suit and tie, I’m still wearing jeans and a t-shirt.
John: I should have made the question, regular jeans or ripped jeans.
Trent: Definitely ripped jeans. Why would you not want to wear ripped jeans whenever you please?
John: Right, right. It’s free air conditioning.
Trent: That’s what I was about to say. It’s free flowing. Things are wonderful.
John: There you go. Okay, two more. Do you have a favorite Disney character?
Trent: Does Marvel count as a Disney character these days?
John: Yeah, I’ll count it, whatever. Sure.
Trent: Let’s just go with Iron Man, I guess.
John: Yes, very solid answer.
Trent: He’s got a good moustache.
John: Oh, yeah, he’s got a good moustache, almost as good as yours. You’ll get there, man. You’re getting there. The last one, toilet paper roll, over or under.
Trent: Under, definitely under. I had to think through that. I was like thinking then, yeah.
John: Okay, all right. Interesting. All right, so, Episode 90, wow. You’re a veteran. You’ve been at this.
Trent: You’re making me sound old, John. I’m feeling old while you’re saying that.
John: I had to do the first 89, so that makes me that much older. So, hey, it’s all relative. It’s all relative.
John: We talked hanging out on the beach in Australia, drinking lattes, hanging out with friends, and I know some of those things have changed. Are some still the same?
Trent: Yeah, mostly still the same. I still do a lot of lattes. I think we were saying before, I’ll go on any kind of adventure to get a barista-made coffee into my lips, down my throat. I’ll travel far and wide for that thing, still very, very passionate about consuming lattes.
John: Right. I guess, the last couple of months, not being able to go outside as much or whatever, or maybe you get that Harry Potter cloak, and you’re invisible. I don’t know.
Trent: Yeah, so I had to go on lockdown. I spent the first 10 weeks, cold turkey. I couldn’t actually drink anything, and that was horrible for my sanity. As soon as we started opening back up, I was like, cool. I’m beelining — I’m checking where they’re open. I love a good, independent barista. I can’t go to any chain stores because it’s not the same. It’s disgusting. Yeah, now, I’m, like I said, far and wide, I’ll — there ain’t no river wide enough, mountain high enough. Yeah, that was written about me getting espresso.
John: That’s awesome. What is it about the barista-made versus a homemade version?
Trent: I think you can taste the love, the sweat out of the barista, into every pour. No, I don’t know. There’s a blend of the correct waiting. It’s been brewed for the right amount of time. It’s roasted for the right amount of time. It’s all single origin so just tastes a lot better than your mixed to your other bean. Then there’s that blend of the milk froth with the right temperature into a cup and, yeah, I don’t know. I’m going to have to get one after this, I think, just talking about it.
John: Right. It’s just they know what they’re doing, basically.
John: They do it all the time. It’s just easier. You just do it. There you go.
Trent: Yeah, it’s a classic, I pay you, you — like that, a smooth transaction.
John: Right. Do you find that there’s a difference in London from Australia?
Trent: Oh, 100%, yeah. Australia is like the pinnacle of good coffee.
Trent: South Africa is close second. And then London, generally you find good ones, but they’re made by Australian baristas.
John: Oh, nice. That’s it. I feel like there’s a blog website or something that’s australianbaristasinlondon.com/org or whatever.
Trent: You can simply drink — so, you can walk and you’re like, yeah, this is probably an Australian barista. You’ll know. You’ll taste it. You’ll see it. You can experience it. Yeah, you’ll know.
John: That’s awesome. Very cool, very cool. Is this something that coworkers know about you there in London?
Trent: 100%, yeah. They’re very aware because I get very upset and angry when I can’t drink a coffee. Or they’re like, “Hey, are you okay? Have you had your coffee today? Are you on cold turkey right now?” I love to be in between shots, if you know what I’m saying.
John: Right. That’s funny. Have you met any colleagues that are equally sourced, I guess, if you will?
Trent: Typically, it is always most Australians or New Zealanders that are into it because it’s a two-before-10 kind of situation. I’ll have an espresso when I wake up. I’ll have another one before 10 am. The trouble with London is most coffee shops don’t open until 10. In Australia, all the coffee shops open at 6 am in Australia, so you get this real different dynamic of all these Australians wandering in London at 6:30 am, going, “Where’s the… Where’s the…”
Trent: It just doesn’t exist. So when you do find one, you hold onto it.
John: That’s unbelievable. 10:00, that’s when they’re closing, typically. I mean, it’s like, what?
Trent: Yeah. I would have already spent £6 at this point. That’s the thing. I’m paying more as well. I pay $3, Australian, for coffee. Here, I pay £2.50, which is like five Australian dollars. So, if I’ve got to get coffee for me, coffee for my wife, next thing, I’ve spent £7.50. I’ve nearly spent 15 Australian dollars on two coffee, and it’s still not that good.
John: Right. Maybe Practice Ignition should open a coffee shop in London.
Trent: We have a Slack channel in our group called “Hipsters Who Drink Coffee.” There’s a few connoisseurs like myself, mostly Australians. There are a few Americans and Canadians as well. They’ll post a shot of the cafe they’ve walked into, and they rank it out of 10. They also rank just based on the beanie that the barista is wearing. If the beanie is above the ear, if it’s above the ear, that determines how liberal hipster they are, and therefore add to the quality of the coffee as well.
John: That’s hysterical. That’s so fantastic. It’s so cool that it’s something that you guys gather around. It’s like a rallying item, if you will, to talk not about work. It’s getting to know each other.
Trent: The easiest way to get out of the office. You only go for a walk and have a chat about something. Yeah, let’s go get a coffee. We’ll go get coffee. We’ll walk for 10, 15. You come back to sitting down at your desk for like eight hours straight, I think. You get your coffees made but then, it’s funny, you’re still not going that far. So, it’s like, cool, let’s get outside, get some fresh air, walk and talk, come back in and then get back to whatever we were doing.
John: That’s an excellent point because it just gets you out of your chair, gets you out of that scene, then people can just relax more and be more themselves or whatever. Also, through the Slack channel, you’re able to connect with people that you’re not even seeing, face-to-face.
Trent: Totally, yeah. It’s a great way for us to connect and chat, Australia, America, London. Because London here is locked down a bit more, we had one guy sharing a pre-made iced coffee from the supermarket. He’s like, “I don’t know if I can post this here.” We’re like, “We’re going to have to fix the new guidelines on what’s applicable because this is not appropriate.”
John: It’s like, not only are you not allowed on the Slack channel, but you’re fired. You don’t even have a job now.
Trent: Yeah. I think we’ve contemplated, if you had to scale your love of coffee from one to, don’t bother answering if you don’t like coffee, kind of thing, then let’s just do an interview now because that’s all we’re going to talk about.
John: So funny, and it’s so good to catch up. Do you have any words of encouragement for people listening that have a passion or a hobby that they think has nothing to do with their job?
Trent: It’s tough because I feel like, I’ve said this before, is drinking coffee really a passion, or it’s just a thing that I love to do? I don’t know. I think it’s just being a foodie. I enjoy entertainment. It could be cinemas. It’s friends. It’s relationships. It’s all about building that community or gathering that influence of people, the more you hang out and spend time with them and things like that. So, whether it’s coffee or food or whatever, it’s all about bringing people together and just sharing a level of something. It’s also supporting small businesses, which we can do a lot more, for the moment.
John: That’s true. It’s just getting people together and hanging out, and the more that you hang out, the more that oxytocin, norepinephrine type of brain chemical stuff. All of a sudden, the lows aren’t so low, and they really bring people together.
Trent: Totally. We’re a lot happier as a result.
John: For sure, man. Well, it’s only fair that, since I rapid-fire questioned you out at the beginning, that I allow you to rapid-fire question me back. It’s now the Trent McLaren Show. You’re the host and —
John: — and I’m excited to be your first guest. Thank you for having me on.
Trent: Thanks, John. Welcome, ladies and gentlemen. If this is your first time listening, let me run you through how this works. I’m going to ask John, ten rapid questions. He’s going to answer them. If he gets them all correct, he’ll win a new car. It’s just as simple as that, ladies and gents. John will also be buying the car, but he wins the purpose of being able to buy…
John: It’s a Matchbox car also. It’s a little toy one.
Trent: Yeah, totally. You get to choose. It’s your money.
Trent: So, I’m going to start the first question up, but I’m going to try anyway because I can only think of one. Do you like Starbucks coffee, or do you just hate yourself for — where do you fit in the, I love coffee, the Starbucks coffee?
John: I knew that this was going to come up and, yeah, I’m definitely a hot chocolate guy. I am a seven-year-old on the inside.
Trent: Wow. You don’t drink caffeine?
John: Not so much. I don’t need it. It’s more of a court order where I’m not allowed, I don’t think.
Trent: You’re not allowed within 50 feet of a caffeine-dispensing place.
John: Caffeine-dispensing place, yeah. Here in Colorado, we do have caffeine dispensaries. I missed the coffee train, but hot chocolates, I will have two of those before 10. That’s for sure. I’ll join you in that. With whipped cream and whole milk.
Trent: You have a high sugar intake.
John: Yeah, definitely. I mean, don’t worry about brown teeth when you have no teeth.
Trent: Yeah. All right, next question, next question. Dark chocolate or normal chocolate.
John: I’m going to go normal chocolate, I think, yeah, unless you’re drinking it. If you’re drinking it, dark chocolate is good, but to eat, I’ll go normal chocolate just because I think that I can have more of it. I feel like dark chocolate, you don’t need as much.
Trent: Johnny Rocket hamburgers or McDonald’s hamburgers.
John: Johnny Rockets, yeah, for sure.
John: Why? I guess because just McDonald’s is so prevalent that they’re just everywhere. So, the Johnny Rockets, when you come across them, it’s a little more special, I guess. I don’t know if that’s the right word part.
Trent: Makes sense.
John: I feel like they’re more prepared, not just like a machine made them or something.
Trent: When was the last time you went to McDonald’s? What are you saying? That they’ve got robots in the background just somewhere?
John: Here in America, we do. No, not really, actually, but you do have to punch in your order yourself now. So, there’s that.
Trent: Yeah, I hate that. I don’t want to do anything for myself. That’s why I don’t use espressos that way.
John: That’s why you don’t make your own coffees.
Trent: I like to typically see someone making it for me. Ridiculous. Ridiculous. Last question, Denver or Brooklyn.
John: Denver, hands down. Brooklyn might be neat to visit but to live is a lot. It’s quiet compared to New York. The sun’s out all the time, and people are pretty chill, so it’s nice. I feel like I missed at least two or if not all of those questions, so it looks like I’m not buying a car.
Trent: Yeah, you didn’t get many of them right. That’s right. I mean, you wasted, I prefer hot chocolate over coffee, you pretty much lost.
John: Right, after that, it was just like, I don’t know why we’re doing the other questions.
Trent: Yeah, if you can’t answer the first one, why are we even here?
John: Right. Exactly. I’m glad we didn’t start the podcast out this way because that would have been awkward. It was so fun catching up with you, Trent. Thanks for being a part of What’s Your “And”?
Trent: No worries. Thanks for having me, as always.
John: Excellent. And everybody listening, if you want to see some pictures of Trent in action or maybe connect with him on social media, be sure to go to whatsyourand.com. All the links are there, and while you’re on the page, please click that big button, do the anonymous research survey about corporate culture.
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