This sucks to say, but I need to say it. A friend of mine and great barista, Yan, took his own life Friday, January 19, 2007. Yan worked at Lava Java up until a couple weeks before his death. Actually, Yan had been around the shop for awhile. He worked as a barista back before I was hired. He was hired there sometime around when Billy left. Anyway, he never competed, never posted on forums, but he was a damn good barista. Yan was there making my drinks as I was discovering coffee and how great it could be. The first time I noticed my shots were really good vs. okay, they were pulled by him. He explained to me how they did look good and why... Yan left Lava Java right before I was hired, only to return shortly after I left. Kinda crazy how that worked. Yan was always a little spacey... but he was a very good kid. He was a wanderer and someone who was never afraid to go someplace new. He's part of the Lava Java family and always will be. We all will miss him.
It's sad, but this is the best picture of him I could find in my archives. This is in October 2004. Please note; Yan is the one on the left.