October 18, 2016
Born to brew
How did you become a barista?
I grew up around coffee. My dad has owned cafés since I was little. One day I found my way on to the machine and the rest is history.
How long have you been working as a professional barista?
I have been making coffee professionally for about five years. I was making coffee in North Melbourne for quite a while until I made the move to Surrey Hills.
What is it about Reunion Café’s coffee that keeps customers coming back?
Our consistency. We have a lot of regulars at Reunion Café - everyone has their usual coffee and they expect it to be perfect every time they come in. A smile and a quick chat doesn't hurt either!
How do you make a really great coffee?
The secret to making a great cup of coffee is to pay equal attention to every step of the process. Each time I make a coffee I check that it has been ground properly and comes nicely out of the machine. Then I concentrate on the milk and making sure it's the right temperature. The milk can't get too hot if you want to achieve a silky texture and that all important 'wet plate' look on the top of your coffee.
Do you see any coffee trends emerging?
At Reunion Café I don't get too many requests for the far out trends. I think that they are targeted at a fairly niche market.
Since coming to Surrey Hills I have noticed more people seem to enjoy coconut or almond milk with their coffee. I remember when I first started working as a barista there were only two choices: full cream or skinny milk. Then soy milk came along. Now there are so many different options.
What do you enjoy most about being a barista?
What I really love about being a barista is that it is a very hands-on job which also allows you to be quite creative.
The social side is also important to me. As a barista I can be the face of someone's coffee before they go to work. I enjoy having a friendly chat with customers each morning to help set them on the right path for the rest of their day.
How do you manage the really busy times in the café?
It helps to have someone else behind the machine to get jugs of milk ready and set up the coffee, but overall I just try to make sure I don't get flustered. I try to stay focused on a certain number of orders at a time.