July 23, 2015
As a willing victim of the Melbourne coffee delirium for more than 10 years, I have come to develop some genuine relationships with Baristas. I trust this 'A team' of Baristas making choices I would never dream of! For example, as a rule, I don’t do single origins - unless one of my guys tells me it's ok. In many instances, a young waiter has come and taken an order for coffee only to go back to the Barista saying “that guy said that he’ll have whatever you recommend...”
Just last Sunday I visited Balmain’s - a regular of mine in Brighton. My guy there is Kotaro, the most delightful human being you might care to meet. His Japanese origins betray a passion for the art of coffee, the industry and the craft that is being a Barista. I have to say, I would name Kotato as my number 1 Barista for 2 years running! I don’t have a regular fixed coffee order so no one knows exactly which way I am going to go. It depends on many factors including whether there was wine the night before.
On this particular Sunday, I ordered a long black (in my mind, the most poorly made coffee in Melbourne bar a few outstanding exceptions). I smiled at Kotaro, who noted the unusual order. I said something like “I don’t trust just anyone with my long blacks...” My good friend smiled and quietly cleared the other orders before proceeding to craft my morning cup of nectar.
I drifted into the paper flicking through pages without really reading and a few moments later, I hear “Pita”… I look over and Kotaro has my coffee in his hand extended out to me with a big grin "Columbia”. Translated to Strain’ (Australian) that meant “Mate, here you go. It’s a single. It’s good. You will be happy."
And so it was!!
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