Barista of the Week… Hamish Elliott
Manager/Roaster at Growers Espresso,
332 St Georges Road, North Fitzroy
The Coffee Guide (TCG): What coffee do you use at work?
Hamish: We roast and source our own coffee, the house blend is “Eureka” 100% Australian grown espresso blend, and we will have two single origins on the machine as well, these will change weekly. Also on offer will be two filter roasts for pour over, and a cold drip in the fridge.
TCG: If you weren’t a barista what would you be?
Hamish: A circus clown. Or a DJ. Or Batman.
TCG: How do you have your coffee at home? How do you make it and how do you take it?
Hamish: I drink tea at home; it’s all about balance.
TCG: What’s the best thing about your job- the one thing that you really love aside from the coffee?
Hamish: The ability to make someone’s day better.
TCG: What is your favourite music? (For work or for play).
Hamish: Well reggae I guess, but I have a deep love of all music. I’ve been collecting vinyl for far too long.
TCG: Tell us what your best (or first) coffee experience was.
Hamish: Midnight espresso in wellington around 1998. I finally understood why people go to cafes purely for coffee.
TCG: If you’re not drinking coffee, what’s your drink of choice?
Hamish: Beer. Again, it’s all about balance.
TCG: What made you become a barista?
Hamish: A friend got me a job. I needed one. And I found out I was good at this one. Then the obsession followed.
TCG: Do people often try and chat you up at work? Have you ever taken the offer up?
Hamish: That would be unprofessional. But I hope so.
TCG: What food do you think is the best compliment to a really great coffee?
Hamish: Depends on the coffee, and how it is made. I guess I view coffee as a post food drink anyway.
TCG: How many coffees would you make in the average day?
TCG: What’s the largest amount of coffees you have made in a day?
Hamish: 783 in 6 hours at a dragon boat festival, by myself. It was awful.
TCG: Does your coffee style (or how you drink it) say something about you?
Hamish: Not necessarily.
TCG: Where do all the old baristas go?
Hamish: To the osteopath, or acupuncturist, or deep tissue masseuse.
TCG: Who would make a better coffee; King Kong or Godzilla?
Hamish: King Kong. Godzilla doesn’t have opposable thumbs.
TCG: Where has your coffee making taken you?
Hamish: Around the world!
TCG: What has been your favourite moment as a barista? Is there one story that only happened to you because you are a barista?
Hamish: Knocking a half-full jug of milk off the top of a machine, watching it flip mid air, then land perfectly on the ground… not spilling a drop.
TCG: What is the most exciting thing happening in coffee right now for you?
Hamish: Direct trade.
TCG: If you could pick one spot in the world to sit and have a coffee, where would it be and what coffee would you have?
Hamish: Ethiopia. It’s where it all began. And it would have to be a traditional coffee ceremony. Hopefully with a Guji or a Yirgacheffe.
TCG: If you could make coffee for one other person of your choice who would it be and what coffee would you make them?
Hamish: Hitler, a decaf.
TCG: As a barista, what’s your next big plan?
Hamish: Finish my Album.
TCG: Where is your favourite place to hang out in Melbourne?
Hamish: My house. It’s very nice.
TCG: In a good cup of coffee, how much of it is due to the barista and how much is due to the beans?
Hamish: It’s a perfect example of symbiosis.
TCG: Is decaf a dirty word?
Hamish: Absolutely not. I am more than happy to make decaf.
TCG: Is specialty tea the new cappuccino?
Hamish: So specialty tea is made for bogans in gas stations?
TCG: What is your favourite kind of tea?
Hamish: Golden Monkey Tea by Larson and Thompson. Their Iron Goddess Oolong is damn fine too.
TCG: What is your favourite alternate brewing method?
Hamish: Cold Filter.
TCG: Where do you see alternate brewing methods going?
Hamish: Becoming increasingly popular as more customers come to try different styles.
TCG: What ever happened to the Clover?
Hamish: It just cost too much.
TCG: Will other methods fade away?
Hamish: I don’t think so. People take their coffee to a personal level, they will always make or buy it how they please.