Barista of the Week… Nicholas Maslin
Sebastian’s Food and Wine
303 Hampton Street, Hampton VIC
The Coffee Guide (TCG): What coffee do you use at work?
Nicholas: Coffee Supreme- South Blend.
TCG: If you weren’t a barista what would you be?
Nicholas: If I wasn’t a barista, I’d be unemployed of course!
TCG: How do you have your coffee at home? How do you make it and how do you take it?
Nicholas: Black, no sugar. I use a clever coffee dripper at home to brew.
TCG: What’s the best thing about your job- the one thing that you really love aside from the coffee?
Nicholas: I would say the people I work with. I’m really fortunate to work with such a great bunch of people. They’re all really lovely, with a great sense of humour.
TCG: What is your favourite music? (For work or for play).
Nicholas: For work, definitely Gotan Project. They produce modern Parisian style, funky music. It transports me back to my trip to France and I can re-live sitting in the cafes of Paris. Such a great city for their professional hospitality industry.
TCG: What’s your favourite food?
Nicholas: I do love French food. It’s extremely rich and the dishes are put together really well.
TCG: Tell us what your best (or first) coffee experience was.
Nicholas: My best coffee experience was going to Mountain Top coffee plantation, just outside of Nimbin. I was lucky enough to be invited for a private tour. Australia grows great coffee but unfortunately due to the high cost of labour in Australia, compared to other parts of the world, it makes the coffee very expensive to produce and therefore most of the coffee is exported to Japan and China etc.
TCG: If you’re not drinking coffee, what is your drink of choice?
Nicholas: Tea, lots of tea. What can I say? I’m English.
TCG: What food do you think is the best compliment to a really great coffee?
Nicholas: My personal opinion, you can’t beat strawberries coated in dark chocolate together with a long black coffee. Try it- you’ll be amazed.
TCG: Does your coffee style (or how you drink it) say something about you?
Nicholas: Definitely. Black coffee drinkers love the taste of pure coffee. Skinny latte drinkers are watching their weight and strong latte drinkers are normally either tired or hung-over.
TCG: Where do all the old baristas go?
Nicholas: Are you calling me ‘old’?
TCG: Who would make a better coffee, King Kong or Godzilla?
Nicholas: I don’t know who would make a better coffee, but Godzilla would come in handy with his fire breathing capability. He could heat up the coffees that were sent back, due to not being hot enough and I wouldn’t have to re-make them. The cup would be sent back to the customer a little charred though…
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?
Nicholas: Ethiopia. To take part in a traditional coffee ceremony. Only the women are allowed to prepare the beans. They roast them and then grind them in a pestle and mortar, then serve the coffee starting with the oldest person in the room. It’s quite primitive, but it’s a very old and theatrical ceremony that I’d love to take part in.
TCG: If you could make coffee for one other person of your choice (anyone- past or present), who would it be and what coffee would you make them?
Nicholas: I’d make George Clooney a real espresso coffee, so he can stop drinking those terrible “pod” coffees he advertises and is so fond of.