Barista of the Week… Dimitri Agiostratitis
Lemonia 4-8 Booth Street, Annandale
The Coffee Guide (TCG): What coffee do you use at work?
Dimitri: Single Origin Roasters- Ooplala and a single origin that changes.
TCG: If you weren’t a barista what would you be?
Dimitri: A pastry chef. I do a bit of recreational stuff at home and I’ve done some macaron courses. When I’m sick of being out the front, maybe I can hide out the back and do that.
TCG: How do you have your coffee at home? How do you make it and how do you take it?
Dimitri: I don’t drink coffee at home. I drink water. I try and keep it to two coffees a day. Some baristas are addicted to like 15-20 a day. I try to keep it healthy.
TCG: What’s the best thing about your job- the one thing that you really love aside from the coffee?
Dimitri: I think it’s that it’s not so corporate. I like the sociable, chilled out nature of it. You meet people. It’s a cool environment and you get to enjoy where you are.
TCG: What is your favourite music? (For work or for play).
Dimitri: Anything. As long as it sounds good when it hits the eardrums, I’ll listen to it. It’s a bit of a mix at the moment. Today we started in the 60’s and now were at the 90’s. We try to start off slow and light and then its gets heavier into the afternoon.
TCG: What’s your favourite food?
Dimitri: Mediterranean. I’m pretty much ready to try anything though.
TCG: Tell us what your best (or first) coffee experience was.
Dimitri: It was with my dad had our place in Wynyard station. I used to die to put a shot on. I’d hang on the side and push the buttons. I used to beg him to take me to work… then I was a teenager and I didn’t want to go anymore. How things change.
TCG: If you’re not drinking coffee, what is your drink of choice?
Dimitri: If I’m out I’ll have a fresh OJ or an Appletizer.
TCG: What made you become a barista?
Dimitri: I fell into it. I did some construction, but I got drawn back into hospitality. I enjoy the atmosphere and I feel most comfortable here behind the machine. When it’s on it’s on, but you can chill out too. I’ve done corporate, but hospitality draws you back.
TCG: What food do you think is the best compliment to a really great coffee?
Dimitri: Pastry for sure. Coffee and cake, isn’t that how it all originated? A nice little rhubarb tart or a choc-caramel tart, the rustic little ones you can get… with a lot of TLC in it.
TCG: How many coffees would you make in the average day?
Dimitri: Probably about 5kg.
TCG: Does your coffee style (or how you drink it) say something about you?
Dimitri: Double ristretto latte. If I went somewhere else, it would probably say that I am annoying.
TCG: Where do all the old baristas go?
Dimitri: They end up out back and it all falls into place for them while they follow up their passion. But hopefully they’re on an island somewhere with someone making coffee for them to enjoy.
TCG: Who would make a better coffee, King Kong or Godzilla?
Dimitri: Godzilla gets a better temperature with his fire. King Kong would just jump on it and it wouldn’t work out.
TCG: What is the most exciting thing happening in coffee right now for you?
Dimitri: Single origin options and where we are going with the beans- it’s getting much more personal and there are more options for the drinker.
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? –
Dimitri: It would be where we are from in Greece, Lemnos. In the middle of the village in a little café with people walking by and we know everyone.
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?
Dimitri: My dad. I’d make him a Giovanni, which is his own custom coffee.
TCG: Where is your favourite place to hang out in Sydney?
Dimitri: At home. I’ve got to that point where I’m chilling out more. But I also like to hang out at Lemonia. It’s my favourite place right now. Even if I’m not working I still hang with the boys.
TCG: In a good cup of coffee, how much of it is due to the barista and how much is due to the beans?
Dimitri: It’s got to be 50/50… you gotta have the hardware and the skill to go with it.
TCG: Is decaf a dirty word?
Dimitri: To me it depends on how you’re set up. If you’ve got a decaf grinder then that’s fine. But to me, if the body rejects it then it’s a sign, so don’t have it.
TCG: What is your favourite alternate brewing method?
Dimitri: I’m just getting into that now. The Single Origin guys are introducing me to it all and I’ll be getting a cold drip. But I’m just giving it a go at the moment.
TCG: Will other methods fade away?
Dimitri: I think alternative brew methods will get more and more popular. I’ve seen it change a lot over the years. Now people are more educated and it’s just going to change more and more. This is just the start.