Barista of the Week… Peter Thongaram, barista and supervisor
Bona Fides, Ground Floor 70 Druitt Street, Sydney
The Coffee Guide (TCG): What coffee do you use at work?
Peter: Di Stefano
TCG: If you weren’t a barista what would you be?
Peter: A musician.
TCG: How do you have your coffee at home? How do you make it and how do you take it?
Peter: I don’t drink coffee at home.
TCG: What’s the best thing about your job- the one thing that you really love aside from the coffee?
Peter: Meeting the different professions and learning their life long wisdom within a minute.
TCG: What is your favourite music? (For work or for play).
Peter: Instrumental funk, creating a fast paced environment, encouraging staff morale.
TCG: What’s your favourite food?
Peter: Work food. If it’s good to sell then it’s very good for free.
TCG: Tell us what your best (or first) coffee experience was.
Peter: My first coffee was very sweet… why did I destroy it with 3 sugars on an 8oz takeaway cup? Otherwise a 2ml of a bitter, citrusy caramel from a 10% over abstraction of a 21 gram basket from a week (or younger) coffee beans- that will brew my day easily.
TCG: If you’re not drinking coffee, what is your drink of choice?
Peter: A soy hot chocolate. It may sound a bit sissy, but a good blend of pure chocolate powder combined with Bonsoy will make my work life cruise along in steady water, especially if some one is spending more time at work than anywhere else in his current life.
TCG: What made you become a barista?
Peter: At the beginning I enjoyed making beautiful coffee, now I enjoy seeing people being their best from my average coffee, it makes me feel like I’m some kind of doctor, or a being an awakening therapist.
TCG: What food do you think is the best compliment to a really great coffee?
Peter: Fatty Australian traditional bacon and egg breakfast, with any choice of coffee- it’s truly a hangover cure.
TCG: What’s the largest amount of coffees you have made in a day?
Peter: I have been responsible for 92kg in 6 days. It was too crazy to think about how many coffees- plus tea, plus hot chocolate, plus cold beverages- and I will never try to break my personal record.
TCG: Does your coffee style (or how you drink it) say something about you?
Peter: As referring to a very short quattro ristrestto… something’s are best in small packages (person)… as the smaller the chili, the hotter the intense spice.
TCG: Where do all the old baristas go?
Peter: They have their own cafes and they stole all their loyalties just making enough to cover the most impossible rental space in Sydney.
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?
Peter: My usual coffee at work. Drinking anywhere else wouldn’t be the same.
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?
Peter: Elizabeth Taylor. She asked me for English Breakfast tea and I made it for her. So sad she didn’t even have time to lift up the cup’s handle due to too many unwanted distractions.
TCG: In a good cup of coffee, how much of it is due to the barista and how much is due to the beans?
Peter: 99% is due to the good chemicals inside the barista’s body. A bad mood barista cannot deliver even the best coffee beans in the world.
TCG: Is decaf a dirty word?
Peter: No. But Decaffinato is.
TCG: What is your favourite kind of tea?
Peter: A red Thai Tea, served chilled with condense and evaporated milk. Apparently it is the top 29 most popular beverage in the world. Question- what is then the most popular beverage in the world? Answer- H20.
TCG: What is your favourite alternate brewing method?
TCG: Where do you see alternate brewing methods going?
Peter: Fancy fashion is a trend, it will not last. As all good espresso machines are still made in Italy, the shipping will continue.
TCG: What ever happened to the Clover?
Peter: What ever happened to most of StarBucks?