Barista Of The Week… Chloe Jang

Barista Of The Week… Chloe Jang
Chez Dre 285-287 Coventry Street
South Melbourne, VIC

The Coffee Guide (TCG): What coffee do you use at work?
Chloe: We have house blend, it’s called symmetry, and single origin. We use 4-5 different single origin coffee beans a week, roasted by The Maling Room.

TCG: If you weren’t a barista what would you be?
Chloe: I have also wanted to work for an organization such as save the children or Unicef. It breaks my heart every time I see people suffering due to preventable diseases or starvation.

TCG: How do you have your coffee at home? How do you make it and how do you take it?
Chloe: I don’t drink coffee at home- though I wish I had my own Synesso machine at home! There are so many nice coffee houses and cafes around Melbourne, so I like to look around and try what is on offer at any given place.

TCG: What’s the best thing about your job- the one thing that you really love aside from the coffee?
Chloe: Chez Dre fresh baked beautiful pastry, cakes, sweets and the best macarons around. I have felt proud ever since I started working at Chez Dre.

TCG: What is your favourite music? (For work or for play).
Chloe: I love Jason Mraz. I went to his concert last month, which made me fall in love with his music again.

TCG: What’s your favourite food?
Chloe: I love seafood. I grew up near the port in Korea, so I was always able to source fresh seafood. Grilled combination clam is a particular favourite of mine!

TCG: Tell us what your best (or first) coffee experience was.
Chloe: Well, when I was in Tasmania last year all the good coffee places which I wanted to try were closed for the Christmas holiday. I finally found a good coffee place on my last day (during my 6 day visit). It was an amazing feeling. I felt like I’d found water in the desert.

TCG: If you’re not drinking coffee, what is your drink of choice?
Chloe: Dragon fruit Vitamin Water. Because I’m not a big fan of still water or carbonated drinks.

TCG: Do people often try and chat you up at work? Have you ever taken the offer up?
Chloe: I have been working at Chez Dre for about 2 years. Most of the people that come are regulars and know me by name. I try to make light conversation while they’re waiting for me to finish making coffee…

TCG: What food do you think is the best compliment to a really great coffee?
Chloe: French toast. After you have one bite of toast and vanilla ice cream and sip nice espresso, it’s just the perfect balance between sweetness and bitterness.

TCG: How many coffees would you make in the average day?
Chloe: We use 7kg of coffee as minimum.

TCG: What’s the largest amount of coffees you have made in a day?
Chloe: I can only tell we went through 14 kg in one day when I did the restock. It’s hard to keep a track of the number of coffees made as it gets quite busy.

TCG: Does your coffee style (or how you drink it) say something about you?
Chloe: I think so. You will notice it when you go to other coffee houses, because each place has their ritual, routine or method to making coffee. I was trained with Andrew (the owner at The Maling room). He trained me not only to have better understanding of coffee, but also control myself to be calm and laid-back with lots of coffee on order. So now I have my own rhythm, where I can make good coffees fast and consistently.

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?
Chloe: Cuba. I tried Cuban coffee, which was smoky and heavy, which would go very well with a nice Cuban cigar. It would be very interesting experience.

TCG: As a barista, what’s your next big plan?
Chloe: I’m looking forward to having a holiday this year. I am planning to visit Hong Kong, Vietnam and Korea. The coffee industry in Korea is expanding and will continue to get better as more people appreciate smaller coffee houses compared to the larger chains. So I’m very excited to see the beginning of Korean café culture.

TCG: What did you do on your last day off?
Chloe: My last day off I enjoyed at the Peninsula Hot Springs. It was amazing enjoying the natural hot water, in the rain, and with some fantastic views.

TCG: In a good cup of coffee, how much of it is due to the barista and how much is due to the beans?
Chloe: 80% barista, 20% beans. The barista is the one who delivers the final product and the customer will praise or scorn you upon the final outcome.

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