Barista Of The Week… Charles Skadiang
Barista at Dukes Coffee Roasters.
169 Chapel Street, Windsor & 247 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
The Coffee Guide (TCG): What coffee do you use at work?
Charles: We roast our own beans. For example, at our Flinders Lane store, we have individual blends for black and white coffee, 2 single origins for espresso and 3 for filter.
TCG: How do you have your coffee at home? How do you make it and how do you take it?
Charles: I usually brew with an Aeropress at home because it is easy and produces a great cup of coffee. I have an espresso machine that I use when I have larger groups of people around.
TCG: What’s the best thing about your job- the one thing that you really love aside from the coffee?
Charles: I love the people I work with and the diversity that comes from the hospitality/coffee industry. We have a great team at Dukes and everyone has a passion for coffee and a desire to continuously develop themselves.
TCG: What’s your favourite food?
Charles: Just home cooked Asian food
TCG: Tell us what your best (or first) coffee experience was.
Charles: An Ethiopian Aricha and Beloya really blew my mind back in 2008.
TCG: If you’re not drinking coffee, what is your drink of choice?
Charles: Just water and the occasional beer
TCG: What made you become a barista?
Charles: I actually have an IT degree that I pursued as a career for a couple of years, but never had the same passion for it as I did for coffee. It was by chance that I got into coffee, but it’s by choice that I’m still in it.
TCG: Do people often try and chat you up at work?
Charles: No never!
TCG: What food do you think is the best compliment to a really great coffee?
Charles: I think a fresh, plain croissant and a flat white is the perfect breakfast.
TCG: What’s the largest amount of coffees you have made in a day?
Charles: Over 1000
TCG: Does your coffee style (or how you drink it) say something about you?
Charles: Well I drink a lot of different things, so I guess that says I am diverse.
TCG: Where do all the old baristas go?
Charles: To sleep early.
TCG: What is the most exciting thing happening in coffee right now for you?
Charles: The World Barista Championships in Melbourne have been amazing. I’m really proud to serve coffee in Melbourne and to be part of such a great community.
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?
Charles: Just a nice filter coffee at home- preferably in bed on a Saturday morning.
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?
Charles: My wife. I would make her a filter of something really tasty, like a Panama Mama Cata Gesha we have. It’s either that or Nescafe. She’s pretty extreme.
TCG: Do you have any pets?
Charles: I’ve got a mini schnauzer called Ash. She’s pretty awesome.
TCG: What did you do on your last day off?
Charles: Slept in, made myself a coffee and breakfast and hung out with my wife.
TCG: Is specialty tea the new cappuccino?
Charles: Not in Melbourne. At the moment, it’s great to see filter coffee take off.
TCG: What is your favourite alternate brewing method?
Charles: V60 or Aeropress.
TCG: Where do you see alternate brewing methods going?
Charles: Pretty far!
TCG: What ever happened to the Clover?
Charles: Had some great coffee on the Clover, but I’ve had equally good on a $100 home setup. I guess it has become a little redundant.
TCG: Will other methods fade away?
Charles: There will always be new, innovative methods and there will always be ones that fade away. It’s exciting that coffee is always evolving and changing.