Barista Of The Week… Jacob Milligan

Barista of the Week…  Jacob Milligan
Head Barista at Commonfolk,
16 Progress Street, Mornington VIC

The Coffee Guide (TCG): What coffee do you use at work?
Jacob: Commonfolk Coffee. We roast our own.

TCG: If you weren’t a barista what would you be?
Jacob: I’d be selling stuff. It’s what I did before getting into coffee and I’m really good at convincing people to buy stuff they really don’t need.

TCG: How do you have your coffee at home? How do you make it and how do you take it?
Jacob: Aeropress – so easy & quick it’s like cheating at brewing coffee.

TCG: What’s the best thing about your job- the one thing that you really love aside from the coffee?
Jacob: The people – we’ve got such a rad team at Commonfolk. I reckon my co-workers are easily some of the best quality humans in the world.

TCG: What is your favourite music? (For work or for play).
Jacob: I’m a sucker for 60’s/70’s RnB, soul and funk – Aretha, James Brown, Otis Redding, Fela Kuti, Wilson Pickett. All the faves.

TCG: Tell us what your best (or first) coffee experience was.
Jacob: I actually really disliked coffee until about five years ago. I went away with a girl I’d just started dating (now my wife) with a bunch of people and one of the guys we were with had an aeropress and a bag of coffee from Seven Seeds. That was the first specialty coffee I ever had – it tasted so different that it was like I’d never had coffee before that. Also, that guy is my boss now.

TCG: If you’re not drinking coffee, what is your drink of choice?
Jacob: Beer. There’s nothing like a cheeky knock-off after a crazy day of work.

TCG: What made you become a barista?
Jacob: Basically my whole family is made of coffee people including my wife, so it was only a matter of time before I got into it. Also I really like coffee, so that helps.

TCG: Do people often try and chat you up at work? Have you ever taken the offer up?
Jacob: My wife does. Does that count?

TCG: What is the most exciting thing happening in coffee right now for you?
Jacob: Grinders. There’s been a big push lately to properly investigate current grinder technology and I reckon real innovation is just around the corner. Better grinders = more deliciousness for all.

TCG: What did you do on your last day off?
Jacob: I went to Japan and just sorta stayed there for a month. That was pretty unreal.

TCG: In a good cup of coffee, how much of it is due to the barista and how much is due to the beans?
Jacob: The farm is where it starts. If the quality isn’t there from the beginning, it won’t be there at the end. That being said, it’s really easy for a barista or roaster with no clue to make a really great coffee (with years of a farmers hard work) taste really bad. There are so many variables over so many years that determine the tastiness of that black stuff it results in.

TCG: Is decaf a dirty word?
Jacob: Only as dirty as it tastes. If there was a tasty decaf it’d be in our grinders without hesitation.

TCG: What is your favourite kind of tea?
Jacob: We have a crazy delicious Assam at Commonfolk – super sweet and juicy. It also makes a fantastic iced tea.

TCG: What ever happened to the Clover?
Jacob: Starbucks mainly. Also, there are a lot of ways to get a similar result without having to spend that much money.

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