Ten Questions With… Talor Browne, Barista at Duchess of Spotswood. 87 Hudsons Road, Spotswood VIC.
1. TCG: If you weren’t a barista what would you be?
Talor: A baker. I’m not the most terrific cook but it seems everything that I put in an oven turns into a triumph. Seeing how people react when you gift them anything baked is the greatest feeling.
2. TCG: How do you have your coffee at home? How do you make it and how do you take it?
Talor: As silly as it sounds, I really like my home being a coffee free zone. I have a Hario v60 and a hand grinder, but I’d much rather go out, have a nice breakfast and have one of Melbourne’s many talented baristas make me something delicious.
3. TCG: What’s the best thing about your job- the one thing that you really love aside from the coffee?
Talor: Coffee is really unifying. I get to make coffee for so many amazing people that do unimaginable things, all because they have a hankering for caffeine and I make it for them every day. Scientists, artists, lawyers, musicians, comedians, couriers, athletes. You name it; I have probably had a conversation with them while pouring a latte.
4. TCG: What’s your favourite food?
Talor: Roast anything. Ovens are magical.
5. TCG: Tell us what your best (or first) coffee experience was.
Talor: When I was a kid, on the rare occasion Mum would take us to a cafe. I remember scooping the top off her cappuccino and not really liking the coffee part.
6. TCG: If you’re not drinking coffee, what is your drink of choice?
Talor: Whiskey. I am really digging a Japanese whiskey named Yamazaki at the moment. It’s the perfect drink for winter and for such a small amount, its so gratifying.
7. TCG: What made you become a barista?
Talor: When other kids were dreaming about being astronauts and firemen, I was drawing up plans for my own cafe. The longer I work in the industry, the less I feel like owning a place though and the more I feel like working behind the scenes, buying green and improving growers working conditions.
8. TCG: Do people often try and chat you up at work? Have you ever taken the offer up?
Talor: It doesn’t happen as often as you might think but I’ve made some of my best friends out of botched first dates with customers.
9. TCG: Where has your coffee making taken you?
Talor:Last year, I took my first holiday since moving to Melbourne four and a half years ago. I went to San Francisco, rode bikes and hung out with some American baristas. I hope to do a lot more traveling to origin in the future.
10. TCG: What has been your favourite moment as a barista? Is there one story that only happened to you because you are a barista?
Talor: Watching a woman use her finger to scoop out every last drop from her coffee cup because it was that good. It’s the little things.