Barista of the Week With… Giles Legg,
co-owner/director and head barista Maison Ama Lurra, 123 Howard Street, North Melbourne.
Our baristas have so much to say, so we have dropped the ten questions and let them say more.
The Coffee Guide (TCG): If you weren’t a barista what would you be?
Giles: A professional soccer player, a gigolo or a musician, but alas….
TCG: How do you have your coffee at home? How do you make it and how do you take it?
Giles: I don’t…I just can’t make as good a coffee at home, so I don’t bother.
TCG: What is your favourite music?
Giles: For work its classical – a perfect match for good quality coffee.
TCG: Tell us what your best coffee experience was.
Giles: Experimenting with the “Trifecta”, our machine that has a 3 step process (wetting, extraction and hydrolysis) and produces a filter type coffee. Amazing, way surpassed my expectation with an Ethiopian single origin!
TCG: If you’re not drinking coffee, what is your drink of choice?
Giles: Tea! My background is English and my parents drink about 20 cups a day!
TCG: What made you become a barista?
Giles:I don’t like to label myself as a barista per-say. I never introduce myself as a ‘barista’. I love making coffee, tasting it, experimenting with it and I’m passionate about it- but that’s only one component of our service. What is more important is the total customer experience!
TCG: Where do all the old baristas go?
Giles: Who cares..?
TCG: Where has your coffee making taken you?
Giles: Nowhere yet, but I’ve already traveled to about 50 countries worldwide. I would love to make coffee overseas and share ideas, somewhere exotic, possibly Kyoto. I’ve lived in Japan for many years and I think a specialty coffee shop in Kyoto would be a winner.
TCG: If you could make coffee for one other person of your choice, who would it be and what coffee would you make them?
Giles: Andie MacDowell- Whatever coffee she wanted. It’s memories from all those years ago, Green Card and all that. Because she is gorgeous. I’d make her any drinks that she’d like.
TCG: If you could pick one spot in the world to sit and have a coffee, where would it be, and why?
Giles: Paris, on the Champs-Élysées in a café… with Andie MacDowell.
TCG: What’s your favourite time of the year and why?
Giles: Autumn. Fine days, beautiful colours, cold nights.
TCG: What are you reading right now?
Giles: Jasper Jones – captivating, it’s got me back into the reading habit.
TCG: What was the last movie you watched?
Giles: North by Northwest – it’s a classic.
TCG: Where did you grow up? And what is your fondest childhood memory?
Giles: I grew up in Reading, near London- playing football.
TCG: What did you do on your last day off?
Giles: I went to NZ (I had the week) and arranged a surprise 50th birthday for my brother in the South Island. I surprised him with 25 people from all over the world.
TCG: In a good cup of coffee, how much of it is due to the barista and how much is due to the beans?
Giles: It’s a combination of 3 things – the machine, the beans and the barista. The barista is the creator that combines the machinery, the beans and the savoir-faire.