Barista of the Week… Ben D’emden, head barista Campos Coffee, 193 Missendon Road, Newtown
The Coffee Guide (TCG): If you weren’t a barista what would you be?
Ben: If I wasn’t a barista I’d be an international fruit dealer, for sure.
TCG: How do you have your coffee at home? How do you make it and how do you take it?
Ben: At home I am a big fan of the Aeropress. Easy to use and clean and it makes great coffee. I have it white for breakfast and like Shoji Sasa with vegemite on toast..!
TCG: What is your favourite music? (For work or for play).
Ben: I am a big music fan. Along with coffee I can’t live without music. My musical tastes go from roots, rock and reggae right through to grime, dubstep and house.
TCG: If you’re not drinking coffee, what is your drink of choice?
Ben: I am a big fan of high quality rum, but as I get older I’d say fresh water is my choice.
TCG: What made you become a barista?
Ben: I just love coffee.
TCG: What food do you think is the best compliment to a really great coffee?
Ben: Different coffees go well with different foods, but I do like a good pastry with my breakfast coffee.
TCG: Does your coffee style (or how you drink it) say something about you?
Ben: I drink coffee in all styles so I’m not convinced it really speaks about my personality.
TCG: Where do all the old baristas go?
Ben: Old baristas go home and have a good lie down.
TCG: Where has your coffee making taken you?
Ben: Coffee has taken me from Australia to the U.K., Colombia and soon to Kenya!
TCG: If you could make coffee for one other person of your choice, who would it be and what coffee would you make them?
Ben: If I could make anyone alive or dead a coffee it would be Idris Elba! John Luther, Stringer Bell, the man even deejays! I’m sure he drinks espresso!
TCG: What are you reading right now?
Ben: I just finished reading ‘Past The Shallows’ by Favel Parrett and now I’m reading ‘Out Of Africa’ by Karen Blixen, to get me even more in the mood for Kenya.
TCG: Where did you grow up? And what is your fondest childhood memory?
Ben: I grew up in Tasmania. Lots of memories, the best ones involving bush walking and riding skateboards.
TCG: Do you have any pets?
Ben: I don’t have any pets at the moment. I’d love a dog but apartment living makes that a dream for the moment. As many people know I love sea creatures and I’m thinking of getting some cherry shrimp or a hermit crab. Hermit crabs are a lot of commitment though. Really they are! They live for ages!
TCG: Is decaf a dirty word?
Ben: Decaf is most certainly not a dirty word. People who are caffeine sensitive still enjoy coffee. I had a great decaf latte last week (thanks Jake). Coffee is not just a drug hit you know, many people enjoy it purely for the gustatory pleasure!