Barista of the Week… Rob Fuller, barista/owner at The Little Queen Café, 28-30 Queen Street, Chippendale, Sydney
The Coffee Guide: If you weren’t a barista what would you be?
Rob: An astronaut.
TCG: How do you have your coffee at home? How do you make it and how do you take it?
Rob: I never make coffee at home, I always go out to the best local cafe to get a take out and take that home. I drink a 3/4 latte.
TCG: What’s the best thing about your job- the one thing that you really love aside from the coffee?
Rob: I love owning my own cafe, and meeting new people all the time.
TCG: What is your favourite music? (For work or for play).
Rob: I love listening to 70′s disco in the morning, and something more mellow in the afternoon. LCD Soundsystem is great for cracking out coffees to when you’re getting really slammed; it kind of gives you a rhythm to work to.
TCG: What’s your favourite food?
Rob: I love cake, any type.
TCG: Tell us what your best (or first) coffee experience was.
Rob: I remember seeing a cappuccino for the first time when I was a kid on holiday with my parents in Yugoslavia (as it was then). I was mesmerized by the sugar sitting on the frothy head before slowly sinking into the coffee.
TCG: If you’re not drinking coffee, what is your drink of choice?
Rob: I drink a nice cup of tea; it’s the cure to everything.
TCG: Do people often try and chat you up at work? Have you ever taken the offer up?
Rob: My partner always says I never notice when people are hitting on me, I’m always innocently oblivious. When I was a barman in London I got asked out and yes I did take him up on the offer, it didn’t go well!
TCG: How many coffees would you make in the average day?
TCG: What’s the largest amount of coffees you have made in a day?
Rob: Probably double that when I was at Bourke Street Bakery in Surry Hills.
TCG: Where do all the old baristas go?
Rob: Norton Street, Leichhardt?
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?
Rob: I could sit and drink a latte anywhere as long as my partner was there too.
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?
Rob: I would like to make George Clooney any real coffee to show him just how crap those stupid sachet machines are.
TCG: As a barista, what’s your next big plan?
Rob: Read a book? I don’t get much of a chance.
TCG: Where is your favourite place to hang out in Sydney?
Rob: I love to sit and read the weekend papers at Wyles pool in Coogee.
TCG: What is your guilty pleasure?
TCG: What’s your favourite time of the year and why?
Rob: Spring, in Australia, when the weather is just right. Or Christmas in the UK.
TCG: What are you reading right now?
Rob: I only get to read on holiday, there is no time otherwise. I’m looking forward to reading Stephen Fry’s autobiography this year!
TCG: What is your favourite thing to do in Summer?
Rob: Moan about the heat (I am English!). Or snorkel at Gordon’s Bay.
TCG: What is your favourite movie of all time?
Rob: The Truman Show, it’s a strange choice but it literally changed my life. I made a decision whilst watching the film, which changed the course of my life to be where I am now. If Truman hadn’t stepped out into the unknown at the end of the movie, I wouldn’t have either.
TCG: Where did you grow up? And what is your fondest childhood memory?
Rob: I grew up in Sussex in the UK, I remember spending weekends with my Granny helping her bake buns and cupcakes etc, which may be where I got my love for cakes.
TCG: Do you have any pets?
Rob: We have a cat called Gus.
TCG: What did you do on your last day off?
Rob: I did a bit of DIY around the house.
TCG: In a good cup of coffee, how much of it is due to the barista and how much is due to the beans?
Rob: Probably 70/30. I think a good barista can make drinkable coffee from inferior beans, but a bad barista can really ruin the greatest of beans. When a good barista and good beans come together, it makes magic.
TCG: Is decaf a dirty word?
Rob: No, I think decaf drinkers get a bad rap, there are a lot of reasons to drink decaf. If you have high blood pressure or if coffee keeps you from sleeping, or pregnancy etc etc. And if the decaf is good and made well it can be quite acceptable.
TCG: Is specialty tea the new cappuccino?
Rob: Yes, tea is the answer to everything… remember, I’m English.
TCG: What is your favourite kind of tea?
Rob: just plain old English breakfast with milk and 2 sugars please!