Barista Of The Week… Kat Crittle, Barisata at St Jude, 728 Bourke Street Redfern NSW
The Coffee Guide (TCG): If you weren’t a barista what would you be?
Kat: Studying at the National Art School or doing something along those lines. Or traveling. Traveling as a barista, I‘ve got friends who were here in Sydney working as baristas and now they’re in London and New York- it’s been easy for them to get jobs because the quality of coffee is better here, so they get good jobs when they take their skills overseas.
TCG: How do you have your coffee at home? How do you make it and how do you take it?
Kat: I don’t make coffee at home. I always drink coffee when I am out. I’ve just always done that. I don’t like instant and there’s a great coffee place across the road from me.
TCG: What’s the best thing about your job- the one thing that you really love aside from the coffee?
Kat: You get to talk to people all day. Take-aways are a major thing at St. Jude, so you’re chatting to people all day and you have regulars that you can build relationships with. It’s rewarding when you know your regulars and what they want.
TCG: What is your favourite music? (For work or for play).
Kat: Mazzy Star is good for both. But when playing my i-pod at work I struggle to find the perfect mix.
TCG: What’s your favourite food?
Kat: Breakfast food. Bacon and egg type things. I like it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
TCG: Tell us what your best (or first) coffee experience was.
Kat: Drinking coffee, I remember being out with my aunty and my mum. I wanted to show-off to my aunty and so I ordered a coffee. My mum was really surprised. But I just acted like I always did it.
TCG: If you’re not drinking coffee, what is your drink of choice?
Kat: Juice. Fresh juice in the morning and a cider, or glass of wine in the afternoons. Magners pear cider.
TCG: What made you become a barista?
Kat: I fell into it. I’d been working in hospitality since I was 13 and it’s just a natural progression to barista or bartender.
TCG: What food do you think is the best compliment to a really great coffee?
Kat: Banana bread.
TCG: How many coffees would you make in the average day?
Kat: No idea. Think we go through up to 12kg of coffee on a weekend.
TCG: Where do all the old baristas go?
Kat: I’m not sure. They either stay in hospitality and open a café of their own, or run as far as they can. You can get over it sometimes.
TCG: Who would make a better coffee, King Kong or Godzilla?’
Kat: King Kong. Godzilla’s arms are too short. And you need to have strong wrists to make a good coffee.
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?
Kat: Bluebottle in Williamsburg in Brooklyn. A latte. I used to drink skim when I couldn’t taste the difference, but now I can taste the difference. So, a full cream latte.
TCG: Where is your favourite place to hang out in Sydney?
Kat: Rose Terrace on South Dowling, it’s right behind my house.
TCG: What’s your favourite time of the year?
Kat: The in-between seasons.
TCG: What are you reading right now?
Kat: I’m halfway through The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, but it was very heavy. Now I’m starting to read Future Shock by Alvin Toffler. I’m not very far in, but it’s a bit slow.
TCG: What is your favourite thing to do in Autumn?
Kat: Have friends over for dinner and not leave the house.
TCG: What is your favourite movie of all time?
Kat: I went to see Titanic in 3D. It reminded me how much I love that movie.
TCG: Do you have any pets?
Kat: My roommate has a miniature poodle called Rory. She’s a girl, even though that’s a boys name and she’s great in Autumn, she creeps into my bed and keeps me warm and I walk her.
TCG: In a good cup of coffee, how much of it is due to the barista and how much is due to the beans?
Kat: I think 50/50.
TCG: Is decaf a dirty word?
Kat: Yes. Death before decaf.
TCG: What is your favourite kind of tea?
Kat: Green tea.