Barista Of The Week… Elias Gutierrez,
Head Barista Miss Marmalade, 243 Oxford Street, Bondi Junction
The Coffee Guide (TCG): If you weren’t a barista what would you be?
Elias: Probably a barrister.
TCG: How do you have your coffee at home? How do you make it and how do you take it?
Elias: I never stray from the Long black. Morning and afternoon.
TCG: What’s the best thing about your job- the one thing that you really love aside from the coffee?
Elias: I love interacting with my customers. I look forward to seeing my regulars daily- we catch up on the previous day and I love hearing what’s in store for that day. The regulars become friends. I also love when my family comes to visit. We have such a relaxed environment at Miss Marmalade that even when I’m working weekends I still feel like we are spending time together.
TCG: What is your favourite music? (For work or for play).
Elias: World music in the morning, more upbeat in afternoon…. I often break out into a bit of song and dance at 4pm-ish.
TCG: What’s your favourite food?
Elias: Mexican, because I’m Mexican…and of course the Hot Chick sandwich at Miss Marmalade- I do however always have my extra hot sauce (Cholula) nearby.
TCG: If you’re not drinking coffee, what is your drink of choice?
Elias: A nice cold beer…it helps me unwind after working …. and of course tequila.
TCG: What made you become a barista?
Elias: Learning about coffee is my passion.
TCG: Do people often try and chat you up at work? Have you ever taken the offer up?
Elias: Yes, but I’m always quick to mention my wife, she visits every morning for her dose.
TCG: What food do you think is the best compliment to a really great coffee?
Elias: Definitely breakfast. There’s nothing like bacon, eggs and a double ristretto to kick off the day!
TCG: How many coffees would you make in the average day?
Elias: 300+ (with a 21-gram basket).
TCG: What’s the largest amount of coffees you have made in a day?
Elias: 10kg myself.
TCG: Does your coffee style (or how you drink it) say something about you?
Elias: Black as hell, strong as death, sweet as love.
TCG: Where do all the old baristas go?
TCG: Who would make a better coffee, King Kong or Godzilla?’
Elias: Garrett, my boss- i.e. King Kong.
TCG: Where has your coffee making taken you?
Elias: Lots of places … it’s an awesome job and allows you to meet some really cool people anywhere in the world.
TCG: What has been your favourite moment as a barista?
Elias: I love developing my own signature coffees. Introducing my customers to these coffees and getting them hooked! At first they look at me like I’m crazy, but they love it.
TCG: What is the most exciting thing happening in coffee right now for you?
Elias: The last two months helping start up and working at Miss Marmalade have been so exciting. Everyone involved has added their special touch which makes it so unique…I have developed a very loyal relationship with Di Gabriel coffee, I work with an awesome team and of course using our new baby…..the La Marzocco GB/5 is really exciting.
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?
Elias: A ristretto for Mi Papa.
TCG: As a barista, what’s your next big plan?
Elias: To become a master coffee roaster.
TCG: Where is your favourite place to hang out in Sydney?
Elias: Bondi – I love the environment, the people and the coffee!
TCG: What did you do on your last day off?
Elias: A visit to the gym followed by a nice, long massage. It was a cupping massage so I ended up looking like I got bashed. My boss was concerned!!
TCG: In a good cup of coffee, how much of it is due to the barista and how much is due to the beans?
Elias: 50/50, there needs to be a perfect balance…that’s when the coffee is good.
TCG: Is decaf a dirty word?
Elias: It’s a personal choice… but put it this way, decaffeinated coffee is like kissing your sister!
TCG: What is your favourite alternate brewing method?
TCG: Will other methods fade away?
Elias: Never. It doesn’t matter which brewing technique, a good coffee is a good coffee.