Barista of the Week… John Kounas
Owner / Barista at Madame Frou Frou,
381 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe.
The Coffee Guide (TCG): If you weren’t a barista what would you be?
John: I would be a barrister. So close yet so far…my parents would never know the difference.
TCG: How do you have your coffee at home? How do you make it and how do you take it?
John: No coffee at home. I love drinking coffee out- whenever, wherever.
TCG: What’s the best thing about your job- the one thing that you really love aside from the coffee?
John: Best thing about the job is watching the business grow as a result of the passion.
TCG: What is your favourite music? (For work or for play).
John: I love Spy vs. Spy or anything by The Smiths. Good at home, even better at work. Yes, I’m old.
TCG: What’s your favourite food?
John: Favourite food…It’s unfair to ask the fat guy that question…everything!!
TCG: Tell us what your best (or first) coffee experience was.
John: My best coffee experience was Brother Baba Budan in Melbourne. Who needed sweets with something that good?
TCG: If you’re not drinking coffee, what is your drink of choice?
John: Pepsi Max… so I can live life to the MAX, of course.
TCG: What made you become a barista?
John: Became a barista because I thought ‘how hard could it be to froth a bit of milk, smile and take money?’… Boy was I wrong!
TCG: Do people often try and chat you up at work? Have you ever taken the offer up?
John: Chat me up at work? Well once upon a time… How else did I get your number?
TCG: What food do you think is the best compliment to a really great coffee?
John: I really think you can’t go past a small biscotti to compliment coffee. Seems to balance the experience. Yummy yum yum.
TCG: How many coffees would you make in the average day?
John: On an average day we pump out 200 to 300 coffees no problem.
TCG: What’s the largest amount of coffees you have made in a day?
John: I went to a school fete once and did 600 coffees in five hours. Towards the end everyone had a flat white- whether they liked it or not.
TCG: Does your coffee style (or how you drink it) say something about you?
John: My coffee style definitely says something about me. I have a mortgage. Pay attention.
TCG: Where do all the old baristas go?
John: Good question, where do all the old baristas go…? I reckon there is a market for old baristas…having said that though I reckon they all go searching for the people that used to chat them up.
TCG: Who would make a better coffee, King Kong or Godzilla?
John: King Kong… he’s more delicate with his hands say I.
TCG: Where has your coffee making taken you?
John: My coffee making has taken me…by surprise! Actually, I went to New York hoping to open one day there. One day I will…with the next wife!
TCG: What has been your favourite moment as a barista? Is there one story that only happened to you because you are a barista?
John: No real favourite moments, but it’s always nice to see little kiddies growing up…from babycinnos to hot chocolate to (dare I say it) chai lattes.
TCG: What is the most exciting thing happening in coffee right now for you?
John: The rising standard of what consumers are being served. This keeps, us as baristas, constantly focused and striving for more, and the customers get to enjoy better 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?
John: I would love to have a shorty with Duane Sorensen at Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Portland and pick his brain.