Barista of the Week Ned Walta
Head Barista at Brother Baba Budan,
359 little Bourke Street, Melbourne CBD.
The Coffee Guide (TCG): How do you have your coffee at home? How do you make it and how do you take it?
Ned: At home I have a Pourover setup and a two-group Espresso machine. I make sure I have a nice range of Seven Seeds coffee at hand so I can drink a different style coffee depending on how I feel.
TCG: What’s the best thing about your job- the one thing that you really love aside from the coffee?
Ned: The social aspect. I enjoy being an important part to everyone’s day.
TCG: What is your favourite music? (For work or for play).
Ned: Work- Kelpe. Play- Led Zeppelin.
TCG: Tell us what your best (or first) coffee experience was.
Ned: My best coffee experience was being Graham Coxon’s (BLUR) personal Barista for his European tour. He loves a Pourover.
TCG: If you’re not drinking coffee, what is your drink of choice?
Ned: I can’t go past a quality Shiraz on a cold and rainy afternoon/morning.
TCG: Do people often try and chat you up at work? Have you ever taken the offer up?
Ned: I do believe that everyone is chatting me up.
TCG: What food do you think is the best compliment to a really great coffee?
Ned: I enjoy my Sunday morning coffee session with some poached eggs, salmon and avocado.
TCG: How many coffees would you make in the average day?
Ned: Probably between 600-700.
TCG: What’s the largest amount of coffees you have made in a day?
Ned: Upwards of 1000, working at the powerhouse that is Seven Seeds.
TCG: Does your coffee style (or how you drink it) say something about you?
Ned: Short and Black? No, not really.
TCG: Where has your coffee making taken you?
Ned: Last year I was based in Berlin and I worked around Europe at events as a Barista. I saw London, Paris, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Prague, Lisbon, Barcelona, Florence and Buenos Aires was nice too!
TCG: What has been your favourite moment as a barista? Is there one story that only happened to you because you are a barista?
Ned: Three weeks ago The Artist Formerly Known as Prince popped in. His shoes were pointy.Graham Coxon’s were pointier though.
TCG: What is the most exciting thing happening in coffee right now for you?
Ned: This industry is rapidly building strength due to the competition starting at the farms, through the roasteries, to the cafés. More people are becoming hooked on coffee, the kids think it’s cool and doctors are saying it’s good for you. Coffee is one of the last legal drugs. I’m excited about my job security, it’s taken me 10 years to realize that this was a good career choice.
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?
Ned: I’d like to pour a rosetta in a flatty for Hendrix.
TCG: As a barista, what’s your next big plan?
Ned: I’m looking forward to injecting some good coffee into the festival scene, starting with Europe’s summer festival circuit. I plan to build a coffee cart and hit the road and pretend that I’m working.
TCG: Where is your favourite place to hang out in Melbourne?
Ned: The front bar of the Lord Newry Hotel where the Bar Lady never smiles and the old men next to me smell like they’ve been there since the sixties.
TCG: Do you have any pets?
Ned: Yes. Three. They are Spammo, Holly and Tessa and they are Humans.
TCG: What did you do on your last day off?
Ned: I operated a ‘Speakeasy’ café in my garage. I served espresso coffee and gourmet toasties and all proceeds went to my Brother’s not-for-profit organization ‘Seed’.
TCG: What is your favourite alternate brewing method?
Ned: The ‘Footy Sock Squeeze’.
TCG: What ever happened to the Clover?
Ned: I think they’re all being stored with the Electric Cars and the aliens in a top-secret location in a desert somewhere in America.
TCG: Will other methods fade away?
Ned: Only if Starbucks get their filthy fingers on them.