Roasting is so simple, all you do as a roaster really is dry beans. Roasting is also such a crazy complex craft that your only limitation is yourself. Incorporating science and using software to better control variables and gain a greater understanding of what is actually happening when we turn these green and almost flavourless seeds into delicious complex little delights for all to enjoy.I have been a barista since I was 13 years and 9 months (the youngest age you can get a job in Australia). I would start my mornings by waking up at 04.30, before the sun came up. I would cycle down to the beach and surf until 08.30 then rush off to school to make the first bell at 09.05 (well mostly a little after) then school would finish at 15.35 and I would have to run out of my last class to get to work on time at 15.45. I would finish my shift at 18.00 when they closed.
When I write it down it seems like I was a very busy young boy, but at the time it all felt like fun and it didn’t seem to feel like work at all.
I was super proud of the coffees I was serving and couldn’t imagine that coffee could be better.Of course this was in 2005. At this time it was common practice to not use scales, not time your shots, use the darkest and cheapest coffee available and definitely not many people were paying attention to water temperature.
It was all about ‘the feel’. The closest thing you had to consistency. was smelling the shot to see whether it was burnt or not.
Non the less for some reason coffee took a hold of me and never let go.
I never thought coffee would become such a big part of my life. I have worked in many different fields and studied different courses but I would always find myself working in coffee bars again.
My brother Daniell finished university and found a career in business and sales. He decided to go on a big world trip and went through many coffee growing countries, this really introduced him to a world filled with coffee and when he returned he wanted to begin a coffee bar.
We then opened ‘Koffie Winkel’. A 100m2 industrial style venue in the city that served specialty coffee, baked goods, brunch and regularly hosted exhibitions for local artists.
After we sold Koffie Winkel Daniell moved to The Netherlands and I followed him over a year later. We started working at Fifth behind the bar in ‘The Main’ serving up cocktails, beers and of course delicious coffee brews. Not too long after we got the opportunity to jump in at the roastery- Sprout.We now have a nice team with Daniell, Thomas, Fleur, Carlos and myself.
My roll is Head Roaster and Head of Quality Control. Although we all jump into different areas when needed.Beginning to roast really reignited my love for coffee to a whole other level.
I get to delve into coffee science and tasting soon much more.