Q&A with local barista from Manchester Press
26 July 2017
1. When did you become a barista?
I became a barista two years ago after arriving in Melbourne from my native France; it’s definitely the best place to learn about coffee culture. Every week, coffee tastings are organised by roasters or coffee shops, which is a great way to build your palate as a barista.
2. What was your inspiration to become a barista?
Three years ago, Paris was beginning to discover the difference between a latte and a café crème. This is when I discovered latte art, which made me eager to learn how to draw something in a cup.
After a few years spent in the financial world in France, I returned to hospitality, which is what I studied at school because I originally wanted to be a sommelier.
I became a barista because the coffee culture in Melbourne is equivalent to the wine culture in France, but there is a higher demand for good baristas in the city!
Being a sommelier is pretty similar to being a barista. Every week, I taste different coffee originating from specific farms around the world and we always offer the best coffee in each cup, whether it is espresso or filtered coffee.
3. When did Manchester Press open?
Manchester Press opened in early 2011 and was inspired by a printing press that once occupied the venue.
The café is always busy with tourists, locals and businesspeople coming in to try our newest single original or famous bagels.
5. How does Manchester Press benefit from being at such a prestigious and unique location?
Located at 8 Rankins Lane, I think we benefit from how convenient the place is for tourists to come and visit. We are also surrounded by a lot of retail shops and offices, which is great, as we love to get to know people – they usually become familiar faces at the shop!
The combination of our warehouse space and being a go-to bagel shop is what makes us unique in a bustling city with many cafes.
6. What’s your favourite menu item and coffee?
It’s a very Melbourne thing, but you just can’t beat our smashed avo paired with a side of grilled chorizo for a spicy kick. As for coffee, we recently developed a new coffee cocktail – without alcohol – one month ago. It’s a sweet and refreshing cold brew, infused for 12 hours with orange peel, shaken and lengthened with tonic water.
7. What is the most popular item on the menu?
A latte or a cappuccino is our most popular hot beverage, while others enjoy our black coffee from an excellent roaster in Canberra, ONA Coffee.
8. If you could open a cafe overseas, where would it be and why?
Probably France because there is less competition within the coffee sector; unlike other markets. France could still learn a lot from Melbourne’s coffee scene and I think the young French population would appreciate this take on café culture.
9. What is the most unforgettable experience you’ve had in the coffee business?
My best experience was using a pour over coffee method with the best coffee farms, including those who have won a Cup Of Excellence prize.
Recently, I brewed a cup of natural Gesha from Deborah farm (Panama) and it’s definitely one of my best experiences.
That coffee cost more than a normal cup but the encounter is unforgettable.