Agile with balcony
Open 1:14

Meet Jim Baruta, Melbourne barista from Quists coffee

23 August 2017

1. When did you become a barista?

I became a barista 28 years ago in 1989, when I first started at Quists.

2. What was your inspiration to become a barista?

I wanted to continue working for my family’s business and I was interested in coffee and the process of making it.

3. When did Quists open? Can you tell me about its historical significance?

Quists was established in 1938 as Melbourne’s first coffee roaster and we still sell freshly roasted coffee beans from our original location at 166 Little Collins Street, Melbourne. We are very proud to have been inducted into the Australian Coffee Roasters Hall of Fame at the Golden Bean Coffee Roasters Competition in November 2016.

4. In a city bustling with many cafes, what makes Quists unique?

I think Quists’ longevity and reputation for quality bean selection, consistent roasting and blending, and customer satisfaction sets us apart from other cafes and coffee roasters. At Quists, we share a genuine love for coffee and everything about it. We have a dedicated team with in-depth knowledge, passion and skill.

5. How does Quists benefit from being at such a prestigious and unique location?

Our shop at 166 Little Collins Street is the original Quists where fresh, rich coffee aromas fill the air inside and spill into the street. Over the last 75 years, Quists has witnessed the change in Melbourne’s landscape. Quists’ location was part of George’s Department Store from 1960, which was converted to the George’s Apartments in 1995. We have been privileged enough to be able to remain at this location throughout all the changes.

6. What’s your favourite menu item and coffee?

I prefer my coffee as an espresso because I can really taste the coffee. I also enjoy a Café Latte in the mornings.

7. What is the most popular item on the menu?

Lattes are always popular and our most popular blend is Miscela Italiana, designed for those seeking the flavour of a true Italian espresso.

8. If you could open one cafe overseas, where would it be and why?

I think either Milan or Rome, as both cities are experts in coffee and the locals understand what constitutes a great coffee. I think Quists would fit in quite well.

9. What is the most unique coffee you’ve ever made?

I have made and tried many coffee origins from around the world, though the most unique has been from Bali. Its flavour profile was quite unlike other coffees. It was very fruity with defined notes of black currant. Its aroma was also quite defined but it certainly isn’t to everybody’s taste. It is ideal as an espresso, rather than milk-based coffee.