Barista Of the Week… Bettina Kurth
Barista at Room 10, Ten Llankelly Place Potts Point
The Coffee Guide (TCG): What coffee do you use at work?
Bettina: Mecca Espresso.
TCG: How do you have your coffee at home? How do you make it and how do you take it?
Bettina: Always black. Either filtered through Aeropress or as an espresso through my Giotto.
TCG: What’s the best thing about your job- the one thing that you really love aside from the coffee?
Bettina: We have a great team at Room10, it’s just fun to be there and serve the locals.
TCG: What’s your favourite food?
Bettina: Anything fresh, because when it’s in season it’s usually at its best and the cheapest.
TCG: Tell us what your best (or first) coffee experience was.
Bettina: A few years ago, when syphon coffee came into fashion, I had an Ethiopian Harrar…it was like blueberry juice, I couldn’t believe it! That was at Proud Mary’s in Melbourne.
TCG: If you’re not drinking coffee, what is your drink of choice?
Bettina: Green tea, because I love it. Also because it helps me offset my caffeine intake!
TCG: What made you become a barista?
Bettina: Originally (years ago) I just wanted to be able to do latte art, I thought that was really cool. But then I started tasting the different coffees, and over time my palette developed and this amazing world of flavors opened up to me…truly remarkable.
TCG: Do people often try and chat you up at work? Have you ever taken the offer up?
Bettina: Most people respect me by letting me focus on my work, but sometimes I get to talk to great people, asking questions about coffee and showing interest in my work. I love it when I can share some of my passion!
TCG: What food do you think is the best compliment to a really great coffee?
Bettina: If it’s a really great coffee, you don’t need anything! I wouldn’t want to spoil it.
TCG: How many coffees would you make in the average day?
Bettina: 350 – 400.
TCG: What’s the largest amount of coffees you have made in a day?
Bettina: With the team at Mecca Espresso at Circular Quay we came very close to 1000.
TCG: Does your coffee style (or how you drink it) say something about you?
Bettina: Maybe…My coffee style is neat with no gimmicks! I like my coffee black, short or long…simple.
TCG: Where do all the old baristas go?
Bettina: I guess at some stage we all need to make room for the new generations. So, some of us pass on our knowledge through training and teaching. Others open their own shops or become coffee roasters.
TCG: Where has your coffee making taken you?
Bettina: Thanks to Mecca Espresso I was fortunate enough to go to Melbourne and participate at the National Barista Championships. My learning curve was enormous!
TCG: What did you do on your last day off?
Bettina: I took my road bike out for a spin around the Eastern Suburbs and beaches- the views are spectacular! Especially at sunrise!
TCG: In a good cup of coffee, how much of it is due to the barista and how much is due to the beans?
Bettina: Good beans are essential, but the skills of a great barista should not be underestimated!
TCG: What is your favourite alternate brewing method?
Bettina: Any kind of filtered coffee is great. It’s much lighter and brings out amazing flavors.