Introducing our coffee sommelier…
When we first opened our doors only a few months ago we introduced an all important member to the team, our coffee sommelier. What’s a coffee sommelier you ask? Similar to a wine sommelier, it’s a serious coffee expert who lives & breathes coffee and, more importantly, is passionate about dedicating their days to sharing their coffee knowledge with our guests.
Allow us to introduce Paul, a guy that embodies all of the above. Easily distinguishable by that mo’, you’ll find him working behind The Barista’s Bar or roving around, at the ready to answer questions and help you find your perfect brew.
For those keen to learn a little more about their daily cup, or if you simply don’t know where to start when it comes to coffee, make a beeline for The Barista’s Bar, pull up a stool and take advantage of his smarts and skills. An expert on all things coffee, Paul can guide you through our ever-evolving offering, talk bean origins, roasting & brewing processes, and of course, coffee profiles and what to look for (tasters included).
In the meantime, if you’re keen to learn a little bit about Paul himself and his daily coffee habits (warning: he’s a 4 a day kinda guy), here’s a few fun facts.
How long have you been working with coffee for?
Since I was in high school – roughly 12 years
What is the best part of your role?
It’s the interaction I get to have with our guests; being able to connect with people about coffee and inspiring them to want to learn more about the brews they drink.
What is the most challenging part of your role?
Trying not to drink so much coffee that I explode!
What’s the most interesting part about the being behind the bar?
Two coffees are never identical – there are so many variables that working on the tools means constantly staying on your toes in the pursuit of the perfect cup every time.
What do you think sets The Grounds coffee apart from the rest?
At The Grounds there is a real respect for the work that goes into producing a great coffee. Not only are the coffee gurus dedicated to what they do in the roastery, they strive to build and maintain solid relationships with the farmers to better understand the coffee we select and use. The passion for creating memorable guest experiences around the coffee they drink is reflected throughout the whole team and this respect for the bean is at the heart of what sets The Grounds coffee apart.
Why are you passionate about coffee and the industry?
It’s so much more than just a drink, it’s a culture! The way coffee connects people, the special moments that happen around a brew, the daily ritual – its worldwide! It’s also ever-changing and there is always a new challenge or something to be excited about.
Where and what has been the best coffee you’ve ever tasted?
A few years ago I was lucky enough to do a cupping of the Esmeralda Geisha from Panama. I remember on my first tasting feeling all the hairs on my head stand on end.
What’s something we don’t know about working with coffee?
Believe it or not – pound for pound, tea actually has a higher caffeine content than coffee but the brewing process means that in the cup a coffee ultimately has more of a caffeine kick.
What’s your coffee order?
It depends – generally speaking I need my double espresso first thing in the morning, then if I’ve got time to sit and sip I’ll have a mid black. Occasionally I’ll have a piccolo and then after lunch a filter coffee before finishing the day with a cold drip. I really just like variety.
COFFEE TASTING CLASS:
We invite you to take a seat at The Barista’s Bar and explore the differences in brewing methods popularly used in modern cafes. Our coffee experts will lead a small group through a variety of curated offerings, giving insight into espresso and drip brewing and the effects it has over coffee. This class is designed for anyone and everyone looking to gain a deeper understanding of the coffee that they drink.
TIME & DATE:
Tuesday 10th October, 6pm – 7pm
The Barista’s Bar
The Grounds of the City, 500 George St, Sydney