This month we talk to Tiffany, Head Barista at Biscottini café, bar, and restaurant in Mornington, Victoria.
Café owner Elio says Biscottini prides itself on having the friendliest team around while giving the customer the best possible experience. That’s on top of their great food and coffee.
Tiffany has been in hospitality since she was a teenager. She first started making coffee at a restaurant and thought she knew how to make coffee. It wasn’t until she started working at a café in Mount Martha when she met her now partner Joel that she realised she actually knew nothing. Joel taught her the importance of controlling the grind, dose, extraction, and freshness to get the best flavour. She developed a passion for being a barista and learnt that it can be a rewarding profession. Check them out: @biscottinicafe
What do you love about coffee?
I love the connections I have through coffee. Coffee is often the first thing people have to make their day right and I consider a privilege to give that to people.
What is you go-to coffee order?
I love my double ristretto cap. It’s strong, rich and tastes great with our Grinders Source blend.
What’s your favourite part of working as a barista?
Passing my knowledge to people that are dedicated and wanting to learn coffee. It takes me back to when I started out and got involved in the industry. I was treated to lots of knowledge from my peers and I like to do the same thing. I also love the reactions of customers when I pour them some great latte art.
What do you think are common mistakes baristas make and how can these be overcome?
There’s a lot! (laughs) What gets me most is the cleanliness of the baristas station. Without keeping your station clean, you lose focus of your work and get frustrated, can’t find things etc.
If you could give baristas one tip to help them make better coffee, what would it be?
Clean your workstation! Though my biggest tip would be to make each coffee like it’s your own. If you put that much effort into each and every coffee, you will make the perfect coffee every time.
What do you think is special about Grinders Coffee?
I’ve fallen in love with Grinders Source blend. Most of all though, I love the grinders team. Alec Zeta, our Coffee Specialist, is able to teach me heaps about coffee and is so patient with me and the team.
What’s your relationship like with Grinders Coffee?
We have a great relationship! I’ve made connections with other suppliers and coffee suppliers, but nothing like the connection with the Grinders team. I’ve had suppliers show a smug attitude whereas Grinders always give straight honest answers without making you feel stupid. As well as the connection I love the service they provide.
What makes Biscottini a great place work?
I get along with the staff very well. I love helping people and I’m able to mentor the staff and teach them about coffee. I have lots of love and respect for the owner Alio. We have a similar humour and love to joke around.
What are your plans for the future?
My partner Joel and I would like to open our own café. Joel taught me everything about coffee and we would love to continue that journey together.
What’s the most complicated coffee order you’ve ever had to make?
(Laughs) There’s a lot. Being a barista has had its moments when it comes to making peoples very specific requests. One thing that blew my mind was a customer bringing their own jar of instant coffee. They paid for the milk only which they asked to be heated. I had no idea what to do! I didn’t even know how many scoops to put in or what to charge, I was so shocked
What’s the most memorable customer interaction you’ve had as a barista?
The connections i’ve made with my regulars customers, They’re like family to me and we have conversations and joke around. Some have become close friends. They’re lovely people.
What new trends or changes have you seen coming from your customers or the industry?
Increases in ristrettos and magics, increased interest in Oat and Almond milk. I find customers are trying alternate milks and converting regularly.
Have you ever had that wow moment when drinking a coffee? What was it?
Yes! I actually used to always have honey in my coffee. My partner and I went to QLD for a holiday in varsity lakes on the Gold Coast. I decided this time to order without any sweetener. My first sip blew me away. It was a lighter roasted blend and opened my eyes to what coffee really can be.
Learn more about working with Grinders Coffee at www.grinderscoffee.com.au