…instant coffee…

October 17, 2015

“I am a barrista I am NOT a waiter “– was the welcome sentence from the quite sexy (if you like beard) hipster-looking guy behind the coffee machine. “Well, I am not a damn waitress either”, I wanted to reply, “I am a journalist,” (imagine the victory tone here) but then I bit my tongue.
Which has turned out to be a good idea.
He then told me that on that they we were using coffee from Ethiopia, which made my day – and I have expressed it. He seemed to be pleased. “So you know something about coffee?” “…well, not exactly, but I was I Ethiopia few months ago, and I love the way they make their coffee…” but that was it. I lost his attention. He didn´t care about Ethiopia, nor the way they make their coffee or my travels! His coffee was the VII (Very Important Item )
And this was my introduction to Sydney´s coffee scene.
The barrista is the god. The longer he has worked in a coffee shop, the more respect you should show him. It felt……ehm…funny. Like: “I am sorry, I was too busy getting a uni degree and travelling, and you have been already pouring coffee! “ (ok, I have to admit that a really nice one, with a shape of a swan from the milk froth)
But this was also the first insight in the reality of immigrants. Foreigners. Newcomers. Overseas…whatever you decide to call us. People who often left their skilled positions in their country to start a new life, follow their partners, dreams, sunbathe, surf or escape a war… People, who have to start again from scratch.
“In Mexico I was a lawyer,” said once a cook to me, I´ve met a barrista, who was a vet back at home and the kitchen hand is a French fashion photographer. On a student visa they are now counting every cent to make it work. But this is freedom.
Was this the lesson I needed? Just a mirror to show me that more than your education and experience the way you treat people (and yourself) is what matters the most in the end…oh and the milk swan, of course 😀

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One Response to “…instant coffee…”


  1. A great read! Very relatable. Some of my smartest friends are baristas, because the uni lifestyle just wasn’t for them.


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