20 QUESTIONS with ROB TOWNSEND of PADRE COFFEE

20 QUESTIONS with ROB TOWNSEND of PADRE COFFEE

Release Date: Feb 8, 2018

1. What do you do in the coffee industry?

I currently manage the Padre Coffee Brunswick East store, in Melbourne.

2. How many cups of coffee do you have a day?

3 seems to be my sweet spot lately. I’d say I max out at around 5 though.

3. How do you like to take your coffee?

V60 and Batch brew are my two staples right now when i’m working. I’ll usually start my day with an espresso though so I guess anything black.

4. When did you start at Padre and what did you do before that?

That’s an interesting question. I want to say 2014 but in between then and now I ran my own coffee business and was a wholesale customer of Padre during that period. I came back to work with them full time in October of 2016.

5. What’s something that makes Padre a bit different from other cafes?

I’d say approachability… We really don’t mind how much experience or coffee knowledge our customers have. Everybody’s welcome when they come through the door. If people take an interest in what we do we’re more than happy to take the time explaining and demonstrating our products and methods.

6. What is your favourite cafe in Melbourne (besides Padre!)?

Sun Moth Canteen and Bar. Coffee, food, wine and craft beer. I usually struggle not to find a reason to end up there at some point throughout my day.

7. Is there a cafe in the world you’d love to visit one day?

Tim Wendelboe in Norway has always been one that sticks out in my mind.

8. What do you think makes a good barista?

One who doesn’t need to rely on their equipment to make a decent cup of coffee. Sure, expensive gear is great. But I think the margins between the equipment you use and the quality of the coffee you produce aren’t as large as some would have you believe.

9. What’s something that you consider bad customer service at a cafe?

Any cafe that believes it’s product is above it’s clientele. People shouldn’t be made to feel stupid based on the way they order their coffee. After all, it’s part of a baristas job to be able to communicate and educate their customers without making them feel as though they’re being judged.

10. Maximum number of coffees you’ve had in one single day?

I think I had roughly 15 at a M.I.C.E event one year… But by that point they all kind of just fade in to one another.

11. Most expensive cup of coffee you’ve had?

Nothing too outrageous to be honest… Pretty sure it was a $9 batch brew that I contemplated cancelling after I realised the price tag (I just didn’t wan’t to be that guy haha).

12. Best food that goes with coffee?

If it’s filter, anything sweet. If it’s espresso based, anything pastry or toast related usually hits the spot.

13. What type of coffee set up do you have at home?

An Aeropress, Brewista Smart kettle and a Sunbeam EM0480 grinder.

14. What’s the best thing about being a barista?

Just knowing that a cup of coffee you made in a couple of minutes can shift someones whole perspective for the day is enough for me.

15. …and the most challenging?

I really don’t want to say the early starts… But probably the early starts (I’m a night owl by nature).

16. Best background music to play in a cafe?

I like chilled instrumentals. Jazz, downtempo, hiphop etc. Anything that can co-exist while you’re having a conversation or zoning out with your coffee is perfect.

17. Who is someone that you admire in the coffee world?

Every coffee farmer that makes what we do possible.

18. What do you do in your free time?

Street Photography. Every minute I have free there’s a 99% chance i’ll have a camera in my hand and I’m out in the world exploring.

19. Who should everyone follow on instagram?

It’s not coffee related but I’m going to say @somewheremagazine

20. Finally, if you weren’t in the coffee industry, what would you be doing?

Out in the world exploring, observing, taking photos and creating.

Oh, and one more thing: Where can people follow you?

Just on Instagram at -> @cmft_ @padrecoffeebrunswickeast @padrecoffee

 

Interview by Vaughan @vja
Photography by Nik van der Giesen @nvdg81
Photography taken at Shibuya’s Hikarie at the end of 2017

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