Sponsored by Piazza D’Oro and Nuffnang
I have been on a bit of a journey of discovery in the last few months, visiting local (and not so local) Piazza D’Oro cafes as part of the 2014 Barista of the Year Campaign. The victor has been decided: Congratulations to Marius Beullens from Margot Espresso in Sydney.
Baristas nominated by the public were whittled down by expert judges with the finalists invited to compete at the Piazza D’Oro Barista workshop in Sydney. After an intense day of competition the judges were amazed at the consistency of Marius’ skill and his ability to create a world-class espresso.
I happened to be in Sydney one day this week for a photo-shoot, and I had 30 minutes until I had to leave Sydney CBD to catch my flight. I felt like a coffee and I knew Margot Espresso was nearby. I thought, what an amazing and fitting way to end this small personal mission. I do that sometimes: set little personal challenges for myself and incorporate things I enjoy amongst parenting. So I went, and Marius was there and made me a delicious coffee himself!
While talking to Marius while he made me coffee, I noticed a humble quality about him. He obviously knows what he is doing (and the coffee was amazing) and yet I couldn’t help but feel it was more about being part of a person’s day and what coffee represents that was important to Marius, rather than being an award winning barista. I liked that. I appreciated that. Coffee beans are just coffee beans unless someone can work magic on them.
In the course of our conversation, I asked Marius why he enjoyed making coffee. He drew back on time he spent in France and the culture there. “They take time to enjoy food,” he mentioned, “Even going home for lunch sometimes.”
What Marius said encapsulated what coffee is about for me: it’s a micro holiday, a moment to stop and slow down amongst the business of the day. From me to baristas everywhere, thanks for being a happy part of my day, and thanks to Piazza D’Oro for giving me an inside view into the world of coffee and barista training. It’s been fun.