Location: Brunswick East, Melbourne
So what’s it like to actually work in specialty coffee? Eddie Inostroza, Store Manager at Padre Coffee Brunswick East, gave us some insights into what really goes on.
How did you get the role?
I applied for a job online through the company's website using an online form. A little different from most other jobs I've applied for as I was selected for an interview for this role purely based on how I responded to a series of questions, and not by sending in a resume with a long list of my previous experience.
What does a typical day look like for you?
The way in which my day starts varies depending on my start time. If I'm opening the cafe, as manager I'm the first person on site and in charge of dialing in the various coffees on offer so that they are tasting delicious before the cafe opens. Cafe opens at 7am except for Sunday (8am) so this means a very early arrival (6:30am). If I'm starting this early, I don't get a chance to do much before work other than just have a shower and dress myself! By the way, dialing in coffees is basically the process of setting up and fine tuning various coffees from different origins by balancing the different variables such as dose, grind, output weight and extraction time to achieve a delicious tasting coffee. It can be pretty tricky first thing in the morning under pressure.
Once the coffee, the equipment and the rest of my staff are ready, we open the doors for business at 7am on the dot. By this time, most of the other staff who are rostered on for the day will have started. As manager, I am to plan the day ahead and allocate a section/job for every staff member according to their level of skill and experience and ensure that everyone gets their 30 min break throughout the day.
Throughout the day we make excellent coffee at an incredible pace for both dine in and take away customers. We serve simple and tasty food and we sell retail coffee beans and home brewing equipment from our retail section. The cafe also has a coffee roasting room in the middle of the cafe which is where we roast all of the coffee for the shop and for other cafes around Melbourne and Australia.
My day is between 8-10 hours long and is quite fast paced and busy so by the end of the day I need to relax and spend some time on my own. I usually go to the gym or straight home for a nap depending on how I'm feeling. If I start a little later on the following day I tend to exercise before work.
What do you love and not love so much about the job?
I love working with and interacting with great people. My colleagues and I get along great and because of our team environment, it makes work a breeze. I also love the interactions with our customers! Some would say that a cafe roastery would be frequented by coffee snobs, but we rarely get that type of customer, we get the "avid coffee drinker". Someone who doesn't know everything there is to know about coffee, but the customer who loves coffee and appreciates the effort that we put into making they're coffee perfectly. Having said that though, the thing that can make your job quite unenjoyable is the customer also. In this industry and in this city especially, it's impossible to avoid the jerks of the world.
Working on weekend is something that I'll never be a huge fan of but understand it is part of most hospitality jobs out there. My weekend is Monday and Tuesday, which can be great but can also be quite isolating at times. It's always a weird feeling to have your days off at the start of most other peoples working week...
The best thing about this job is the coffee! All of the coffee is amazing and we get to work with state of the art equipment. When it comes to this, I couldn't be happier.
What’s something that people may not know about the job?
People will probably struggle to understand the amount of work, thought, effort and skill that goes into making a great cup of coffee. From the coffee farm to the cup is a long chain of events and processes which is hard to get your head around.
Tell me a funny story from your time working at Padre
All too R-rated to share here!