ead coffee roaster and barista for East
Brisbane-based Mantle & Moon, Jolie
Beckett is one of 20 baristas selected
from around the world to take part in the Coffee
Masters competition in London in April. She
reveals what makes a good cup of coffee ...
How many coffees do you drink a day?
I almost never finish a coffee, so I sip quite a few
just to try them. It adds up to a few a day; but
not as many as people might think. I am still
amazed at how many my friends will have in
a day. Essentially for me coffee is all about the
taste, not so much about the buzz.
What’s your favourite coffee and how do
you take it?
It’s hard to choose, but the style I like to make
for myself is filter, usually aeropress, and I prefer
either African or Indonesian origins. Filter is
always lighter roasted to bring out the flavour
of the bean. I don’t drink milk myself so coffee
is always black for me. I only have milk to
understand what the customer is experiencing
when drinking my coffee.
How many awards have you won?
With Mantle & Moon we’ve collected four
Golden Bean awards (over two years).
How are you preparing for London?
I am cupping everyday in order to fine-tune
my palate. Sometimes I am focussing on taste
descriptors, sometimes mouth-feel/body, the
type of acidity in the coffee, different degrees
of roast etc. I also try coffee by other roasters
almost daily to understand what other roasters
In one challenge in London you have to
make 10 drinks in nine minutes…
It is achievable. It is a very practical way to test
someone’s skills as a barista because it will be
about work flow and skill in a situation that is
representative of what baristas do. The selection
will be espresso based, so cappuccino, latte, long
black and so on.
You have been a judge – how does
Brisbane stack up against other cities?
Brisbane stacks up very well against other cities.
Last year’s overall Golden Bean winner is based
on the Gold Coast and has a devoted following
in Brisbane, so we have a really strong base of
experience. Internationally Australia is very
competitive, with the top three finishers in most
of the World Barista Championships and high
rankings in other competitions.
What’s the perfect accompaniment
More coffee – I am a bit of a purist because I
usually don’t want something else to override
what I am tasting. Otherwise, definitely
something sweet and full of fat.
What’s the connoisseur’s way to
If you are really interested in tasting the
characteristics of the bean, then it would be
without milk or sugar, whether that is espresso
or filter. I honestly believe that if people were
drinking really good beans, well roasted and
made with skill and care, they would be able
to appreciate coffee without milk. I think milk
is a habit that has developed because coffee
used to taste pretty harsh, and milk covers the
nasty flavours of cheap beans roasted close to
charcoal. It’s not so much that I think everyone
should drink black coffee all of the time, I just
encourage people to try it sometimes.
What ruins a good cup of coffee?
Having to rush it.
Do your friends always ask you to make
them a cup of coffee when they visit you
I always offer because making coffee for other
people is a pleasure for me, not a chore at all.
There’s no doubt our fascination with food
has never been greater and what we eat, no
matter how mundane, has become a topic
of public record, thanks to a hyperactive
The good news is that there is also
a swing back to the craftsmanship of
food, locally and ethically produced (see
opposite page) and hand-made as much
as possible. Melinda Gagen, exhibitions
officer at artisan gallery, Fortitude Valley,
has had the bright idea to explore the
concept of food as craft in a show that’s
more pop-up market than exhibition from
25 April to 18 July.
it pairs food
producers with craftmakers, highlighting
creative connections. For example, honey
harvested from city rooftops shares a
‘stall’ with beeswax lanterns and hand-
made glass spoons; herbs from local
growers are displayed in ‘pots’ made
from recycled washing machine materials;
native bush foods sit alongside baskets by
Quandamooka weaver Sonja Carmichael
Gagen found no shortage of talent to be
, a good indication that
craftsmanship is indeed returning to food
production. The biggest challenge was
capping the number of artisans to fit the
also exhibits a
conscience by drawing attention to global
food issues including waste, local versus
supermarket, growth and reuse. It turns
a documentary style lens on traditional
food making techniques that are enjoying a
resurgence and a public program of events
is planned to give visitors a chance to meet
BNE March/April 2015 |
“I am a bit of a purist
because I usually don’t
want something else
to override what I