What’s your name, what do your friends call you?
Kuoc too hard so my friends call me Vincent
What’s the best thing about being a barista?
We can see customer everyday and working and living in an open environment. As an international student it helped with Australian culture and the cafe culture talking to customers.
Coffee helped me through university time and helped me through the. It become apart of my routine.
The beauty of latte art and serving it to people and them being wowed.
Keeps me motivated.
How long have you been a barista?
6 years ago. I started when I came to Australia.
If you could change one thing for the better about the coffee/café industry what would it be?
I would go to all the café owners and say hey if you are looking for better quality barista staff, just look for actual skill don’t look for just 2 year or 3 year experience because those things don’t matter if they can’t actually do the job. And just see if the barista presents them self with communication, customer service and skill because that’s the main things you need to look at when employing baristas to give everyone a fair chance. That’s only 1 thing I want to change as most cafes only look at experience and not there actual skills and it frustrates me a lot. To me that’s the gap between industry and beginner and for those who want to enter into coffee that’s a big wall that they have to face. How can they get 2 year experience if they cant get a job at a café even though they might have the skills that are better than an experienced barista.
What’s your favourite dairy free milk type?
I would go for oat milk, because I tried it before and it was great!
How do you enjoy your oat?
I would get an oat flat white. The Aussie way!
What’s your best tip/trick when making coffee on dairy free milk?
I find the dairy free milk makes the coffee curdle so my trick that I learnt from other baristas when competing was too pour a little bit of the cold milk into the shot to neutralise it and then steam the milk but don’t do it to hot and mix it together well. As the blending part is very important and then you will get something exactly as if your using dairy milk.
How important is it to buy locally, buy Australian? Why?
I think it’s quite essential to support local shop, I tend to search around roasters and cafes that are close to me for coffee before I look elsewhere.
How do you think ADC performs?
It textures really well and I think if you know a few secret tricks that really helps.
What was your experience through COVID? Challenges? Silver linings?
During Covid, Yes we had to shut down the barista taring for 1 month as cafes were closing and the restrictions. We keep it to 1 person per machine when we do the training. But it gave us time to sit down and review what we have been doing and improve on the costs. After Covid I was hit a lot and had to go out and look for some casual work to help some of my café friends but also to get some extra income. But then I came back fresh and got more different courses for people. I also did online training during covid and I looked at how I can improve it, and when everything goes back I can still use those modules in the classroom.
What do you aspire to do/be in the future both professionally or personally?
My goal at the moment is a link to the business I’m running is to bring together the café culture and the barista and giving more people access to the cafe industry. Because I often find some parts of the industry are a bit limited to the public. But I just want everyone to be given the chance to access it. Especially with specialty coffee it is moving so fast and some people are getting limited on coming into the industry because they don’t have that experience or knowledge.
What’s one thing that people may not know about you?
Hmm, I’m a cat lover. I have a cat called Beo. But I never have a chance to bring him to my work so no one knows him.