What’s your name, what do your friends call you?
Paul Asquith, my friends tend to call me Paul or Paulie
What’s the best thing about being a barista?
I love improving people’s day, you get the chance to fuel them for the day as they come in being a bit low and you get to improve their day by giving them something they will enjoy. Being a barista is a pretty easy job when you know what you are doing, as you just have to pump out coffee and give people something they love, as everyone pretty much loves coffee.
If you could change one thing for the better about the coffee/café industry what would it be?
The price of a cup of coffee, I would 100% like to see and particularly in the Australian market I feel the price of coffee hasn’t changed that much. I’ve been in the coffee industry for 20 years and 20 years ago I was charging $3.50 for a small flat white and a small flat white if your lucky is barely more than $4.50 and I guess that’s put a lot of impacts on cafes remaining profit but also roasters being able to pay decent prices for different coffees. So a price of a cup of coffee.
What’s your favourite dairy free milk type?
Definitely oat milk, oat milk is for me the future of alternative milks. I quite believe it is the least intrusive on flavour when it comes to alternative milks, and it really suits coffee and its probably the closest to cows milk out of all of them. Which is a lot of flavour qualities and oat milk will take over in the near future.
How do you enjoy your oat?
I will drink a small flat white with oat milk when I do.
What’s your best tip/trick when making coffee on dairy free milk?
There is a couple, I am a firm believer of a good rest after you have steamed the coffee and let it sit for like 30 seconds to a minute before you steam it, the other tip I have is particularly with soy is to mix the coffee and the milk together and steam them that way you got zero curdling and you can actually take that milk to extra hot if the customers asks for extra hot and you wont get any problems with the reaction with the coffee and milk particularly with soy as it is a problem child sometimes. By steaming them together you will get this nice texture with no problems.
How important is it to buy locally, buy Australian? Why?
I think it’s important to buy Australian as much as you possibly can and locally. My main reason is probably carbon footprint and minimising road miles of any product, if you can do it, I think that’s a really good thing. And supporting local jobs is always a good thing, I don’t think we do that enough. But my main reason is definitely if we can source something locally we can minimise problems.
How do you think ADC performs?
I think its definitely one of the market leaders, they taste better particularly the oat milk is heaps better than any of the other milks on the market and they certainly pour really easily and feel like your using cows milk when you pour it so that makes it easier as a barista.
What was your experience through COVID? Challenges? Silver linings?
Definitely the sliver linings was moving away from my job in Sydney which has me commuting two hours down the road everyday and starting at Josie Coffee and picking up the relationship manager role and having a job in Newcastle is definitely the silver linings. Terms of challenges probably only having a brief moment of worrying about having a job and going through COVID-19 and I guess relying on government money for a little while was a bit daunting factor but I was lucky to bounce back pretty quickly.
What do you aspire to do/be in the future both professionally or personally?
Professional probably about coffee, I would ultimately would like to own a few cafes maybe a roastery. My current project is cold brew with slowbrew as well as working with Josie Coffee so that’s kind of my immediate focus on starting a cold brew company and building that to a point where it’s a comfortable business to run so in the future with whatever it holds maybe a small roastery.
What’s one thing that people may not know about you?
A lot of people think that I actually used to live in Canberra for awhile but I didn’t. Other than that not much I’m a bit of an open book. However life isn’t just coffee, so I do spend a lot of time hiking and being outdoors I also enjoy doing things with my hands like baking and making furniture.