Introduce yourself, your name and your role here at TNB:
Adrian Duquilla. I’m the owner here of TNB cafe.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background:
I’ve always been in IT, so my actual profession is in IT. I always had a love for coffee. I was always lazy to make coffee. But yeah, my whole background’s always been in IT.
Talk us through that. So where did you start, and then where did you end up?
I bought a secondhand Rancilio Silvia with a Rocky grinder. That was 400 bucks off Facebook marketplace, so that was a bargain. It was a single boiler, I hated using it, so that lasted two months. So I bought a Breville Dual Boiler, because the whole family liked drinking milk, so we needed a dual boiler to make things a bit easier to use. So, that was amazing. And then that lasted two months again.
My birthday came up in August, so my wife said, “Let’s get the machine that you really want,” and it was a La Marzocco Linea Mini for six grand. So, yeah, I bought that. But then four months later, I’d been following too many guys on Instagram, and I traded that in for a Slayer Single Group. But that was it. I stopped there.
You got really into coffee at home, and then where’d it take you?
So from there, I was documenting everything through my Naked Barista account, so that’s when I started. From the start, I started that Naked Barista Instagram account, and I think within that first eight months it grew to, I think 20,000 to 30,000 already. I think people were drawn to me just being an everyday guy, making coffee. That’s all I was doing, really. But I put a bit of effort into the video work, so that grew.
Tell us the story behind the cafe, TNB, which I assume stands for The Naked Barista.
The Naked Barista, yeah. So it’s basically inspired from the Naked Barista name. I was thinking of doing a totally different name, but family and friends were like, “No, you got to stick to it. That’s what you started with. That’s what got you here,” so I’ve stuck to it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t use the full name here at this spot because Anglicare owns the place, so they didn’t want the word naked anywhere, so that’s fine. It’s a good story to tell when people walk in, what it means. So yeah, that’s where it started from.
What can someone visiting this space expect to experience here?
I think they will expect to experience a calm space where they can relax, unwind, get away from it all. There’s probably not a cafe like this in this area, where you can chill out, relax, and just have some time for yourself. Bit more open space as well, where it’s not too jam-packed as well. So that was the vibe I wanted. It’s really Japanese, Korean, Asian inspired. That’s where I drew my inspiration from because when I visited those places, I always said if I ever did a cafe, it’ll look like that. That’s the vibe I want.
If there’s one thing that you want TNB to be known for, what would that be?
I think it’s just to be known that it’s like a family atmosphere where people feel welcome, feel safe, be themselves. But obviously good coffee and good food. But I think having that with us making you feel like family, that’s the whole vibe. That’s the culture I tell my staff.
What does the future look like for TNB?
I’d love to open a second one in Sydney somewhere. I am on the lookout already, so we’ll see. That’s the future, definitely.
Why did you choose to use The Alternative Dairy Co. as your alternative milks?
Taste wise, it goes amazing with the coffee that I use through Paradox Coffee Roasters, but more so just the support. I felt like I know I’ll get the support if I ever needed it. I didn’t have that confidence with the other brands and the way the oat textures as well now, what I use. So yeah, very confident in the flavor and taste of it.
If you could have coffee with any person in history, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
That’s a great question. Well, my absolute number one idol that I followed when I was growing up was a basketball player named Penny Hardaway. He was my absolute idol growing up, so it would be him. Yeah.