Meet Gabor Selmeci-Kovacs of Madisons Café in the first edition of Grinders Coffee Barista of the Month

Gabor Selmeci-Kovacs

Have you ever wanted to get to know your barista a little better? Maybe what they are thinking when you order your coffee? In the first Grinders Coffee Barista of the Month series, Brand Ambassador Jonathan ‘Jono’ Goldthorpe catches up with Gabor Selmeci-Kovacs, Head Barista of Madisons Café in Broadbeach, Queensland, to discover how his coffee journey began and what a good cup means to him.

There are cafes and there are cafes, the locals are mad about Madisons Café who have been a partner of Grinders Coffee for over 20 years. This beachside café has been serving up some of Australia’s most delicious pastries, freshly baked each day, and coffee nothing short of exceptional.

“I started working with coffee in London around 10 years ago as it started to become really popular. I always loved coffee and started working as a kitchen hand in a café because I didn’t speak the language at that time,” Gabor Selmeci-Kovacs says.

“After asking the baristas for about 10 coffees a day, they got tired of me and showed me how to do it. I learnt latte art and loved making people have a smile when they see a well-presented coffee with latte art and the special feeling you get back from customers by making their day.”

  1. What do you love about coffee?

It’s one of those things, if you drink it you know you love the taste and the buzz and energy. It’s great whether it’s before exercise or reading the paper. Whatever you want to do! I also love that you can mix up beans from all around the world and put it together for something for everyone to enjoy.

  1. What’s the most complicated coffee order you’ve ever had to make?

The one that stands out for me was a ¼ strength, extra hot, half soymilk, half coconut decaf with a splash of caramel syrup. You can’t make this stuff up! It definitely keeps us on our toes.

  1. What do you think are common mistakes baristas make and how can these be overcome?

For me it’s overheating your milk. You can make a great tasting coffee without burning the milk with some simple steps like preheating cups and heating to the right temperature. And I am going to just say it, bad milk techniques … the ones that sound like an aeroplane taking off. Please stop it.

  1. What’s your favourite part of working as a barista?

If you are not a people person then being barista isn’t for you. It is all about people. I love making people happy and drinking more coffee because you need to taste what you’re serving!

  1. What country do you think has the best coffee in the world and why?

I liked working as a barista in London as I found the coffee to be different to Australia. They have lots of small quirky cafés, mostly takeaway, with a real grab and go culture. You could visit five cafes in quick succession and taste lots of different coffee. In Australia, we love to take our time, and enjoy our coffee but we do share one thing – we don’t drink bad coffee.

  1. What do you think is special about Grinders Coffee?

Grinders Coffee has been around since 1962 so they are not new to the coffee industry – they clearly know a thing or two about coffee. We feel like they really do value us.

I love the fact that they have a great range of coffee that I can source for my customers as we like our coffee a little be different in Queensland compared to the rest of Australia.

The real special thing about Grinders Coffee is the support we get from them. They are on hand to help show us new trends, help build skills when preparing coffee for our customers but also teaching us how to use the machines to deliver that great coffee experience.

  1. What’s your relationship like with Grinders Coffee?

I have been working with Grinders Coffee for over 20 years, so I am a big fan of the coffee (of course) but the team behind it are always there to support me and my staff to make a great cup of coffee. I always love to see them come into the café and share some great tips on giving my customers quality coffee and of course, I love my new La Marzocco Linea PB. Nothing better!

  1. What new trends or changes have you seen coming from your customers?

I have noticed that our customers are ordering more decaf coffee as well as more espressos than ever before.

  1. What are your plans for the future?

Make as much coffee as I can and keep smiling. I plan to keep working with coffee, whatever I do.

  1. What is you go-to coffee order?

Triple Espresso at least three a day as it helps when I ride my bike to and from the café each day.

  1. What’s great about working at Madisons?

Madisons is one of the busiest cafés in Broadbeach. If you are at Broadbeach, love great food, beautiful cakes, and excellent coffee, well then Madisons is the place to go to.

Learn more about working with Grinders Coffee at

Maddisons Café is located at Beach Oasis Shopping Centre, Broadbeach, Gold Coast

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