Café Metropole in the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney’s CBD was in one of the first areas to affected by Sydney’s lockdown. The last few months have been tough for owners Nik and Vicki but the regular messages from customers saying how much they miss them, and the delicious Grinders Source Coffee they serve have kept them feeling positive.
After growing up in his Mum and Dad’s delicatessen, Nik says that customer service is 2nd nature him. Vicki told me that Nik craves the customer interaction so much that he waits for the postman to deliver the online shopping and greets him with a coffee ready for a chat. Which possibly explains the Sydney wide postal delays over the past few months.
They have some concerns about reopening and policing vaccination status but say they have plans in place to keep their staff and customers safe.
They are excited to reunite with their loyal customers, some of whom have been coming to the café for almost 20 years. The staff at Metropole have regular Zoom chats while at home and Nik says they are like family. Which is evident when you look at their staff retention. Di, the café manager, has been with them for over 10 years, Barista Ked has been with them for 6 years and Moo for over 7 years. Both Moo and Ked are exceptional baristas, amazing latte artists and their workflow is truly impressive as they make a busy service look easy.
Grinders Brand Ambassador, Jono Goldthorpe spoke to Metropole’s head barista Dusit “Moo” Yapradit.
What made you want to become a barista?
Since I had my very first coffee with a Rosetta in 2011, it highly inspired me to be a barista. From that day, I decided to walk away from any other jobs, and made every effort to be a latte artist. After years of hard work, in 2018, I finished in the ASCA top 12 in the Australian Latte Art Championship. I never want to stop learning about the science behind coffee.
What do you love about coffee?
It’s conversational. There is nothing better than conversations over coffee with ton of different people every day. I have had many awesome and meaningful conversations with many customers, leaving the conversations with one or both of us smiling. Many I now call friends, but everything started with a cup of coffee.
What’s most complicated coffee order you’ve ever had to make?
The boss’s coffee (opp ). (Especially on Hot Dog Fridays with a bunch of friends right? adds Jono)
What do you think are common mistakes baristas make and how can these be overcome?
They should ask more questions and experiment with brewing methods. Keep practicing, and they will quickly see how much they will improve. It’s very important for new baristas, the will to always learn and practice.
What’s your favourite part of working as a barista?
Telling people that you work at a cool coffee shop. Café Metropole!
What country do you think has the best coffee in the world and why?
You know where the coffee capital of the world is? Melbourne !!
What do you think is special about grinders coffee?
Technology, knowledge, and service!!
What’s your relationship like with Grinders Coffee?
They’re like family. They have supported me personally in several competitions and their team is fun, friendly, and always ready to support us.
What new trends or changes have you seen coming from your customers?
They mostly want to get more experience in new types of coffee from different countries. We’re really excited to share with our customers Grinders’ Ethiopian and Tanzanian Single Origins when we reopen.
What are your plans for the future?
Spread more coffee education to as many people as possible.
What is you go-to coffee order? What have you got?
Two filter coffees before leaving home every single morning.
Learn more about working with Grinders Coffee at www.grinderscoffee.com.au