Adrian Duquilla of Instagram account The Naked Barista talks about the rise of his social media presence and why he chooses Califia Farms’ Oat Barista Blend every time.
As the saying goes, when one door closes, another opens, and when many cafés were forced to close their doors to dine-in customers at the beginning of 2020 when COVID-19 arrived in Australia, a new door opened for Adrian Duquilla.
“I’ve always had a passion for coffee and before COVID-19 hit, I would buy a cup every day from either my local café near home or my local work café in the city,” says Adrian.
“It wasn’t until the lockdown — when I didn’t have access to either cafés — that I decided to try my hand at making coffee and buy my first coffee machine. The first one was a Rancilio Silvia V5.”
Adrian started to document his coffee journey on Instagram. His initial posts focused on growing his coffee making skills, but the idea quickly evolved, and in May 2020, he launched coffee-focused Instagram account The Naked Barista.
Unlike the name suggests, the page features no nudity, but rather aesthetic and informative coffee content from videos featuring brewing techniques and latte art to how-to’s with coffee gadgets and equipment.
“The name was inspired by my favourite café in the city, and I thought it would generate a lot of attention, which has seemed to work because within the first three months the page just blew up,” says Adrian.
The account, which now has more than 38,700 followers, is known for its high-quality video and photography content.
Adrian believes what resonates with so many people is the clear tutorials designed for home baristas like himself.
“I learned through asking people online and definitely pestered many of the Instagram accounts that I follow. I was so overwhelmed with how friendly the global coffee community is,” says Adrian.
“I even had one person in the United States who agreed to jump on a video call with me and walk me through some new latte art skills. It’s a good thing I have a big family to drink all the coffee I was producing during my learning days.”
It was also through his Instagram page that Adrian was introduced to plant-based milk brand Califia Farms and its Oat Barista Blend.
“I’d honestly never heard of oat milk before. When I had ordered alternative milk, it always used to be soy milk, so when Califia Farms reached out to me last year, I was very intrigued,” Adrian says.
“The first time I used Califia Farms’ Oat Milk product, I was blown away because of how the oat milk textures. It stretches and foams like full-cream milk does, and when I posted a picture of the results online, I received a huge amount of positive feedback.”
For Adrian, it’s also the consistency of quality.
“Every time I froth the milk there’s no change in the end result because of the high-quality oats Califia Farms uses,” he says.
With a longer shelf life than dairy milk, Califia’s oat milk has no added sugar or GMO, and is vegan and kosher friendly.
It was developed based on the everyday barista’s needs, including how well the milk textured to produce latte art.
Adrian advises frothing Califia’s oat milk between 60°C to 65°C to create the optimum flavour and temperature for drinking.
“I am also careful not to inject large chunks of air at once, and to keep the jug as still as possible to get a consistent whirling motion,” Adrian says.
Another benefit of using Califia Farms’ Oat Barista Blend is its high resistance to splitting from the espresso.
“This often occurs if the coffee is a light to medium roast. When it does, alternative milks can sometimes ‘break’ the crema,” says Adrian.
“This means it will separate from the golden foam layer that lies on top of an espresso shot and results in poor latte art. This is because of the coffee’s acidity. However, with Califia’s oat milk it just glides on top and mixes smoothly.”
With cold coffee beverages also surging in popularity, Adrian says the creaminess of Oat Barista Blend also makes it ideal for iced coffees.
“My favourite recipe for an Iced Oat Milk Latte is a shot of espresso, 250 millilitres of Califia Farms’ Oat Barista Blend, and half a cup of ice,” Adrian says.
“Alternatively, for a Matcha Oat Milk Latte, I’d recommend two-thirds a teaspoon of matcha powder dissolved in a bit of water with 250 millilitres of Oat Barista Blend, and half a cup of ice.”
Adrian says oat milk has completely “changed the alternative milk market” because of its neutral flavour which complements coffee best.
As such, he sees no sign its growth trajectory is slowing.
“I definitely think oat milk’s popularity will continue to grow, with more people realising how delicious and creamy it is,” Adrian says.
“I’ve already converted two-thirds of my family and friends into becoming oat milk drinkers.”
With The Naked Barista Instagram account now well and truly established with a loyal following, Adrian is excited to take the next step in his coffee career and open his own café in 2022.
“Until now I’ve been filming these videos in my renovated kitchen, and with The Naked Barista café I’ll have more space for equipment and more skills to share, both online and in-person,” he says.
“I’ve loved working with Califia Farms and having them with me on my Instagram journey. I can’t wait to convert more people to die-hard oat milk fans through my new café space.”
For more information, visit www.califiafarms.com.au
This article appears in the December 2021 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.