Coffee wisdom from Meat and Wine Co.

The best coffee I’ve had since…

One of the great things I like about my job is the places and restaurants that it takes me to. This morning I was at the Meat and Wine Co at Darling Harbor. Given the time of day, I didn’t have the opportunity to sample their meat or wine (though it was already smelling good) but I did get the chance to try their coffee and talk to their barista.

Maximo has been working in the hospitality industry for years, but like many visitors, to our shores, his English skills were impacting on his career choices – much to my benefit. I had one of the best coffees since…actually it’s been too long.

It was a cappuccino with not only thick creamy froth but froth that rose in a beautiful dome over the top of the cup. The coffee tasted great and had a nice smooth texture (yes you can still get a coffee where the milk hasn’t been burnt).

The coffee “lesson”

I had the chance to ask Maximo about the tricks to making a great coffee and it was a closing comment that really caught my attention, but more on that in a minute.

For Maximo, great coffee was a combination of many factors including the bean, the grind, the temperature of the milk, the steam etc. It was the type of answer that sets a barista apart from a fast food outlet. One comment he made that I had never heard before was how he would change the grind based on the weather. So it is the combination of the big and the small that all came together for an awesome cup of coffee.

The coffee wisdom that became my food safety lesson

So far my blog has read more like a review than information on food safety, but what I wanted to do was set the scene for the pride that Maximo took in the entire coffee making experience, and that included the end.

I thought the tips had come to an end once the coffee had been made but it was then that Maximo stressed how important it was to correctly clean the machine afterwards, and he gave two very clear reasons why:

1. It shows respect for the equipment.

2. It shows respect for the next person who has to use the equipment.

So when I sat down to enjoy my coffee I had time to reflect on what he had said. Here was a guy who obviously took pride in his work and he cared about the customer’s experience. Just as importantly, though, was a consideration for his work environment and his colleagues.

So next time you discuss food safety why not put it in the context of respect for others, and in taking pride in our work?

And as I finish this blog I could really do with a nice steak and a fine glass of red.





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