Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
My name is Julia and I am a barista trainer for Bailies Coffee Co. I’ve been working as a barista for 8 and a half years now, working with Bailies for 9 months and am loving it! I can also crochet a pretty mean cushion cover or two..
How did you get into coffee?
I got into coffee when I took a part time job at Clements whilst I was studying at uni. I stayed on after I graduated and was there for 7 glorious coffee filled years during which time I met so many amazing people and found that there was a fantastic coffee community beyond my own little shop.
How do you make coffee at home?
At home I am currently mostly using Aeropress. I also like to brew a V60 and I have a Chemex in my cupboard as well. But truthfully, I prefer to drink tea at home! I tend to arrive home after work feeling pretty caffeinated, tea helps me to feel relaxed.
Espresso or filter?
Espresso with milk first thing in the morning for my fix, then a nice V60 filter brew of something special a little while after. Then more filter to top my caffeine levels up throughout the day.
What’s the best coffee you’ve had recently that we should all try?
Our newest espresso blend, Escher, is pretty special. It’s a seasonal blend that is oh so sumptuous and smooth, with big chocolate notes but with sweet fruit and floral flavours as well. The first time I tried it was just before we headed to Dublin for Catex. When I drank it I was just like, “wow.. This is good.. This is very good.” It has been a long time since an espresso made me react in such a way, so that’s how I knew it was special. It’s not available yet, but watch this space!!
What developments would you like to see in coffee here in NI?
I would love to see more of our baristas getting involved in competitions and other coffee related events. The Northern Irish heat of the UKBC used to be the biggest heat of the whole chapter but now there isn’t an NI heat at all. This is partly due to our competitors entering IBC but even so, there aren’t as many entrants from this side of the border that there used to be back in the day of N.I’s heat for UKBC. I think this is slowly changing though. The success of the NI Aeropress championship is a glimpse of what’s to come. We have so many talented coffee professionals, it’s only a matter of time before we have our own regional barista championships.
Thanks for answering our questions Julia, we can’t wait to try out that new Espresso blend and we hope you are right about the UKBC NI heat. We would love to see that in the near future!