Below is an interview conducted with Cali Press cafe Manager and barista, Johnnie Dritsas.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A BARISTA AT CALI PRESS?
I’ve been part of the team from the very beginning. Day one! Initially I had no idea what Cali Press was about and then I met the boys. They pitched to me their vision for the company and where they saw it going. I was on board pretty much instantly; the concept of working for a holistic brand and in a health cafe was something I have always been interested in doing.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF WORKING FOR CALI PRESS?
I just love serving people? (Laughs) I like being able to offer people that extra help in getting things going in the morning. It’s a nice way to start your day to be honest, helping someone else out. Giving them that energy hit. After I’ve helped myself out of bed that is… 6:30am starts here at Cali!
WHEN IS THE COFFEE RUSH HOUR AT CALI PRESS?
Typically it’s the mornings but now that we have Happy Hour* at some cafe’s it’s made the arvo’s a lot busier!
WHY ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT COFFEE?
I enjoy the way coffee enables me to feel like I’ve added to someone’s day for the better. Wow, how cheesy is that! But in all honesty, it brings people together and if I can somehow aid in that too, I’m feeling pretty great.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE TERM ‘COFFEE SNOB’?
I think people like to change the way a coffee is traditionally made in order to feel more individualistic or cool I guess… to put a singular spin on things. This whole ¾ scenario that seems to be a thing… Look, point to be made, I think it’s all a bit ridiculous.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE LA MARZOCCO MACHINE THAT’S USED IN ALL CALI PRESS CAFES?
I love it, but I mean what’s not to love? It’s the latest machine, very user friendly, exact and my favourite thing about it is the fact it has a built in timer so it doesn’t over extract or under extract the coffee; it means you can really get the coffee perfect. You can definitely see that precise difference between the La Marzocco and a manual machine because with a manual you’d be timing it yourself and that isn’t ideal when you have a line of caffeine hungry customers… you’re leaving a lot of room for human error.
DO YOU GET AROUND COFFEE ART?
I have been known to do a nice coffee pattern but I’m going to say no! I’m more of a speed and taste perfecting kind of barista.
WHAT MILKS DO YOU USE IN THE COFFEE AT CALI PRESS?
We use Jersey Milk from the Jersey Cow, which gives the coffee a creamier texture. We use Bonsoy soymilk, which is the best you can buy on the market, as well as cold pressed almond mylk, which is also of very high quality and very nice in taste.
WHAT TYPE OF COFFEE IS USED?
We choose to use Allpress coffee and the style we use here at Cali Press is Carmelo. It’s just got such a great taste! It’s a chocolate and caramel finish, giving it a very warm, slightly sweet and long-lasting flavour with a perfect touch of bitterness.
WHAT IS THE MOST POPULAR COFFEE ORDER?
YOUR GO TO?
An Espresso. Just straight up. The bare truth!
DO YOU HAVE A MESSAGE FOR ALL YOUR COFFEE FANS?
Thanks for helping me, help you, wake up every day and see you all tomorrow morning!
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*HAPPY HOUR is currently available at Cali Press Surry Hills includes Allpress coffee for $2* between 3pm – 4pm every weekday.
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*Offer is $2 for a regular sized coffee (6oz & 8oz) while a large coffee (10oz) is 50 cents extra. Offer is available for full cream and skim milk only. Special milks will incur an extra charge.