England is fortunate to have its antipodean connection and occasionally benefit from the import of Australian coffee talent. Bronte Freestone is one such asset, currently baristas at Uncommon in Liverpool Street, London. It this interview, Bronte outlines her pre-disposition to good coffee and the types of attitudes and approaches that you develop when working in coffee.
When did you start your career in coffee and how did you come across the industry?
As an Australian, we started at a young age when it comes to drinking coffee, unless that was just my parents. I remember waking up early when I had school to the smell of a freshly made pot of filter coffee made by my mother - now the coffee smell is what reminds me of being at home. I started working in a family friend’s café when I 14-years-old, making juices and then after a couple of years he trusted me with the coffee machine.
What’s the status of specialty coffee in the city?
In the last four years of being in England the specialty coffee has blown up. It used to be more of a mission to find a specialty coffee but now you can turn a corner and there will be loads. There is a demand for good quality coffee in the UK - I’m just hoping specialty coffee will expand further away from London so everyone can enjoy the goodness.
What types of people are suited to working in coffee?
Anyone one can work in coffee, it’s a great way to become a better communicator, team player and take you out of your comfort zone.
If someone is new to coffee and looking to start out, what would you recommend they start with?
Go for it! It’s a great experience and you won’t have to buy another coffee again. To start off with there’s so much information online YouTube, TikTok and so many online courses. Go have a coffee day out and see what cafes you like, see where their beans are from and ask the baristas some more information, we are here to help.
Are these some central blog post or websites that you go to gain more knowledge, develop further skills?
Most of my knowledge about coffee and the industry comes from talking and working with others. I learn better and retain more knowledge by hearing how people started with coffee, and their tips and tricks.
What’s next for your career? What’s on the horizon and what goals do you have for the coming three years?
My goal for the next coming years is to travel the world trying coffee and beer, working in roastery’s and brewery’s. Hopefully one day I can open my own café or brewery and then expand globally.