Roasting on the Loring
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He’s the ubiquitous face of 200 Degrees, appearing on posters, adverts and leading the teaching in our barista schools. But exactly who is Graham?
How long have you been working for 200 Degrees?
Since Day One; I’m a lifer with no hope of remission. My name is Graham and I like cortado.
What do you like about working for 200 Degrees?
Obviously I love coffee. I love making coffee, talking about coffee and drinking coffee but a lot of my time is now spent teaching customers, our new baristas, and baristas from other venues how to do it properly; that’s more entertaining than making thousands of coffees. I also think my bosses are great, especially Tom.
Thousands? How many do you think you've made here?
Probably about 300,000, give or take.
Any famous names you can drop?
Christopher Biggins said it was one of the best coffees he’d tasted outside London; all the stars come here.
What makes a good barista?
Passion for the job, and a decent personality. There are lots of good baristas that can make good coffee but the excellent ones have a real dedication to it. There needs to be some artistic flare but the technical side is very important too. Some people can follow instructions and settings but to get to the level we need people should understand the science and think for themselves.
What do you drink?
I like a cortado, it’s got just enough creaminess but still maintains the flavour of the espresso. It’s this year’s flat white, or maybe next year’s; I don’t decide that sort of thing.
Tell us something only real coffee people will understand...
Sometimes it gets frustrating making 2nd wave drinks in a 3rd wave coffee shop
I think we're referred to as 5th wave now.
Really? That shows my age...
Finally do you like being recognised, or is minor fame a burden?
Well it’s a bit late to worry about it as you’ve displayed me ten foot high everywhere! I’d say it’s nice in a slightly weird way, I do get people in the refer to me as the guy from the poster and it's a laugh when that happens.
THANK YOU, GRAHAM HEPBURN