I have a Bachelor of Commerce, from the University of New South Wales, Australia and an MBA from the William E. Simon Business School at the University of Rochester, New York, USA.
After doing my MBA I worked for The Walt Disney Company in Hong Kong and Melbourne, Australia.
In 1999, after spending four years in Singapore setting up a pan-Asian licensing business (representing licensors such as Twentieth Century Fox, Lucasfilm, DreamWorks, MGM, Paramount, Eon Productions, BBC Worldwide and ABC Australia), Matthew (my brother) and I we started Wave Entertainment Pty Limited in Australia, which specialises in producing high quality children's television programs. Our first creation of 26 x half hour pre school shows entitled Zirkos Kids, has aired in over 18 countries.
In 2000, Matthew and I became partners in a Sydney coffee wholesaler/specialty roaster based in Sydney 's Artarmon. After learning how to blend and roast coffee, the next logical step for us was to enter the retail coffee industry, so we decided to purchase four up-market cafes in Brisbane. These were called GOSH Coffee. It was here that we learned not only our barista craft, but also learned how to apply it in pressure situations whilst not compromising on presentation and customer service.
Blue Wave Coffee
Matthew and I have since sold our share of the specialty coffee roaster and since 2006 no longer own any cafes in Brisbane.
In 2003, Matthew and I started the Barista Basics Coffee Academy (www.baristabasics.com.au). We now have major training centres in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane using state-of-the-art Italian espresso machines. As well as centres in Australia, Barista Basics now has affiliates in Brunei, Singapore and India.
Matthew and I have written a book on coffee and about the art of becoming a barista. This was published in January 2004 and is entitled bean there, drunk that... (the definitive guide to coffee and the world of the barista). It covers everything from the history of coffee, growing/harvesting and roasting coffee, coffee freshness, the grinder, the espresso machine, frothing milk, pouring the different coffees, home espresso machines as well as getting and keeping a job as a barista. The book is now even used in selected high schools and TAFE colleges around Australia as part of their hospitality training courses. It is now in its second edition.
They have also completed three training dvds (The Coffee Menu, Master Barista and Coffee Art and Presentation Techniques ) which, along with their book are now on sale (either by purchasing on the internet by clicking on the icon on the home page, by phoning 1300 366 218 or through the barista courses).
Matthew and I have been feature writers for industry mag Bean Scene and regular contributors to Australian Hospitality Magazine, Eatdrink Magazine, Australian Table Magazine and Loreal's Matrix magazine. David and Matthew have appeared on Bert Newton's Good Morning Australia, Channel 9's Fresh with Jeff Jantsz, numerous times on Mornings with Kerri-Anne and Sunday and NBN's Today Extra with Nat Jeffery. They have also worked as official espresso tasters for Choice Magazine's 2004-2007 review of home espresso machines. They are also regulars on 2UE and ABC radio.
We have also recently completed a print and cinema ad campaign featuring their latte art for a major international brand.
In August 2007 our coffee art formed the basis of a 2-page feature spread in the London Daily Mail.
In 2004, BARISTA BASICSTM was accredited by the TAFE system so that students who complete the BARISTA BASICSTM and BARISTA BASICSTM Mark II courses can get a TAFE certificate as well as their BARISTA BASICSTM certificates.
Whilst running Barista Basics, Matthew and I consulted for a major coffee company from 2004-2007 but since September 2007 have chosen to focus exclusively on our training business.
Barista Basics is the only truly independent coffee school in Australia, run by people with no connections to coffee companies. What it offers is independent, up-to-date coffee training executed with the utmost professionalism and a focus on inspiring others to have a passion for coffee and the techniques to enable them to be great baristas.
What You Can Expect From Us
We are regarded as Australia 's premier coffee school for many reasons. We offer:
professionalism (all our instructors are university educated and fully trained in teaching and presenting to students)
classes incorporating hands-on experience on Italian espresso machines set in a relaxed multimedia environment
sound advice from people who have actually run cafes and who have written books and produced training dvds and from whom Choice magazine, Bean Scene Magazine, radio 2UE and Channel 9 like to call their “coffee experts.”
We have no limits on the amount of milk or coffee used during the lesson and do not use recycled milk or ground coffee as other schools do. All our students get ample opportunity to practise the skills that are taught during the classes so that they actually go away with a skill, rather than a series of notes taken from a “lecturer” demonstrating in front of a class.
By the end of our training sessions you will take away with you an elementary understanding of the following:
how to differentiate between blends and degrees of roast
how to keep coffee fresh
how to load the groups in the espresso machine and how to pour an espresso
how to texture milk effectively
how to prepare all of the different coffees that are ordered at a café or restaurant
how to adjust the coffee grind to achieve an A-grade espresso
how to fully clean the espresso machine and grinder to get the most out of your equipment
The fact that students have flown in from places such asPerth, the Northern Territory, Japan, New Zealand , Dubai, Korea and the USA just to do our courses speaks for itself!
Don't succumb to false and misleading advertising by so-called schools offering job placements/referrals (we too can give you the phone number for Spotless Catering), "accreditation" (no accreditation exists outside of the TAFE system) and "certified barista certificates" (having a computer printed certificate from a bogus coffee school is not worth the paper it is printed on nor recognised by anyone in Australia or internationally). Also, unlike other schools who use inferior "steam lever" machines in their training we use 100% Italian espresso machines with proper steam valves (98% of cafes do not use lever machines so there is no point learning on them!).
Did the 3 hour basic course early March in Brisbane David, was very impressed with the structure of the course and found it to be very hands on and informative, Aimee presented the course in a first class manner from start to finish... highly recommended, cheers