Categorized | Coffee Tales, Newsletter

CoffeeTale Comedy… Courtesy of Brewspace

Brewspace shared a laugh, and a long black, with Ben to find out more about The Caffeinator:

So what’s all the froth about coffee comedy? How did it inspire your Melbourne International Comedy Festival gig?

I grew up in North Carlton. Coffee is the closest thing to religious faith that most people there have. They worship every Sunday, under the cafe awnings on Rathdowne St. Seriously though, I wanted to find out what it is about coffee that people get so passionate about, to see how far we take our coffee obsession. The Caffeinator is an exploration of our coffee culture, and I got to see the best, and the most hilariously extreme that Melbourne’s scene has to offer.

Why do you think Melburnians are so passionate about, or obsessed even, with our coffee hit?

It suits our city and our heritage. There’s nothing like sitting in a warm cafe on a cold Melbourne day, watching the rain pelt down outside, drinking a fantastic coffee made by the children of the Italian migrants who kicked off our coffee scene.

Why The Caffeinator?

After drinking hundreds upon hundreds of research-coffees my super power is Extremely High Caffeine Tolerance. I drink long a short black five minutes before bed. I sweeten my morning latte with crushed no-doz.

Tell us about your research – where have you bean (pardon the pun), how long has it taken, and who have you bean talking with?

Aside from visiting somewhere around one hundred cafes (and sitting on countless cool but uncomfortable cafe seats), I’ve talked with roasters, interviewed baristas, read up on coffee history, volunteered at the National Barista Championships. At one cafe I drank so much coffee that my whole body starting shaking from the buzz. I had to have a coffee to calm down.

Are you now an expert bean spotter? Can you tell a short-black lover from a weak decaf cappuccino fan from sight? How?

The tighter the black jeans, and the cooler the facial hair, the more obscure the person’s choice of coffee. Anyone who needs a shoe horn to get their trousers on, I expect to see ordering cold drip or single origin. Your average lawyer/accountant style suit tends towards a double shot latte, a hi-vis vest or a tool belt usually means extra two to three sugars. If you’re over sixty-five and answer to ‘nana’ you’re ordering a cappuccino- extra hot, extra weak, extra chocolate sprinkles.

Describe your favourite type of coffee consumer:

I love people who blame bad cups of coffee on a ‘rogue bean’. I imagine this to be rather like rogue elephants. Or rogue states. In reality they seem to be a vague excuse for making a bad coffee.

If you were a coffee …

I’d be long, white, thirty-seven degrees celsius and not particularly bitter. I’m a better comedian than I am a beverage.

What is your personal coffee ritual?

I get up and I feel like my life is an endless, sleep-deprived vale of tears. I go to my local cafe, drink a strong latte, and fall in love with the world again.

What’s the obsession with single-origin coffee? Is it over-rated? Discuss.

Like many things in coffee people’s opinion of what is good single origin often seems less important than what they think is bad single origin. I’ve had some good stuff during my research and it was lovely, but I’ve encountered some strong opinions on the over-rated side of the argument.

Now that you are The Caffeinator, what is your conclusion on coffee?

Coffee holds our society together. If the coffee stopped flowing, the inner suburbs of Melbourne would erupt in open revolt. It would be like the Eureka Stockade, except with tighter jeans and more beards.

A Comedy Festival gig about coffee in a bar – does that provide an extra buzz for coffee lovers?

Five Boroughs is doing espresso martinis especially for the show – you can drink your hangover cure while you earn your hangover!

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