Baris­tas of Ip­swich

EACH is­sue, QT Mag­a­zine meets those peo­ple who are on the front line of keep­ing this city mov­ing. With­out our baris­tas, Ip­swich would come to a stand­still, let’s be hon­est. This time, meet Dale Waite from Caf­feine Ali

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How long have you been a barista?

Ten years this year.

What makes a good cof­fee?

A mul­ti­tude of things. It helps to have pas­sion­ate peo­ple who grow and farm the beans, good roast­ers, and the hum­ble baris­tas who un­der­stand the whole jour­ney and com­pile it into a nice cup of cof­fee. Eth­i­cally grown cof­fee is im­por­tant to me, it’s sad that peo­ple have to work so hard for so lit­tle around the world. What’s your favourite cof­fee?

Long blacks and short blacks. I en­joy cof­fee in its purest form.

What’s the odd­est re­quest you’ve ever had?

It wasn’t a cof­fee, it was a small white hot choco­late with 13 sug­ars. There was hardly any room for the milk!

What is pop­u­lar now com­pared to when you started?

Peo­ple like sin­gle-ori­gin cof­fee. They are keen to ex­pe­ri­ence the sub­tleties of cof­fee, just like wine. I have no­ticed there is more a trend fol­low­ing black cof­fees over milk cof­fee. Peo­ple are more con­scious about what they are putting in their bod­ies, such as dairy.

How many cof­fees a day do you make on av­er­age?

Be­tween 250-300.

Why is cof­fee so im­por­tant to a cafe?

I be­lieve it’s the main rea­son peo­ple walk in the door. If you can com­bine good cof­fee with great ser­vice and a good at­mos­phere, I think you’re set.

Does Ip­swich have a cof­fee ad­dic­tion?

Oh yes. We get lots of gov­ern­ment work­ers through the door and they say they need their cof­fee.

What do you love about your job?

The peo­ple, and shar­ing my pas­sion for cof­fee.

Why should peo­ple be ex­tra nice to their barista?

If you don’t en­joy mak­ing a cof­fee for some­one, you can taste it in the end re­sult. There has to be love and pas­sion there in ev­ery cup you make.


Dale Waite from Caf­feine Ali.

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