Baristas of Ipswich
EACH season, QT Magazine will meet those people who are on the frontline of keeping this city moving.
Without our baristas, Ipswich would come to a standstill, let’s be honest.
This month we met Karen Christensen from Jets Leagues Club, who has amassed a big following in her role behind the coffee machine. Here she shares her thoughts, her secrets and her experiences.
How long have you been a barista?
For about 18 years, seven here at Jets and before that at my own restaurant Jazz in Toowong.
What makes a good coffee?
Fresh beans, that’s the most important thing. Perfect milk and a nice and strong blend of coffee bean. Clean equipment is also important and most of all making it the way the customer likes it. Some people like it strong, others like it smooth.
What’s your favourite coffee?
I love a good latte. The smoothness of it, and the temperature … they are all just right, with no sugar. What’s the oddest request you’ve ever had?
That would be one day someone asked me for a quarter-shot soy latte and stressed that it shouldn’t be ‘too strong’.
What is popular now compared to when you started?
There’s changes all the time. We are going through a culture change. People now will say how much froth they want, we don’t spoon it like ice cream any more, people will tell you exactly how they like their coffee. Things are so different now, it’s a lifestyle choice. It’s all about the coffee and if you don’t like it, back it goes – I’m the same. People are so particular now and that’s a good thing. Not everyone likes a double shot, while others like a half-shot. We all have our favourite.
How many coffees a day do you make on average? I have my own machine at home which is a commercial one, and I’m making coffee at home in the morning then come to work and keep making coffee. I’ve trained lots of staff at Jets on making coffee.
Why is coffee so important to a cafe?
Coffee must be there all the time, for the morning pick-me-up, for meeting up with friends, and a night-time pick me up. Plus, cake is always better with coffee. People often come to Jets just for the coffee. Does Ipswich have a coffee addiction?
Yes, it’s a lifestyle choice. Everyone meets friends over coffee these days. We have so many good cafes coming up in Ipswich.
What do you love about your job?
Everything. I love hospitality, it’s my life … or so my husband tells me – he never sees me! I love seeing my regular customers.
Why should people be extra nice to their barista? You want the best coffee ever, and I’ll always do what the customer wants every time. If it’s not spot on, I’ll make it again, no worries.
SHE KNOWS HER BEANS: Karen Christensen from Jets Leagues Club who has been making coffee for over 18 years.