The art of a good cup
Co ee is a serious business, according to Wild Bean Cafe Hoon Hay manager Shannon Radcli e. He should know – the award-winning barista and dad-of-four has been grinding beans and steaming milk for an impressive 16 years.
Shannon didn’t think much of it when he made his first cup of coffee back in 2002, and he certainly didn’t think crafting the perfect cup would become his passion. “It really is,” says the Cantabrian. “Baristas are passionate about their craft, and the people who drink the stuff are passionate about making sure they get it! “I love making coffee – the best part is meeting my customers’ expectations for how they like their caffeine,” he says. Lucky for Shannon, his customers are a lovely lot, who Shannon jokes “would forget their head if it wasn’t screwed on” without their morning brew!
TRIALS AND TRAINING
A lot has changed in 16 years – when Shannon first started at BP as a student, the coffee machines were self-serve, push-button models, “not the barista experience you get today,” he says. He’s worked his way up to become store manager, while meeting wife Lyndelle, and having four kids; Caleb (10), Chelsea (8), Jacob (5) and three-year-old Naomi. But what hasn’t changed are the secrets to brewing a good cup – beans freshly ground to order, paying attention to the espresso shot, and of course, a smile – and the power coffee has to bring people together. “I’ll always remember after the 2011 earthquake, the station I was working at was hit hard. But 12 days after, we were up and running. I had to make a oneand-a-half hour round trip to bottle the water from the spring myself. But people got their coffee, and they stayed for a chat. We became a real go-to place, not just for the coffee, but for the emotional support.”
FAMILY – HIS TOUGHEST CUSTOMERS
Thanks to his incredible skills, Shannon’s taken out Wild Bean Cafe’s barista competition four times, even winning a $5000 machine for himself in 2014! It’s gone down a real treat with the family, though Lyndelle refuses to be taught how to make her own coffee. “She just wants me to make it!” So, every day after his shift, Shannon heads home to where “five of my favourite customers are waiting for me.”
FROM TOP: Shannon working his magic behind the co ee machine; the Radcli e family; Shannon making co ee, chai and hot chocolates for his five favourite customers after work.