Day four, The interview and Interviewee

Gazza Curtis, is geek, a dedicated dabbler in all forms of electronic circuitry, and most importantly for today’s interview, a barista extra ordinaire.

 I am not too sure how to present a conversation on paper – oops, as an electronic, digital, type face – so have used an[*] for the question and [-] for the answer.

So let ‘Understanding one man’s view on coffee’ unfold.




* Just what is it you like about your coffee

– Well, let me say quite firmly, I am not a coffee snob, even thought my daughter is. I have always enjoyed coffee over other beverages, and have had many different coffee makers. Two years back I bought the standard Aldi model for about $40, and have stayed with the brand ever since.

The actual sachets work out to only 35c each, so it makes a s reasonably cheap cup. And it tastes great, he added.

*What is the difference between a cup instant and a freshly ground bean coffee?

– well the pod type always tastes fresh because it’s only opened moments before the liquid gets forced thru it. A jar of Instant 42 bean coffee degrades from the moment the jar is opened, and continues to loose its fresh flavour from that moment on. Well, in my view, that is.

*How many different styles of ground coffee bean can you identify

-well I have my preferred style, at the moment my favourite pod is the Expressi Abruzzo. But there are many more styles to choose from. We will be tasting the Tauro and Perugia which are mid strength brews, while the Reggio and Colombia rate a little higher at 8, the Abruzzo is very strongly caffeinated, and rated at 12. At the other end of the scale you could try a Decaf, which is only rated at 2 or a Florenzi at 3.



*Do you have to have coffee at the beginning of each day to function normally

– absolutely, I have the same type of coffee maker at work as well! So I know I can always drink a consistent style of coffee.

*Do you think coffee makes one constipated?

– Well it is a diuretic. I have had people tell me it does, but personally never experienced that type of problem. [The rest of this conversation was edited out, in case my Grand children read this blog]

*Which country do you think produces the best tasting coffee bean?

– I think that almost any Arabica beans taste great under certain circumstances, particularly if well roasted. At one end of the scale, the Somali method of roasting the endosperm laden beans in a pan over an open fire will obviously lead to an inconsistency in flavour, but that might well be a part of the character of their particular style, Not that I am biased, but the coffee grown inland from Airlie Beach, and up in the Atherton Tablelands taste quite spectacular. Their production is very limited, so that sort of knowledge is best kept a secret. Oh hell, did I just say that?

*Do you suffer withdrawal symptoms if you go without coffee for more than a day

– not as much as I used to.

*Is it very difficult to operate this particular machine?

– Its really quite simple. There are just 7 points to remember

.make sure there is water in the jug

.turn the power on

.put a mug under the spout and press the flush button, it looks like a shower spray!

.drop your chosen pod into the slot, but make sure it is located correctly.

.now all you have to do is choose if you want a full cup or half, and select that particular button.

.if you want milk, warm the mug and milk in a microwave, before putting under the spout, and you will get a very nice frothy brew.


We wander off to talk about visiting Vietnam, quadrocopters, the next Linux conference in Perth, while sipping strong black coffee.

Thank you Gazza

Interview event ends at 22.00 hrs.


 Lessons learned from doing my first interview.

 I was surprised that it took only a little time to think about the questions I needed to ask, and even more surprised to find that in general people really do enjoy talking about their interests. Where I have come unstuck on both attempts, is in placing the questions to the Talent in the correct order, so the narrative flowed a little more clearly.

Start the questions gently, and leave the Talent plenty of time to reflect on what they want to say. I noticed that after a moments pause Gazza would add another interesting point to fill out what he meant.

Leave the tough or ‘naughty’ questions to the end, in case the Talent spits the dummy, or worse, looses interest in talking to you.

And Most Importantly of all, treat coffee tasting in the same manner as Wine tasting

Sip and spit.

Last night I drank far too many different styles of coffee, while discussing the character of each pod, so that after getting home around midnight, the will to sleep was long gone and the brain remained buzzing away in front of the TV for several hours, trying to wind down!

Not a great start for the 30km bike ride on Sunday morning!

6 thoughts on “Day four, The interview and Interviewee

  1. It’s great to read how early you have learned the lesson of listening and giving space for the interviewee! And yes, leaving the tough questions until last is always a useful tactic.

  2. Thanks for sharing your insights about the process. People are as interesting as we are interested.
    The final (produced) story does not always follow the conversational flow… but should still hold the essence of the dance. Cheers!

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