Tristan River: Barista: Mornington

I would say that my best education would be learning from and harassing the people I work with.

 

Name: Tristan River
Occupation: Part Time Barista, Roaster, Tattoo Artist, Muso, Barber & Full Time Hustler. Doing a lot of things poorly, whatever gets a Dolla.
Hometown: Mornington
Current Location: Either Commonfolk, or my crib in Tanti, aka The Crack Shack. Yes, I sleep at either one.

 

When I was a kid I wanted to be…
I think I was pretty set on being a muso, or an actor. Although ironically as a super little dude, I used to tell mum I wanted my first job to be at the coffee shop we would go most days before school, so I could make her coffee in the morning. Now she comes into CF nearly every day, what a gag.

My earliest, fondest memory is…
Singing and getting my boogie on with my Dads bands.

The studies I took to get where I am…
I’m currently in year 12, so aside from formal education, I’ve just put a lot of hours in behind the bar and in the Roastery, I used to get up at 6 am and work for a couple hours before school to learn things, after a while I hassled Sam to put me on the bar, and then forced my way into the Roastery the same way. I find myself super lucky to know what I want to do as a career, thankfully it doesn’t involve much school-based work, that stuff kills me. I would say that my best education would be learning from and harassing the people I work with.

I’m most creative when…
I’m really tired, or annoyed. Sounds a bit grim, but I’m horrible at making decisions and finalizing things, like this interview. I’ll always leave things half finished. So when I’m exhausted or just fed up I tend to care less and make a decision. I tend to do this with all the music I write.

The tools I can’t live without…
Fergus Pilgrim & Oli Hill
I guess I wouldn’t survive without my phone and laptop for work.

I’m inspired by…
Seeing my mates do cool shit, it motivates me.

I’m currently reading…
A book on the biology of coffee plants, Monster Children Issue 54, and some old vegetarian cookbook, turns out you need to know how to cook when you’re living on your own haha.

The website I hang out on the most…
Wish I had something cool to share here… spend a bit of time on Insty.
Although at the moment I’ve been visiting Ryan Toleman’s, our D.O.C, latest venture. He’s setting up a website called Essential Barista Training, it’s a large site that consists of all the ins and outs of our industry. The website doesn’t launch until December 2017, but I’ve just been frequently visiting to see how the updates of his content are going. It’s a must visit for anyone curious on any part of the Specialty Coffee industry.

I’m currently listening to…
Kane Strang, The Drums, Baro, Every one of Daniel Dumiles Faces, Courtney Barnett and GL. Just to name a few, also The Beach Boys Greatest Hits Cassette Tape, my car only has a tape player and it’s the only tape I own, thanks Tommy.

The last film I watched was…
I’m more of a series kind of guy, I’m currently working through Northern Exposure for potentially the 4th time.

Travel is…
Something I’m super keen on. Hopefully early next year I’ll be heading over to the coffee farm in Uganda, that has been supported by Commonfolk/The Cup that Counts, to work with the farmers and learn as much as I can about their jobs and everyday life of coffee farmers. This farm is located near Mbale and through the hard work of every Cfolk legend and our customers, money has been raised to give the farmers great equipment and fair pay for their work. Since the project has kicked off the farmer’s wages have pretty much doubled. Commonfolk recently purchased the first crop and its been tasting great. Aside of that, I would like to visit all over, only a matter of time.

My travel essentials are…
Pour Over Cone, Stovetop Kettle, and some good filter. Probably would need my board, something to play tunes with and a hat.

One thing I would like to do but haven’t got around to it yet…
NP my friend, NP.

The challenges of doing what I do…
Early Mornings, bit of hustle, but honestly, it’s pretty chilled. I love what I do, and none of it seems like a drag. Although communication skills come in handy, probably should improve my time management as well, shocking at the moment.

The highlights over the past 12 months have been…
Regional Barista Comps was sweet, I entered underage because I couldn’t wait a year and learned a lot from the experience, going to compete again this year! I’ve been working on setting up a small coffee cart with my mate Ryan for our school for a while too. Learning a lot about roasting. Plus I’ve been low key tattooing myself and some mates, that’s been a bit of a laugh, although I’ll probably be hunted down for that one haha.

In 12 months time I hope to…
Get a load of travel in, potentially to some coffee farms, I’d love to keep expanding my knowledge of the industry, just keep getting better. Scotty and I are still looking for a drummer, our band broke up not so long ago so hopefully get back into gigging. So low key, if you’re a drummer give us a yell.

Advice to share to those who want to follow in my footsteps…
As great as some people are, to an extent, everyone’s still looking out for number one, so make opportunities for yourself and smdwa.

Do What You Want… just listen to Dj Stingray while doing it.

 

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Photos: Tom Terlaak

1 Comment

  • July 8, 2017

    Jo Hughson

    Great interview.

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