Meet Raman – our favourite barista
The perfect cup of coffee might seem deceptively simple to make, but anyone who has had a bad brew will know there is a lot of skill involved in getting coffee just right. At Canada Bay Club, we understand the value of great coffee, especially when it’s accompanied by great service – and a smile, courtesy of our favourite barista, Raman.
Here, Raman shares his thoughts on why he loves working at Canada Bay, what he enjoys about his job (and what he does for fun) and how great it is to have a chat while he is preparing your daily cuppa.
Tell us a little about your background – where did you grow up?
I’m from Tehran in Iran, where I lived until I was 25. I really wanted to travel and after leaving Iran I have continued to travel and live in different countries and cities all around the world.
I was in South Asia for around two and a half years on and off. Then I flew to Brisbane and lived there for a year. I continued travelling through Australia, heading north to the Great Barrier Reef then Melbourne, Adelaide, Tasmania and finally Sydney. I have now lived in Sydney for more than five years.
What led you to becoming a barista?
It was just an accident. I was low on funds because of my travelling and was looking for work to cover my expenses. I can’t remember how I got the job in a café, but it was my first time in this type of business and coffee environment.
Every day I saw how crazy people were about their coffee. I found that people were happy to wait more than 20 minutes and pay $5 for a cup of coffee – my whole day’s budget when I was in Asia.
I became keen to find out what coffee actually meant to people. I spent a lot of time talking with customers and found out how people actually liked their coffee. I think that was the breakthrough, as I was the barista who received the most compliments.
After a few years of working as a barista I helped to train baristas. I then worked in marketing and training, but after travelling again, I returned to Sydney and started working for Canada Bay Club.
What do you love most about your job?
The interesting part of my job is the relationships I have with our customers. I get to meet hundreds of people every day and over time the barriers are broken down, I have really gotten to know people and learn about their lives. Customers come back to you not just because of your coffee, but to see you and talk to you. This is when you realise what you serve and how you serve become very important.
What does a typical day involve?
We start early to set up and prepare everything before the club opens and from morning until late afternoon we have different groups, different functions and members coming into the club for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes we have big groups in the early morning or the middle of the day, so we have to be prepared at all times for unexpected guests.
Tell us about your customers at Canada Bay Club – have you got any great stories to share?
Most of our members are lovely and patient. They know they have to wait sometimes and they are very patient. This often happens when two big groups arrive at the same time and the wait time can be longer than we would like. Every day when I see our members’ and guests’ happy and smiley faces, I remember how important they are to the club.
What’s the best thing about your job and working at Canada Bay Club?
I know what it’s like when you wait for 15 minutes in the morning to get your favourite coffee to start your day and you get something very different from what you wanted. It’s a very bad experience! My job and goal is to not let that happen for my customers.
How would you describe the team at Canada Bay Club?
The Canada Bay Club team is quite interesting. The team ranges in age from 18 to 60 years old. We all feel we are part of a family and we get to work together. We are all from different cultures and different backgrounds but under the same roof. Some have more experience and some have less. But what matters is that we are part of a team.
Have there been some changes in your role since you started?
I have started working with wine since I started at Canada Bay Club, which I have found very interesting. Trying, researching and training our team to serve wine is quite exciting.
What do you love doing when you’re not at work?
I’m a professional scuba diver and I have discovered that Australia is a great country for diving. I do a lot of dives through the year. Snowboarding is another sport that I like and have done for 25 years. I love tennis, biking and bushwalking. I try to spend a lot of time in nature to recharge my batteries. Travelling and camping are my other hobbies that I do as many times through the year as possible.
Favourite places to hang out in the Inner West?
I live in Balmain, so Balmain, Rozelle and Leichhardt are the main suburbs for me to go to the bar or pub or restaurants. There are plenty of options with good food and drink.