Tilt Republic. Johannesburg. New York. Cape Town. London.

The Field Office

Sometimes an interview can be harrowing, read blind date meets cold sales call. That’s why they normally happen in a coffee shop; access to alcohol, cake, cigarettes and caffeine. All the legal buzzes under one roof for one purpose; conversation.

There’s something shitty going on in the block between Barrack and Darling Street. An unloved, bric a brac rustic edge with none of the charm those characteristics are capable of. In the middle of this tumultuous void is a little coffee shop called the Field Office. A square room, brimming with Indy freelancers. I walked in, heading towards the back door hoping for a smoking section- no luck, fuck. Ordering coffee and finding a window seat I pretended to ignore everyone around me.

Good coffee needs three things; fresh beans (roasted that week and ground on the day it’s used), a well manned machine (high pressure, clean and handled properly), but most importantly it needs a ninja barrista. There are too many b grade soulless automatons fucking with our coffee shop culture. 

The man who made my coffee today wasn’t a barrista as much as a high priest. His eyes stayed sharp while listening to my order (which is always about three sentences too long) and then he made the shit out of my coffee.

Think bigger than being able to steam milk or run a decent espresso, it’s about disposition and how you handle the people around you. I spend a lot of time in coffee shops and I can tell when I’m being handled by passionate professionals.

I’m definitely going back to that square room in the middle of that shitty part of town, because the Ninja Barrista works there.