Barista of the Month from Rhyme St Café

Kristy Aylmore

Friday, 28 June 2024

Rhyme St Café, located in the heart of Northgate Shopping Centre is renowned among coffee lovers, food enthusiasts, and those in search of a relaxing place to unwind. Rhyme St Café takes pride in its selection of delectable coffee beans sourced from Grinders Coffee Roasters, alongside a tempting array of meals and refreshing cold beverages. Whether patrons are indulging in a quick espresso, savouring a leisurely brunch, or enjoying a meal with friends, the café’s warm and inviting ambiance ensures a homely experience. Visit Rhyme St Café at Northgate Shopping Centre to discover its delightful charm firsthand!

We chatted to head barista Duke, who is infectiously passionate, and knowledgeable about coffee, café trends and his relationship with Grinders Coffee.  



Tell us a little bit about you?

I have been passionate about coffee and customer service for nearly a decade. My journey in the coffee world began as a café runner, where I quickly fell in love with the art of making coffee and the joy of serving customers.

Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of working as a barista in various settings, honing my skills and learning the intricacies of creating the perfect cup of coffee. My experience has taught me the importance of attention to detail, patience, and always striving for excellence in every cup I serve.

Despite my years of experience, I still consider myself a student of coffee, constantly exploring new techniques and flavours to enhance the customer experience. I’m passionate about sharing my knowledge and love for coffee with others, whether it’s through crafting a delicious espresso or having a friendly chat with a regular customer.


Tell us, how do you drink your coffee?

A first sip the morning always is a nice and fresh espresso with a touch of cold water. afterwards, two to maximum three small lattes before mid-day would equip myself full of positive energy.


What are your tips to make better coffee?

Self- reflect and self-adjust: If you take a sip of the coffee you’ve lovingly crafted and it fills you with happiness and satisfaction, that same joy and contentment will be mirrored in every customer who enjoys your brew.


What new trends or changes have you seen coming from your customers or the industry?

Creating a warm and inviting atmosphere is a priority for many cafés. An example of this is through personal initiatives such as incorporating local art. Customer decisions are also being influenced by more social media.


Can you tell us about your relationship with Grinder’s Coffee?

It all began on a brisk autumn morning when I was approached by a representative from Grinders Coffee Roasters. Unlike any typical salesperson, these people exuded an aura of inspiration and passion. He spoke not of sales targets and profit margins, but of the art and soul of coffee making. It wasn’t just about the product; it was about the story, the craftsmanship, and up-to-date techniques. Inspired by this philosophy, I began my own journey with Grinders Coffee Roasters and eager to learn more about the intricacies of coffee. The more I learned, the more my appreciation grew. The team at Grinders became like mentors to me, sharing their knowledge and passion, always encouraging me to explore and experiment.

As time passed, my relationship with Grinders Coffee Roasters deepened. I wasn’t just a customer; I was part of their community. They supported me as I honed my skills and deepened my understanding of coffee trending.

Today my journey with Grinders Coffee Roasters continues to flourish. They remain a constant source of inspiration, pushing me to innovate and strive for excellence. Our relationship is built on mutual respect, a shared love for the art of coffee, and a commitment to creating meaningful experiences for every customer.

In the end, it was never just about the coffee. It was about the connections made, the stories shared, and the passion ignited. And it all started with that one inspirational encounter with a representative who saw me not as a potential sale, but as a fellow coffee enthusiast.


What makes Ryme Street Cafe a great place to work?

They provide a positive work environment, inspire passion for coffee, provide recognition and rewards, and give staff opportunities for growth.


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