Paul Bennetti may be fresh of face, but he’s a man on a coffee-driven mission. You can find him working the groups at tiny 15-seater Naked Espresso, which has pants-off Mondays and a reputation for pulling some of the best shorties (that’s an espresso yo) in town.
And that’s largely thanks to the barista’s obsession-honed skills. “I’ve worked in kitchens since I was 14, but I just loved coffee and I was constantly jumping on the machine.” So, after having his coffee epiphany, he stripped off his managerial responsibilities at Tyranny of Distance to focus on the zen-like art of perfecting siphons and shots at Naked. “It’s not about making coffees quickly here, it’s about making them all perfectly. No matter how busy I am, if it’s a bad shot I throw it out – no question.”
But what makes a coffee perfect? “It comes down to who you’re making it for. There are a lot of right and wrongs to making coffee, but it’s also important to me to make it exactly how the drinker likes it.” This attitude, plus a commitment to using great product has made the small espresso bar mighty. “We’re obsessive about making sure that the coffee we get has been sourced well, and that it’s been aged sufficiently.”
What’s next? “This is it. I really believe in what we do here.” We do, too.