Our resident expert barista and coffee connoisseur, Nicholas

At Smokin’ Bean, we are all about great coffee. Behind our coffee we have some very interesting people and one of those people (who has been pivotal in creating Smokin’ Bean) is Nicholas.  He helped create both our Signature and Rocha blends. He also launched the very first Smokin’ Bean truck to deliver our favourite coffee to us to help keep us fuelled. When it comes to qualified Nicholas wrote the book – he’s Italian AND he’s worked with coffee for over 20 years. We decided to sit down with the King of Cold Brew (that’s what we call him) and find out a bit more about his humble beginnings.

How it all started

How did you first get into coffee and what was your first experience?

Well being Italian, coffee has always been a familiar smell from a very young age. The Bialetti Moka express was basically always on the stove either in use or waiting to be loaded again. My first experience with coffee was the leftover “Cremina” (made by whisking sugar and the first extraction drops from the Moka pot, almost like caramel sauce) which Nonna used to make and my Mum still does quite often. Later on I discovered coffee as a passion and luckily as my full time job!

Serving coffee from a truck
Steaming milk

Wow, coffee really is in his blood.

What are some of the things you’ve achieved whilst working with coffee?

I managed and owned very different and interesting businesses from quite young age and met really good people along the way. I’ve learned a lot about the supply chain, challenges the farmers face and I’m still learning now, which is why I still love this industry, I guess. I can’t wait to be able to travel to origin one day which is something I haven’t done yet!

Nicholas' expert opinion

So, what's your favourite way to brew Smokin' Bean and what ways do you recommend we brew it?

The Signature Blend is quite versatile, works well as filter, aeropress, espresso and makes a killer cold brew.

The Rocha Blend screams espresso all the way and it’s great with milk.

What's your favourite thing about the two blends?

I love the story behind Rocha. I still remember clearly Eduarda (read her blog here) and Estelle telling us about their trip to Brazil and how Senhor Rocha was such a good ambassador of the Fairtrade foundation and how it helped their farming practices and ultimately their wellbeing.

The Signature Blend reminds me of the launch of the Smokin’ Bean Truck; cold, frosty mornings on the kerbside and dialling in with the grinder to find the perfect sweet spot.

Why do you think people like Smokin’ Bean?

Smokin’ Bean is quite revolutionary in the way it’s presented; a great cup of specialty grade coffee from a fully automatic bean to cup machine, with some free perks (syrups) if that’s what you like, and you can get it pretty much anywhere outside a coffee shop. You can even get it delivered from a cool coffee truck by a barista ninja (Jules 😊).

Lastly, we have to know how do you take your coffee?

With milk before 11am (flat white usually) and black thereafter. I still love my espresso!

Barista skills

Well there you have, that’s how Nicholas found his way into coffee. He’s a bit of a coffee legend in the office, whenever he asks if anyone wants a coffee there’s a long queue! He makes a pretty mean Espresso Martini too!


By Robyn Chamberlain-Webber

Smokin’ Bean Marketing Assistant