New Zealander Jay Comeskey is on his first visit to Mumbai. The coffee-maker is in town for the Coffee Couture Festival at J W Marriott, Juhu.
A self-confessed coffee addict, I meet Comeskey at the Marriott's Bombay Baking Company (BBC) café, where he's dressed in bluecollar - like the other coffee-makers at the hotel.
Coffee and cocktails "I've come here as a professional coffee-maker just like any bartender coming from Australia to make different cocktails," smiles the 26-year-old.
The handsome coffee connoisseur calls Mumbai a growing market.
"The current espresso coffee consumption in Mumbai is a lot like how it used to be in my hometown Wellington, in the mid 1990s," he says, adding, "I guess it also has to do with the availability.. or lack of it. I hear there are only few Indian joints that serve good espresso."
Comeskey is currently the Café sales manager with New Zealand-based coffee company Caffe L'affare with whom he has completed eight years. High caffeine alert He claims to have learnt the business of caffeine through practical experience. His career graph proves it.
Comeskey started off by washing dishes in the coffee shop, then progressed to cleaning tables. Soon, he was handed the coffee machine and was later sent to deliver coffee all over Wellington city.
So, did he always want to make and sell coffee? "I left my education very early and worked for television and film productions at first," he explains. "Soon I realised I needed a fixed job but little did I know that I'd land up at Caffe L'affare." All about the brew As the piping hot, brown beverage brews behind us, Comeskey continues.. "I got quite curious about coffee and making it, so I start ed to read several books about different types of coffee."
And how many coffees does he get through in a day? "Nearly 10 cups," chuckles Comeskey. "I prefer having coffee post a hangover. That reminds me! I must explore Mumbai's night-life before heading back home." Truth be told.. Finally, the espresso expert shares some of his knowledge: "The aroma and taste of the coffee depends on how fresh it is. It's like a banana that you keep it in the refrigerator. If it's kept for many days, it will obviously go stale. Similarly, as coffee gets older, it starts to lose its oil and flavour."
Comeskey sounds bright and chirpy.. no signs of jet-lag. It's probably all the coffee.