I don’t know about you, but when I was 15 I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. I was too busy worrying about whether my Leonardo Di Caprio poster was hanging just right on my wall. Fast forward a few years and not much has changed for me – or seemingly for Leo, who still hasn’t won an Oscar. At 15 years of age Jacob King has achieved more in his life than any of us other mortals could even dream of. Quickly on his way towards becoming one of the best baristas in Australia, he has also started his own boutique coffee roastery and is selling his own blend of coffee beans to the public.
Every great story must have a beginning, so rewind a few years and a younger Jacob was looking for a part-time job. Luckily his sister was working at Zarraffas at the time and hooked him up with the glamourous job of washing dishes and clearing tables. After six months he then started his barista training, and picked it up quickly, realising that he had a talent for it. After starting a Cert III in Hospitality his trainer decided to enter him in a young barista competition where he came third. At the age of thirteen. Seriously. Not long after that he was introduced to Timothy Sweet of Base Espresso and Richard Silipo of Silipo Coffee Roasters who started mentoring him and encouraging his interest in the industry. Entering his first latte art smackdown in Brisbane, he made it through to the quarter finals before being knocked out by industry legend Barry Newell. “After that I decided that this was the industry I wanted to work in”, he said, and he hasn’t looked back.
After he started hosting on Instagram for Zarraffas and entered more smackdowns, he built a reputation for himself and a social media fan base that has led to people in the industry noticing him such as Mark Fannin from Raw Espresso, who gave him a job at Raw Espresso, and Sinisa Misic, aka Skinny from Caffeine Kings, who is now training him to be the youngest competitor at the Australian Barista Titles.
At the age of 15, with the support of his mother Sharon, Jacob decided he was going to leave school and pursue a career in the coffee industry. With a lot of help from Richard Silipo, Jacob created Warehouse Coffee Co., a boutique coffee roastery on the Gold Coast that he hopes to expand upon, ultimately opening his own warehouse style coffee shop . At the moment Jacob sells his Warehouse blend online through his website, reporting that months of cupping and testing roasting profiles went into it before its release. “I want to help people understand the roasting profile more and understand the farm and where the coffee has come from.”
Jacob offers me his Warehouse Blend, a combination of beans from Columbia, Rwanda and Tanzania, in a cold drip that he proudly presents with some maple syrup and milk as sides. With a delicately sweet aroma, as enticing as a box of chocolates, its flavour is beautifully floral and berried with a caramel marshmallow explosion. I’m hooked!
With Jacob predicting that in the next five years the Gold Coast could take over Melbourne as the coffee capital of Australia, Warehouse Coffee Co. will surely be at the forefront of that revolution.
Jacob’s Warehouse Blend can be purchased online at warehousecoffeeco.com.au with free shipping Australia wide.