Glen Jones has what many might consider a dream job, getting paid to drink coffee every day.
He works at the Nescafé factory in Gympie as a quality assurance manager — but he’s also known as the “chief coffee taster”.
The factory produces 35 tonnes of coffee a day — the equivalent of 20 million cups of coffee daily, or 230 cups per second.
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“(On) a daily basis, a lot of what I do is taste coffee,” Jones said.
“I would taste around about 100 cups of coffee a day, along with the rest of the quality assurance team.”
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The quality assurance team is “vitally important” for ensuring the quality of coffee produced at the factory is consistent, Jones said.
The team goes to great lengths to ensure they’re vigorously testing the product.
“When we are tasting, it is very important to make sure that you haven’t eaten anything or drunk anything other than water,” Jones said.
“No smoking for at least half an hour before a tasting panel because it will affect your sensory bias.
“At the same time, when you’re sitting down tasting, it’s important not to make facial expressions or make any noise because that might influence the next person tasting.”
Members of the Quality Assurance Team drink 100 cups of coffee a day at the Nescafé factory in Gympie. Credit: Supplied
Coffee tasters use two spoons when tasting, and have a reference cup to test against.
They spoon some coffee with one spoon, transfer it into their tasting spoon and taste it before spitting it out.
The coffee is tasted multiple times throughout the packaging process to “make sure we have the right cup of coffee”, Jones said.
“Coffee is really important to people,” he said.
“They want it to taste the same every single day they have it.
“And that’s our job. This is the line that is drawn, we have to make sure that every cup that goes out is the right quality every day.”
The quality assurance team tests not only the taste, but the appearance and smell of the coffee.
Team members undergo “in-depth” training on site to ensure they have the best coffee knowledge and palate.
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