Barista interview: Henderson Roldan
We talk coffee with Baker & Spice Souk Al Bahar's Henji
Baker & Spice, Souk Al Bahar, Dubai’s barista Henderson ‘Henji’ Roldan tells us more about his coffee art and inspirations
What’s your favourite kind of coffee?
I love cappuccino, as it appears to be simple but is actually more complicated. You need to find the right balance and proportions of milk, foam, and coffee. The correct temperature is essential — it has to be what I call ‘sipping temperature’. Too hot, it burns the tongue and damages the taste buds; too cold and you lose flavour.
When did you start coffee art, and have you ever had any training?
Ever since I was a child, I have always been sketching — on just about any surface. When I first started as a barista I tried making simple designs like flowers, leaves, and butterflies, then I decided to go to the next level, and draw abstract art. It worked and I have carried on. I am a visual artist. I can draw pretty much anything I see or imagine but I haven’t had any formal training — just practising and experimenting.
Your top tips to create a great cup of coffee?
Choose a coffee and strength which appeals to your taste. It’s worth investing in a good brand. Measure it carefully and follow what it says on the tin. If it doesn’t come out right, keep practising until you have found the perfect formula that suits your palate.