Jake Evans is one of the La Marzocco Home Service Specialists based in Brisbane and servicing Linea Mini’s and GS3’s across all of Queensland. He entered the coffee industry as a barista at a specialty coffee roastery and pursued his natural fascinations with the machines’ mechanics to become a technician. We had a chance to sit down and chat about pathways, passion projects and podcasts.
Hey Jake, how are you?
Great! Thank you.
How did you become a coffee machine technician?
I started off as a house painter, my dad has a painting business. I was doing that, but it gets pretty dull after a while. Early starts, literally watching paint dry. The painting part is the best bit, it’s the prep that is hard. It’s 80% sanding walls, 20% painting. I went from that to being a barista in a coffee roastery, which is where I met Matt Kossen, who is now the La Marzocco Home Service manager. Since starting this job, I’ve even started working on fixing up a motorbike which has been fun.
Are there any similarities between working on coffee machines and fixing up your motorbike?
I guess they require the same work ethic; you can’t leave until it’s done right.
That’s so true. What do you love about being a technician?
The main thing I love about being a technician, even more than the machinery side, is being on the road. I love meeting lots of people and being the guy that people are happy to see. I love helping people.
How do you recognise the signs of somebody who could be a coffee machine technician in the making?
I think it’s the same inquisitiveness that I held when I was a barista. Whenever techs came into the café, I’d be leaning over their shoulders and now when I see people doing that, it’s fun for me because that’s exactly how I started! Having a technical background is great and I think that that kind of inquisitiveness is a key sign of someone with a true passion.
Have you always lived and worked up in Queensland?
I’m Sunshine Coast born and bred. I moved to Melbourne for work, and then after about five years I kind of just missed my family, friends, the sunshine and the beach.
Do you have any favorite beaches around here?
Anytime I’m down New South Wales way, I’ll usually have some board-shorts in the car to go for a swim because it’s all so beautiful down there. On my days off, I’m can usually be found at a beach on the Sunshine Coast. I do like surfing so I try to do that as much as I can.
Nice! I just learnt that Queensland is six times the size and Italy. How far has your work with La Marzocco Home Service taken you across the state?
I think the farthest I’ve gone north is to the Sunshine Coast, roughly two hours up. Two and a half hours down, I had a job recently in Lennox. I’ve done bigger trips in Victoria for La Marzocco Home Service, like four or five hour drives!
What is your secret to staying alert on long car trips? Are you more of a music or podcast guy?
That’s really a mood thing. Sometimes I love listening to loud music, other times, hours of podcasts. I go through phases with each. It’ll be weeks of music and then weeks of podcasts. Stuff You Should Know is kind of cool, I love a jazzy little intro. I think Lex Fridman’s podcasts are great too.
What would you say are some of the most rewarding parts of working with La Marzocco Home Service customers?
I’ve found that they’re generally real big coffee fans. They’re really interested in the inner workings of the machine and just general coffee making! They’re so open to new information, advice and knowledge. They love their machine a lot. They own it, so they love it. Oh, and they usually have really cool dogs!
In your experience, why is it important to keep your machine regularly serviced?
Well, it’s the same reason you get your car serviced, to keep on top of all the bits and bobs that need attending to. Linea Mini’s and GS3’s are filled with so many parts that are designed to be replaced, so it’s just important to stay on top of it before you start getting steam leaks and weird tasting coffees.
Are they usually the first tell-tale signs that your machine needs attention?
I would say that a weird tasting coffee is usually a cleaning issue, often due to a buildup of coffee residue and oils on the other side of the shower screen.
Do you have any preventative maintenance advice?
Make sure you’re using the right water for your machine, and make sure you’re cleaning it thoroughly and getting it serviced!
One last question. What is your favourite machine and why?
It would have to be the GS3 MP. Mostly because it just looks amazing, like classic car or something. And their dual boiler system is really cool. I don’t know why they’re not around as much.. the Linea Mini is great, but the GS3 MP is far better. You can quote me on that.
I will! Thank you so much for chatting.