Katie Allan

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Meet Katie Allan, the Barista, the Surfer, the Legend.

Katie AllanKatie, you’re a bit of a legend on Bali. Tell us why that is?
Am I? I didn’t know that! It must be a bit of a fake it until you make it kind of thing?

How is it you manage to always be so super up-beat, friendly and amazing?
The answer to that is coffee and lots of it!

You offered me the best cup of coffee I’ve ever had in my life at your new café, Revolver and it was spot on – what’s the secret to your blend?
First of all, that’s awesome! I’m stoked. There’s no secret to my blend; it’s 40 % Colombian, 40% Guatemalan and 20% Papua New Guinean and roasted by the legends at Caswells. The trick is using it on the right day. I’ve found for us that that’s between day nine and day 14 and I’d say day ten the coffee is at its prime. So we never serve anything older or younger than those days. We just have to keep on top of the ordering, that’s it. Oh, and you’ve got to love making coffee. If you don’t, forget it!

And what inspired you to open Revolver Cafe? Was Seminyak always going to be the spot?
Being Australian we have pretty spoilt tastes when it comes to coffee. I was coming to Bali so much, training for surfing, and in between surf contests I always craved a good coffee. I was surprised with all the Aussie-owned places here that no one was doing it right. So I had the idea back then, that when I quit surfing I would do the café. I even had a travel journal of pictures I’d drawn and notes of how I wanted it (nothing like how it is, mind you). The location was a chance meeting with a friend that put me in touch with another friend who had space at the back of their shop, which used to be a bar called “Home”. The rest is history.

Do you try to use local ingredients as much as possible?
For the most part, yes, because it keeps costs low, but more importantly everything is fresh.

CoffeeDo you think coffee is the key to life’s many problems?
I think the ritual can be, yes. There’s something about the routine of waking up, going to your favourite coffee spot and saying hi to the barista and greeting people you know, or meeting people for a cup that can set the day up so well. It’s super cheesy, but I take it as a bit of a personal challenge to try and make someone’s day if at all possible. If they’re just there for the coffee then I want it to be the best they’ve had, or if they’re there for a chat and a giggle then it’s rad that I get to be a part of that.

Well I can say mission accomplished, Katie. So tell us how you ended up in Bali – what year did you first come over and what was your calling?
Wow, I came with my dad and brother for a surf trip exactly 10 years ago. I met my now really good friend Cathy on that trip and then her and her family would put me up each time I came over. It’s funny, it always felt like home here…

Are there any creature comforts you miss back in Australia?
I miss my family a lot, but I have a brother that lives here and that keeps me sane. He’s a legend and he pulls me up when I’m being a weirdo, which is awesome. But I definitely miss my parents and other siblings all the time. Other than that the only thing are wide pavements and American Apparel stores!

What do you like to do for fun?
SURFING, SURFING, SURFING, TRAVEL, TRAVEL, TRAVEL! Learning languages is also fun. There are some great events and parties in Bali of course. I also love painting and watching Seinfeld. Is this perfect match..?

I can assure you it’s not! So, what is Katie Allan going to dress up as this Halloween?
Katie Allan hasn’t thought about her outfit for tomorrow let alone Halloween but I think it will be something along the lines of a superhero or pirate. They’re always fun!

Revolver Cafe in BaliIs there a lucky man in your life? If not, what traits would make up your ideal man…?
There isn’t right now..! Do we have to do this? He’s got to be taller than me, has to like travelling and has to like watching Seinfeld. That’s about it really.

A simple lady at heart…What can we expect from Revolver in the next few months?
I’m working on a pulled pork roll right now with a chef from Sydney. They kind of went off in Australia recently so it would be cool to get the first ones going here. They’re amazing! The kind of thing a place gets known for. Stay tuned…

Give us three reasons why we all HAVE to visit you at your new cafe?
I juggle, I have Bob Seger on vinyl and we just put something on the menu this week called a “Mouth-gasm”. I’m not explaining it just, you just have to come and get one!

Is Bali your home for life? If not, where’s next on Katie Allan’s legendary journey?
I always want to keep Bali as a base. I’m really not good with long term plans, but for sure the next five years sounds nice!

And finally, can you give us a quote about life to brighten up our days?
Life is too important to be taken seriously…

Thanks Katie! To meet this juggling legend, visit Revolver café on Jl. Kayu Aya (Jalan Oberoi) #3 Oberoi, Seminyak (behind ‘This is a Love Song’ Concept Store and ‘Home’ Store. Or enter from the lane at gang 51).

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Angela is a freelance journalist and founder of Clean Up Jakarta Day. Outside the office she climbs mountains and dives oceans, all the while picking up litter.