Matt Perger

Who is Matt Perger?

A geeky, not-so-masculine I/ENTP with a passion for the olfactory and a penchant for solving hard problems.

What’s your best childhood memory?

When I was 6 my family traveled from Darwin to Perth (4000km of desert) with a caravan over 3 weeks. It was quite formative: I learned how to swim and played with dolphins! But mostly I remember the quality fam-time amongst completely surreal and natural surrounds.


If you had a chance for a “do-over” in life, what would you do differently?

I wouldn’t change much, but I’d make sure my younger self knew how unimportant other people’s opinions were. The value of fitting in and ‘following the path’ is a crony belief with short term benefits at best.

What do you feel most proud of?

I would rather have 5 close friends than 50 acquaintances. I’m really proud of my closest relationships; they’re fun, rewarding, and real.


If you could keep only 3 possessions, what would they be and why?

I traveled for 6 months last year with less than 80 individual items (pair of socks, pencil, credit card, key, etc.) and that was a wonderful learning experience. Only 3 items is another game entirely, and I’m going to bend the rules ever so slightly to make it work:

1) My tea brewing set (gaiwan, strainer, decanter, cups, scales, kettle). I love drinking tea; maybe more than coffee! The combined social, intellectual, olfactory, and meditative value generated by this simple set is enormous.

2) My shichirin. It’s a simple japanese charcoal grill about a foot wide. I could cook every meal on this thing if I needed to. It’s great when solo, and even better with a group of people. Because of the small surface area, it forces you to slow down the meal, and allows everyone to enjoy the same morsel of tasty food simultaneously. It changed my dinner party game forever.

3) My kindle. I’ll never get tired of receiving intense hallucinations from looking at squiggly lines on a page. The fact that it’s a literal portal to the world’s knowledge is a handy bonus.


What would you want your tombstone to say?

I’m definitely opting for maximum organ donation and cremation so this has never entered my mind. I think I’d rather be a memory and a positive fork in the universal timeline than words carved in stone.


What is Barista Hustle?

The idea behind Barista Hustle (BH) was to create a virtuous cycle of free information, worldwide community, strong in-house products, and good vibes that benefits everyone involved. Doing business online these days is awkward and full of hard questions: How do I get people to trust me? How do I pay my wage without ‘selling out’? How do I make sure everyone wins, so it can be a long-term thing?

After 2 years I’ve found a balance that I’m happy with, and that virtuous cycle is starting to make some revolutions. We recently launched an affordable tamper and pre-sold 1000 in a week, the coffee subscription is getting some beautiful coffees into the mugs of those who normally wouldn’t have access, and I’m weeks away from hiring a right hand I met through the BH community. 2017 is going to be rad!

What’s your favorite kind of coffee?

Give me a cappuccino and make it really foamy. At least 1/3 solid foam: none of this wet latte BS. The coffee inside had better not be a light, acidic, ‘specialty’ roast either. I want dark chocolate, a loooooong toffee finish, and an unapologetically syrupy mouthfeel. The highest chance of success would be a blend of Colombian and Brazilian, roasted somewhere between city+ and full city for zero grassiness and maximum sweetness.


In which coffee shops are we likely to bump into you?

I’m writing this in my office du jour: Sensory Lab 30 Collins Street, Melbourne. It’s our newest store, and I love the Japenese subway vibes. If I’m traveling you’ll find me at Fritz Coffee in Seoul, G&B in Los Angeles, Holybelly in Paris, or Fika Fika in Taipei.

What does a perfect day look like?

Wake up at 6. Do an hour of yoga/stretching/something, drink some tea, meditate or journal (whatever my monkey brain wants). Spend 4 hours of uninterrupted quality time solving a problem, writing, or experimenting. First meal around 12. It’s probably chickpea pancakes mixed with other things (recipe adapted from Scott Rao‘s Farinata di Ceci). An afternoon of odd jobs: social media, emails, calls, meetings, to-dos. Tidy up omnifocus around 5pm, and figure out tomorrow (It’s a power-user organisational app that I’d highly recommend for complex lives). Early dinner at 5:30/6pm. All lights off right after sunset. Which means candles. Which means finishing the day with tea, conversations, and music.

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