Today marks International Coffee Day 2014, a worldwide celebration of the brew that brings people together. Whether you’re a lover of the flat white, an ardent espresso fan or favour flavoured coffee concoctions, today take a moment to stop and reflect on what coffee means to you. And who would love coffee more than the owner of an espresso bar?

Luke Shilling is the quick-witted bearded man behind the machine at LTD espresso + brew bar handing out coffees and wisecracks. In case you ever forget what he looks like, there is a conveniently-placed artwork of him on the wall behind the counter.

Located in a narrow space on Brunswick Street, LTD espresso + brew bar is stripped back and sparse — the focus is clearly on the coffee. However, as much as Luke and his team are dedicated baristas and coffee aficionados, there is just as much emphasis on chatting to customers and making people laugh.

What exactly do you do?
Honestly? I make wisecracks and puns to customers and pour penises on coffees all day.

How did you end up on this path?
It was a more viable career than being a classical guitarist.

Favourite way to drink coffee?
Espresso with a touch of hot water. Commonly known as a ‘shlong’, as in a short long black.

Where would you most like to stop, sit and sip on a coffee?
It would be nice to just stop, sit and sip on a coffee.

If you could make a coffee and have a chinwag with anyone in the world – who would it be?
It might sound vain but myself about 13 years ago when I was just starting out in coffee. Oh, the stories we could swap.

What makes your coffee different to others?
I’m making it.

Coffee to you means…??
I get to feed and clothe myself for another day.

Tips for always getting a good coffee?
Lower your standards and expectations.

Anything else readers should know?
About coffee or myself? Heaps, I guess. All it takes is to ask questions.

Find Luke at LTD espresso + brew bar, 362 Brunswick Street Fortitude Valley.

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