The Barista – Hanna Teramoto

Hanna Teramoto came second in the Huhtamaki NZ Barista Championship 2013 and has just been elected the the NZ Barista Guild committee. Find out more about Hanna here…
What is your earliest coffee related experience?
I think I was about five. My father use to drink filtered coffees before heading to work every morning, but he was always in a hurry and couldn’t finish it off. So after it cooled down a bit, I use to have a sip. I didn’t understand what was good about drinking that stuff back then..
When / why did you first get working in coffee?
I started working in the coffee industry at 2007. Before that, I was a systems administrator. My husband, Akio, and I had a dream of opening our own cafe back in the days when we knew nothing about cafe business. I started learning how to make coffee because that was where I had to start to find a job in cafes to learn what I would be doing in the future when I opened my own place. And this is where things started to go off track, when I got more addicted to making coffees rather than spending loads of hours doing paperworks.. Future never turns out like you planned!
What led you to becoming a barista?
When I got more and more addicted to coffee making, there was an in house competition at Vivace Espresso – I was living in Christchurch back then. The cafe I was working were one of their accounts, and I decided to compete. I won the competition, and then the winner gets the prize to compete in the Barista Championship for free, so I competed again. I came 5th in the Christchurch regionals, and when all this settled, I was a barista rather than a coffee maker. Competitions helped me push the boundaries and I’m still learning through this method.
What is the best part of your job? I really appreciate this job when I find new friends who has the same interest. This could be someone who works in the same industry or could even be my customers. I just think, there’s no bad people who loves coffee!
Talk us through a typical work day
When I’m on open, I start my day at 7am. I season the machine – our 2 group FB80 – and dial in coffees for 3 grinders; usually, we have a blend for milk based, single origin for black, and a decaf. Then, I make coffee for the staff and open the door at 7.30. Sometimes people start to flow in just after open, but usually our local customers queue up around 10. I give them caffeine fix at anytime before they go grumpy.
What are your roles outside of making coffee?
I make sure our customers are happy in general, because most of our customers are local people who works/lives in Parnell. So quite often I go out from my den behind the machine out to where the customers are and spend some time talking to them. This is how I get a prize of a wink or two from them!
What is your favourite brew method and/or coffee origin and why? Depends on how I feel. On the weekends when I just got up, I like having pour overs that is rather sweet, like Nicaraguan Luis Emilio Gomez, but during the weekdays when I need to wake up my brain, I’d rather go with long blacks or double flatwhites with stronger blends.
Tulip or rosetta?
To me, rosetta is for someone who’s mature and I choose tulip!
What would be your dream ‘coffee experience’?
Drinking the best coffee ever that blows my mind in a comfy couch…would be my second best! Definitely, the first would be visiting the origins and working with them for a while.
Do you have a ‘coffee crush’ (person you most respect in the business)?
That would be the people in Christchurch who helped me when I was going through the hardest time settling in to this country. They offered me jobs, trainings, knowledges, and even a place to practice for the competition for nothing. You know who I’m talking about!