The Barista – Sarah Kennard

What is your earliest coffee related experience? Driving home from the International airport inhaling the aromas from a bag of Filter coffee my mother had brought back from New Caledonia. The Moglia family that she stayed with were well known on the island for growing coffee and their extensive tropical gardens. The fragrance was heady and intoxicating for a 6 year old.
When / why did you first get working in coffee? I kind of stumbled across it. While in London I landed a customer service role with Lavazza Coffee, I taught myself how to make coffee on the machine in the lunch room and the International Trainer was visiting. I must have been doing something right as it eventually lead to me being offered the job as Training Manager.
What led you to becoming a barista? Being inquisitive and wanting to know more about coffee. I love being able to share that knowledge. I’m a practical person and I need to be busy, sitting behind a desk all day was not for me.
What is the best part of your job? When a student has a breakthrough, when the penny finally drops and they get it. Whether it be learning to adjust the grinder, creating the perfect shot or pouring latte art. That’s my reward.
Talk us through a typical work day I’m usually dashing about from customer to customer, auditing, training and sorting out loads of problems.
What are your roles outside of making coffee? Trainer, troubleshooter and a bit of sales. I work for Cerebos Greggs so my day can also involve talking about our many other products as well.
What is your favourite brew method and/or coffee origin and why? I love espresso because I have spent years tasting and talking about it. I have a grinder at home but no espresso machine so if I’m making coffee for one I use the Swiss Gold. The Plunger comes out if I have guests much to their disappointment. I’ll get a Rocket one day.
Tulip or rosetta? Tulip. I’ve finally mastered it.
What would be your dream ‘coffee experience’? Living and working a coffee harvest in Ethiopia or Kenya, I got married in Africa and it has been calling me back ever since. It gets into your soul. I’ve also visited coffee plantations in Cuba and Vietnam which was an amazing experience, especially as both times were in flowering season, the fragrance was amazing.
Do you have a ‘coffee crush’ ? Andre Fucci from Lavazza. For believing in me.