Member Profile – Anne-Lise Mornard-Stott – New Guild Member

Anne-Lise Mornard-Stott is currently working as a barista at Cake & Kitchen in Upper Hutt, Wellington.  She answers our questions about her coffee journey.
What is your earliest coffee related experience?
I was born and raised in France. Filter coffee is probably the most popular home brewing method there. My father would make some every morning and I will always associate my childhood memories with the smell of fresh coffee as I wake up.
I didn’t start drinking it until I was about 15.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
A veterinarian. Good thing I didn’t follow through, I actually don’t like pets very much.
When did you first get working in coffee?
After 2 years of apprenticeship in a French catering school, I flew to Australia for a year of working holiday visa. It was in 2011. I got a job in a small cafe in Sydney and my boss was kind enough to let me look behind the coffee machine. I didn’t get to properly work with coffee until a year later in Auckland.
Before that, I would make coffee in restaurants in France, but if I wasn’t using a Nespresso machine, then I didn’t get any proper training on espresso. My cleaning routine was dreadful when I think about it now…
What is the best part of your job?
Being a barista is the best position in hospitality for me. You have the perks of working front-of-house, in the cosy space of the cafe, meeting and getting to know customers, far from screaming head chefs. But you also produce something yourself. Not being able to express myself through food or beverage production in service was a big frustration of mine. coffee allows me to be a server while doing my best to make something they will enjoy consuming.
Talk us through a typical workday
It’s pretty straightforward. I show up to work pretty late (8 am) because I need to put my daughter in daycare. My colleague has already been serving coffee for 1 and a half hour. Together, we make sure everything is set up as quickly as possible, coffee section, cabinet food and restaurant. Then I usually work at the machine until we close, alternating with her for breaks. I sometimes give her more time on the machine for practice and training. When I’m lucky, I get a visit from the roaster and we can discuss issues, ideas, new products… We clean it all up at 4 pm.
What is your favourite brew method and/or coffee origin and why?
At home, I like to keep it simple. I don’t own an espresso machine. I usually use a plunger or a Chemex. At work or when I go out, I definitely go for espresso, unless the cafe has some nice origins to taste that I haven’t tried yet.  And to be honest, I haven’t tried much yet, I’m just getting into single origins and such. I’ve tried a Kenyan coffee from Supreme as a first Chemex brew, it was absolutely delicious.
Tulip or rosetta?
I like the clean and simple aspect of a tulip. Also, my rosettas are always a bit crooked.
What are your interests outside of coffee?
I enjoy travelling. That’s what brought me to New-Zealand before I stayed for love.
I also spend an embarrassing amount of time playing video games or watching series.
And I spend whatever time I have left with my husband and my daughter.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I really hope I’ll still be in Wellington. We moved from Auckland a year ago, and what a year it’s been!
I would like to get more involved in all the process of getting coffee to the customer, understanding sourcing, roasting, blending etc… Maybe this year, as I get more confident in my career choice.
What the best advice for someone starting out?
Get as much information as you can from a lot of different sources about what you do. It’s easy to take terrible advice from supervisors/trainers that become bad habits that are very hard to unlearn.
Coffee making is an industry filled with little superstitions and folklore about the best way to make coffee, so it’s important to look for different point of views and experiment. Never say no to training, you’re never done learning.
How do you see the coffee industry changing in the future?
I’m too young in the industry to make any kind of prediction, but I do hope machines are going to get better at my job so I can focus more on offering the best beans and roasts to my customers, without having to worry about consistency or injury.
What would be your dream ‘coffee experience’?
Flying to a farm and seeing how it’s done. I’d prefer Latin America because I can actually speak Spanish.
Do you have a ‘coffee crush’?
I think I’ll always be grateful to Kim Boyd for being so approachable, kind and knowledgeable when I was working my first barista job in Auckland in a cafe supplied by Supreme. *Kim’s current role is as a Project Manager at Mojo Coffee.