As we move towards 2024 and the return of regional barista events we want to acknowledge and celebrate the past and the people that were part of the journey in New Zealand. We asked our past champions about their journey in coffee competitions in NZ to help inspire the competitive baristas and coffee community of 2024.
Where and when did you start in coffee?
My journey in the coffee world began with various basic café roles early in my career. However, my role with Café Laffare in Wellington was when I first got into the industry. They were instrumental in encouraging me to participate in the barista championship and deepened my involvement in the coffee industry.
When did you first start to compete?
My competitive journey in the coffee began in 2013.
What did you learn along the way?
The journey taught me valuable skills in public speaking which was initially my biggest worry about competing. and personal development, and provided a deep dive into the nuances of the coffee industry and helped me to fast track my coffee knowledge.
What was your motivation, what did you want to achieve?
My primary motivation was to do as well as possible in the competitions and expand my knowledge and understanding of coffee in all its facets
Most memorable experience as a champion, what did you get out of it?
The opportunity to travel while learning about coffee. It allowed me to travel and visit places I never would have
Who helped you along the way?
My progress was supported by a host of individuals. Initially, at Laffare, David Green and Kerry Murray played pivotal roles in preparing me for the barista championship. After relocating to Christchurch, I practised my routines with Alex Casserley & David Pai in his garage, using Flight Coffee, who provided awesome support Along with Carl Sara
Where are you now?
Currently, I am running my own financial advice business. While I’m not directly working in the coffee industry, my passion for coffee remains, I have just tagged along with Alex on a trip to Laos visiting coffee farms