Archive for April, 2008

A Barista’s View

It has now been about 20 days since the heat of the Barista Championship Auckland Regionals. With time to relax and gain my concentration and reassess my passion for the entire coffee world, I am once again looking for ways to improve my ability.

James Hoffman’s regular posts ( are always an inspiration to push further development, using this, a few of the judges comments on improvement and working the “daily grind” I slowly build a greater appreciation of this vastly common consumable.

It seems to me that little old NZ, although we all love our espresso based coffee fixes, are dawdling along in the same old, same old. It is time that we focus on differentiating ourselves once more, we have such a vast percentage to population of coffee consumers that it is demanded of us to be on the forefront of new initiatives and ideas within this industry. Instead of drinking “Lattes” and “Large Double Flat Whites”, shouldn’t we instead be coming up with new methods and defining this very culture.

It may sound obsessive, but those in the industry and with a passion for the culture should agree that coffee in it’s entirety offers so much more than the average consumer consciously contemplates.

There are a few things that I am working on to subtly change how we experience our regular delight, but until they are realised I challenge fellow baristas, roasters, cafe owners and consumers to bring a unique experience to your cup.

Pouring at Auckland Regionals

I’m sure  this competition has done well to open my mind further, lets bring on more industry events. barista jams and the likes.

Until next time,


Auckland Barista Championship Photo’s

Here they are, I have a few here so please wait for them to load.

Championship EquipmentTafa DosingTafa preparing Sig BevTafa PresentingHans Presenting to JudgesHans\' RoutineBen\'s Signature PresentationCarl (MC) SaraFirst CompetitorSignature Preperation (Pastel Y)Cappuccino PresentationPresenting to JudgesJess HollisSignature Preperation (Blue)Orange LionSignature Beverage (Orange) IWatchful Chris WhiteTable Presentation IITable PresentationLui and CarlShot PouringSignature Preperation (Whip)Table Presentation ICappuccino PourTamp PressShot PullingCompetitor w/ HatSignature Beverage (Wine)Test Tube TastingSignature Beverage OrientalTampingGreen Tea???TastingShot Pouring ISignature Preperation (V)Carl SaraRyan Clarke

Images are also available at:


Hope this entertains for now!

I have since decided that I am 90% sure I will make the finals in Wellington and rest assured – there will be many a photo if i make it.

Take it easy,


Auckland Barista Champs – Run Down


 It has been 2 days now and I think I have had enough time to regain the energy that was lost over the weekend.


Firstly, what a great event. The day was run well – very well, big ups to Emma and the team. And it was a long day. Auckland having 25 positions made it fun for everyone to get their routines in within the day but it worked.

First place going to Tafa from Mojo Cafe – he had a solid routine, much to be expected from previous years. The aromas of the signature beverage as the smoke hit the ceiling were so very elegant. I would have liked to try the drink.

Myself, I was on 6th that morning – I am glad i went then as the rest of the day was enjoyable watching the other routines. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see Ryan’s (2nd) or Gloria’s (3rd) routine which was a bit disappointing as they obviously did well.

I felt confident in my routine and upon talking with the judges afterwards I have seen where I can improve and really look forward to next year. On a more personal note – my espresso’s were a tad short but still around 23ml, however – as I hadn’t aged my coffee enough a few characteristics were lost in the cups profile. Same with my cappuccino’s… I was however happy with my signature beverage but see that more could be done from a creative point of view.

The machinery was pristine, Allpress did an amazing job with both the venue, and ensuring the performance and high standard of their equipment.

Look forward to seeing the finals, After watching Tafa and speaking to Lui, the result should be interesting.

I will post some photo’s soon, but for now I’ll leave it here.

Auckland Barista Champs… 39 hours 49minutes…

With now less than 2 days before the Auckland regional Barista Championship it is getting all the more exciting. The venue is due to take form tomorrow in what looks to be a promising design utilising the facilities of the Allpress Roastery.


 It has been a long journey practicing the routine, but with help from some key players I have managed to perfect my skills and gain enough understanding of the presentaion environment to calm my nerves.

Now understanding that the GB5’s to be used are 2 group machine and not 3’s I am glad i had a look around. Also I was able to take a glimpse at the Christchurch environment which helped me out, that and a sneak peak at Lui’s routine. Thanks …

With the help of some constructive criticism I have been given the opportunity to perfect my routine. I am thankful for the advice, and the chance to check where my nerves were at.  I look forward to Saturday. I will post some more after the comps but for now it’s time for more routine prep!!!.


Take it easy