When it comes to making a perfect coffee, Nicole Moses is one of the best.
Ms Moses, who works at Muffin Break in Johnsonville Shopping Centre, has made the national final of the chain's Barista of the Year competition She is one of five finalists who beat 35 hopefuls from around the country.
If Ms Moses wins the national final she’ll be in line for a trip to Melbourne for Australasian final in May. She could also win an I-Pad, a coffee machine and grinder and a $1000 Visa Gift Card.
The annual trans-Tasman competition sees Muffin Break baristas from New Zealand and Australia compete in regional competitions, where they are judged on quality and excellence in coffee preparation service.
But competitors in the regional competition were judged on more than just how their finished coffee looks and tastes. The criteria included preparation of their machinery and workstation, the technical skills of a barista, the sensory evaluation of coffee and their knowledge of the popular brew.
Ms Moses says it is the third time she has entered the competition. It required her to make four different coffees in three minutes, all under the watchful eye of a visiting judge. “You’ve got him watching you. But you know you can get it done.”
She says the chance to challenge herself and her barista skills were the reasons he chose to enter the competition.
“I really just wanted to give it a go,” says Ms Moses. Her preparation for the competition was simple. “You practice.” She also has a simple formula for being a good barista. “You’ve got to know what you are doing.”
She has worked at Muffin Break for five years and enjoys her work. “I like customer service and interactions with customers. It’s really good.”
Apart from making the best coffees, enjoys drinking them too. “I like a latte or a flat white.”