Top barista aims high

Central Leader - - News -

Espresso Work­shop is a suit­able name for David Huang’s Ep­som cafe.

His de­sire to know more about cof­fee and his abil­ity to tin­ker with it makes him Auck­land’s top barista.

“A barista may ap­pear to make cof­fee but their job is to en­sure the whole op­er­a­tion runs smoothly, from the ma­chines to the blend­ing and roast­ing.

“We need to un­der­stand what the cus­tomer is ex­pect­ing to get,” he says.

Last month the 28-year-old won third place at the New Zealand Barista Champs, which qual­i­fies him to go to the World Barista Cham­pi­onships in At­lanta in the United States this month, where more than 50 coun­tries will bat­tle it out to be num­ber one.

David says the com­pe­ti­tions help him to keep rais­ing the bar – they get tougher ev­ery year.

“We have a high stan­dard here in New Zealand,” he says.

As for the world champs, David says he hopes to come home with some tips to make his cof­fee even bet­ter.

“I hope to net­work with other com­peti­tors and gain ac­cess to re­sources we haven’t had be­fore such as pro­duc­ers, traders and sup­pli­ers with dif­fer­ent tech­nol­ogy that help us to im­prove the qual­ity of the cof­fee.”

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Se­ri­ous espresso: Barista David Huang takes com­pet­i­tive cof­fee-mak­ing to an in­ter­na­tional level.

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