Fin­gers crossed for pop­u­lar lo­cal barista


Petrol sta­tion cof­fee has come a long way from freeze-dried in a poly­styrene cup.

On Fri­day a Ti­tahi Bay man hopes to beat the best baris­tas from the coun­try’s BP Wild Bean cafes at a com­pe­ti­tion in Auck­land.

Dar­ren ‘‘Daz’’ Higgs makes such good cof­fee at Mana BP that some cus­tomers visit four times a day.

Mr Higgs, 26, won best Wel- ling­ton barista at the re­gional Wild Bean com­pe­ti­tion this month, and is fu­ri­ously per­fect­ing his frothy milk and win­ning smile for the na­tion­als.

‘‘It’s ex­cit­ing and scary at the same time,’’ he said.

Judges scru­ti­nise the per­fec­tion of com­peti­tors’ drinks, how well they clean their ma­chines be­fore and af­ter mak­ing cof­fees, and their cus­tomer ser­vice skills.

The lat­ter should not be a prob­lem for Mr Higgs, who is a hit with caf­feine lovers as far afield as Para­pa­raumu.

‘‘We’ve got some hard-out cof­fee drinkers,’’ he said.

Mr Higgs said the most pop­u­lar drink he made was a moc­cha­cino. Un­usu­ally for a barista he likes milky cof­fees him­self, es­pe­cially ex­tra- frothy cap­pu­ci­nos.

His skill may come down to a per­fec­tion­ist streak, which should stand him in good stead in Auck­land.

‘‘I’m al­ways hard on my­self. What­ever I do it’s never good enough,’’ he said.

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