Porirua’s java master
A Porirua man has won the barista championship at an Australasian coffee competition in Sydney.
Shane Pierce beat 300 transTasman rivals to become the Muffin Break and Foodco barista champion in April.
Pierce had to win the New Zealand round before heading to Sydney, where his coffeemaking routine and coffee knowledge were closely scrutinised by judges while he churned out 12 drinks in the 15-minute time limit.
The event involved 13 finalists, whittled down from more than 300 baristas in New Zealand and Australia.
Pierce, franchise owner of the Muffin Break cafe at North City, Porirua, said he was pleased to win, having put in hours of practice to hone his routine.
Pierce and his wife, Jodi, have had their Muffin Break franchise for 10 years and have built up a large base of loyal customers.
‘‘A lot of small things make a big difference with coffee. You can’t take shortcuts – true coffee drinkers can tell,’’ he said.
For his efforts Pierce won stock for his shop and free attendance at the franchise conference later this year on the Gold Coast.
He said the win was a great morale booster for his staff of 15.
Coffee whiz: Shane Pierce during the barista finals in Sydney.