When coffee’s not a job, but a passion
continues his mission to visit every food truck in Marlborough. This week he catches up with Kate Jones of Koffie Mobile.
Apparently, Marlborough’s claim to culinary fame is that it has ‘more eateries per capita than New York City’.
At first blush, that looks about right. Blenheim has more cafes now than you can shake a stirrer stick at.
But what does that really mean for us coffee slurpers? At an average price of about four bones a cuppa joe (and in some cases $5 for a flat white), are we really paying for the same quality everywhere?
You might be surprised to know that your local baristas vary in expertise, and yes, even passion for coffee.
Kate Jones, owner and operator of Koffie Mobile, might just be one of those rare humans who loves her job. Aside from running the coffee cart, Jones also has trained and groomed many of the towns up-and-coming young wannabes, and she can tell when someone has a love for coffee.
‘‘I’ve always had a passion for coffee. And I guess I knew it was something I wanted to do - learn more about and grow my skills. I just love it, and it’s a foreverchanging scene.’’
Jones spent most of her time in Melbourne, Australia learning from some of the best in the business.
‘‘Working in Australia, in the coffee scene over there, it’s taken really seriously. I mean if I told someone that I ama barista in Melbourne, they’d be like, ‘Oh that’s awesome’.
‘‘Whereas here, back in New Zealand, I find a bit more people go, ‘Oh, so what else do you do for a living?’
‘‘For some [in New Zealand], it’s just a job that people do while they’re looking for another job. That’s why you might get a bad coffee somewhere, because there’s not the same passion.’’
And that’s why Jones says that changing attitudes comes from changing how we educate our new breed of baristas.
‘‘That’s why I love the training side of it, because I actually get to teach people that are interested in it and find it as exciting as I do.’’
Koffie Mobile uses Market Coffee which is roasted in Marlborough by another local coffee guru, Tash Wakelin. Apart from her regular spot at the Farmers’ Market every Sunday, Koffie Mobile is booked up for events.
Jones says that it’s been fun seeing the diverse side of Marlborough.
‘‘I get to interact with a lot of people in Marlborough,’’ Jones says. ‘‘And I’m trying to change that view that a coffee cart only serves crappy coffee. I want people to know you can come to a coffee cart and get great coffee. That’s the best thing about being mobile.’’
You can find Kate Jones, owner-operator of Koffie Mobile, at the Marlborough Farmer’s Market every Sunday.