Cof­fee roaster takes on in­ter­na­tion­als

CHB Mail - - News - BY GE­OR­GIA MAY GIL­BERT­SON geor­gia­may.gil­bert­son@hbto­day.co.nz

For­mer O¯ tane res­i­dent Tyler Ritchie's love of cof­fee has taken her across the globe, re­sult­ing in sec­ond place in a cof­fee roast­ing com­pe­ti­tion in China.

She en­tered the Aus­tralian Na­tional Roast­ing Com­pe­ti­tion ear­lier this year and came seventh. That plac­ing re­sulted in an in­vi­ta­tion to Nan­jing in China to take part in the In­no­va­tion in Ori­gin cof­fee com­pe­ti­tion.

The top 30 Chi­nese com­peti­tors from 200 took part, along with six com­peti­tors from re­gions in Aus­tralia, with Tyler the only fe­male out of those Aus­tralian com­peti­tors.

She came sec­ond over­all and was blown away with the re­sult.

“I was really proud to win for the women in the in­dus­try — and to have my boss there sup­port­ing me . . . I was stoked to do him proud, too.

“The fe­male Chi­nese roast­ers were mas­sive fan­girls, which was pretty over­whelm­ing but it was a good feel­ing that I could in­spire them.

“Some of them waited in my ho­tel lobby for three hours, just to give me some of their Chi­ne­segrown cof­fee.”

Tyler grew up at na­tive nurs­ery Tree Guys where her love for grow­ing her own pro­duce be­gan.

“I al­ways got sat­is­fac­tion out of plant­ing seeds and cook­ing the goods.”

While in Cen­tral Hawke's Bay, Ritchie started work at The Pa­per Mul­berry Cafe, where her pas­sion for cof­fee be­gan.

She con­tin­ued to work at cafes dur­ing her univer­sity years and de­vel­oped a strong rap­port with cof­fee rep­re­sen­ta­tives and sales teams.

The 26 year old now lives in Sydney, work­ing for spe­cial­ity cof­fee roast­ery The Lit­tle Mar­i­onette.

“I've al­ways wanted to learn. “I got an easy trans­fer to Sydney through a cafe I was work­ing for in Welling­ton and started work­ing for All­press, where I would hang in and around the roast­ery un­til I was in­vited to ap­ply for an as­sis­tant roaster role.”

Af­ter her new-found suc­cess at the In­no­va­tion in Ori­gin, Ritchie said she's got plenty of goals to achieve.

“I will try to win at the na­tion­als next year. I am head­ing to ‘ori­gin' (the place where cof­fee is grown) at the end of this year to find a cof­fee to en­ter.

“Next year my goal is to get fur­ther into Green Bean buy­ing and travel more, sourc­ing cof­fee and meet­ing farm­ers, cre­at­ing re­la­tion­ships with the farm­ers and buy­ing sus­tain­able re­la­tion­ship cof­fee.

“I want to sup­port projects at ori­gin, like clean wa­ter wells, help to fund new mills and vol­un­teer on the farms.”

For­mer O¯ tane res­i­dent Tyler Ritchie's love of cof­fee has taken her across the globe.

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