2018 Specialty Coffee Guild Committee

Nico Refiti | Chair
Ozone Coffee Roasters, New Plymouth

Originally growing up in the central suburbs of Auckland and spending a few years slinging coffees and cocktails in Australia, I’m now settled down in New Plymouth.

Having spent my entire working life in and around the hospitality industry I’ve sampled many different jobs, but always found myself drawn towards specialty coffee! I now work as a Barista Trainer for Ozone Coffee Roasters and enjoy getting out on the road to visit cafes and baristas across the North Island.

I’ve always had an interest in hospitality competitions and have competed at various levels including the New Zealand Barista Championships the last two years.

I’m passionate about great service, scepticism, teaching and learning something new.

Ria Lingard | NZSCG
Restaurant Brands, Auckland

I am a Product Development Manager for Restaurant Brands. It’s quite a unique job as I get to turn ideas (or cravings!) to life, working side by side with international brand experts. I also manage the new product development projects for all the brands and every day is different!
I’ve been lucky to have competed at the 2016 New Zealand Brewer’s Cup and World Brewer’s Cup in Dublin. I’m really pleased to be involved with an amazing team of people to further elevate and create inspiring opportunities within the local coffee industry!

 

David Huang
Black and Gold eatery, Auckland  

I have been in coffee since 2001, starting off as a grass root cafe runner and working my way up through barista, cafe manager, barista trainer, operation manager/roaster and now a hospitality business owner. I have also been active in the community scene, be it competing/judging in barista competition or eating sausages and slurping coffee in the background of a coffee event.
My true passion has been with developing coffee and the people that share the same goal. I live by the code of striving for excellence and sharing is caring. Giving back to the community that nurtured me is to become part of my professional goal. Let us live and breathe coffee, make coffee not war 🙂

 

John Cole  
Mojo Coffee, Wellington

Originally born and raised in America, John proudly calls New Zealand home, where his love of coffee began many years ago.  He is the father of three crazy but amazing kids and is blessed to be married to one incredible woman.  John is head of education at Mojo Coffee based in Wellington and has been in specialty coffee for over ten years, working in many roles as a barista, cafe manager, and trainer, both in the United States and New Zealand.  During that time he’s competed in the New Zealand Brewers Cup and had the honour of judging in the New Zealand Barista Championship on multiple occasions.  John has a great love for education and the overall experience for both our customers and coffee professionals.  He is proud to support the next generation of coffee professionals flourishing and pushing the New Zealand industry forward.

Andrew Feldon
Mouthwater Coffee, Palmerston North

Andrew started out in his first ‘proper’ coffee job in a new cart on the side of the road in Otaki in 2004.

He had a crack at his first barista competition that same year. He learnt a lot about coffee and how much there is to it, competing a number of other times, before switching sides to now be a regular sight on the NZBC judging panels.

Andrew has been fortunate enough to learn from some of the best in the country, both at competitions, industry events and has worked for a few great New Zealand coffee companies.

Last year, Andrew returned to his roots, setting up shop (Mouthwater Coffee Company  – training, wholesaling and retailing coffee based out of a cart in Palmerston North), and is keen to help develop the coffee community locally and nationally.

Sarah Stephen
Mojo Coffee, Wellington

I was drawn into the coffee industry by my then local cafe in Brisbane, over six years ago.  This cafe presented to our suburb a community meeting space, an inclusive environment, a place to meet neighbours, and share laughs.  I wanted to be part of that community. My barista first steps began at that cafe (shout out to Pod Espresso).

My curiosity for this special agricultural product steered me to Wellington, the city with specialty roasters and humming cafes for me to explore… and I’ve not looked back.

Fast forward five years and my passion for customer service has been enriched by my ongoing knowledge base of the coffee journey, ‘from seed to cup’, and the technical skills I’ve gained.

I was runner-up at NZ Brewers Cup 2017.  I am the Manager and Coffee Specialist at The Beanery by Mojo Coffee in Wellington. My role has taken me to Xian, China in 2018 to run workshops and mentor the Mojo Asia team. I have volunteered at the NZSCA Barista Champs the last two years.

I look forward to geeking out on all things coffee with you soon.

Dan Webster  
3rd Wave Coffee Company, Hamilton

My job in high school was working at McDonald’s as a fry chef. I told them I would quit if they didn’t move me to McCafe, and so began my passion for coffee. Working in numerous cafes through school & university, I was drawn into the design industry but maintained an on again, off again relationship with the coffee machine.

When the opportunity to travel abroad arose, I took my coffee passion with me, finding so many quality cafes but New Zealand could still rank with the rest of them. So I decided to combine my two passions of coffee and design, and create 3rd Wave Coffee App, a cafe finder to make it easier for others to find great coffee places too!

You’ll often find me running cuppings in cafes, hosting coffee events or exploring new cafes to add into the app. I’m passionate about growing our coffee community, making it easier to find and promote the cafes and people that embody the artisan spirit of craft coffee!