Coffee in Good Spirits Throwdown Wellington

Event Date: 11th April, 2021

It’s been a LONG time between drinks and our judges have been patiently awaiting their drinks. So here’s to introducing them all again! Meet our judges and our competitors who know how to combine coffee and good spirits.

What it’s all about:

Event: Coffee in Good Spirits Throwdown 2021
Location: Prefab Hall, 14 Jessie Street, Wellington
Date: Thursday 18 March 2021 5.30 pm – 9.30 pm
Entry: Free for spectators

The Coffee In Good Spirits encourages you to join two worlds together to create tasty alcoholic-based coffee beverages. Acme will be hosting a Foosball Tournament for those who like team games!

Entry closes soon so grab your cocktail shaker and ticket now to win $1000. This is a limited ticket event for competitors to encourage responsible cocktail drinking. First in first served, so get your ticket to compete now!

Thanks to our sponsors:  Acme, La Marzocco, AMC Roastery Supply, Cameo Coffee Syrups and The Garage Project.


With a limited number of competitors, there will be three knockout rounds comprising of warm, cold and ultimate espresso martini final round. You select your coffee and spirits for use on the night. Competitors will need to bring with them all they need to create their cocktails, two cocktails will be made in each round. There will be a fixed 20 second time limit to describe your drink to the judges.

Competitors may compete in two’s or three at the same time.

You select your coffee and spirits for use on the night. Competitors will need to bring with them all they need to create their cocktails, two cocktails will be made in each round.

The warm and cold drink has the elective choice of espresso, filter or any brew method of choice with a minimum 30ml in each drink. You may also use pre-prepared cold brew etc in your drinks.

Use any method, complexity, and recipe. A time limit applies: 10 (ten) mins total from set up to serving.

Judged loosely on three sections: tastiness/nerdiness/fire and flair. The winning overall drink impression of ‘which one is the best?’

• First round: Competitors create a WARM Cocktail

• Second round: Competitors create a COLD Cocktail

• Final Round: Espresso Martini (espresso only). Competitors battle it out for the $1000 cash prize.


Stations: on each is one LM Mini espresso machine, one E65s Mahlkonig grinder, access to one EK43 grinder, one kettle, one ice bucket. A tray will be available backstage for each competitor prior to the performance.

Bring your own glassware, muddlers, mixers, stainless steel straws and costumes.


There will be taste judges per round and a head judge if required.  If there are any clashes in which beverage tastes the best, the head judge will have the final taste.  The Head judge will also assess the amount of coffee in each beverage.

If you’d like to volunteer: fill this form in>

Thanks again to our sponsors: Acme, La Marzocco, AMC Roastery Supply, Cameo Coffee Syrups and Garage Project.

Judge #1 in Coffee in Good Spirits Throwdown, Woohyung Lee @camper_coffee

Woo is coming to you from Camper Coffee in Auckland to judge at our CIGS and compete at the Barista Championship on the weekend. If that’s not the epitome of being in the coffee industry, we don’t know what is!
His day job involves making and drinking coffee, he loves to drink cocktails and claims to never get drunk 🤔

He’s bringing the candy, the beanie and the experience of being a two time Aeropress Competition winner to the judges table.

Comprising of a slug of whiskey, seasoned and sweetened, and full of suave simplicity, if Woohyung Lee was a cocktail, he’d be an Old Fashioned.

Judge #2 in the Coffee in Good Spirits Throwdown is Dave Tobeck @davidsonofbruce

His day job sees him as the technical manager for La Marzocco @lamarzocconz

Is Dave judgmental? Well, he’s honest, he’s to the point, and has no interest in hiding his feelings, positive or negative. So, he’s the perfect coffee cocktail judge, and Malcolm is sadly unavailable after that rather unfortunate incident at the last CIGS Throwdown.

Dave as a cocktail is a Lion Red – classic, no-frills, a bit shit, and you know full well what you’re getting or do you… Swipe left to see the Lion Red we think he’s talking about!

Judge #3 in the Coffee in Good Spirits Throwdown is Roz Cattell @roscattell who also happens to love coffee and LOVE cocktails!

Her day job sees her as GM at Beverage Services and El Presidente for us! And dog mum to Henry.

At night, Roz remains elusive saying, on one hand, she likes to knit but also her patience is limited, so maybe she’s an active relaxer?!
She’s adept at keeping a Poker face, remembers everything you tell her, and treats everyone equally, all good judgy qualities and did we mention that she really likes coffee and good spirits!

If Roz was a cocktail, she would be a Whiskey Sour – Simple yet dependable!

Judge #4 in the Coffee in Good Spirits Throwdown is Josie Parden @josie_mosey who’s day job is Marketing and Branding at La Marzocco NZ. @lamarzocconz are the generous sponsors of the espresso machine the competitors will be using 🙌

When not working, Josie can be found saying yes to new adventures.

She’s a seasoned cocktail drinker and we’ve adopted her from New Orleans where Peychaud, famous for his bitters, made the very first cocktail.She’s an ex-bartender and can smell things from long distances. You could say that she was born for this…

If Josie was a cocktail, she’d be The Blood and Sand – strong like Scotch, but with a dash of sweet. She’s the perfect mix of kiwi and American, coffee and cocktail to us.

Meet Judge #5 in the Coffee in Good Spirits Throwdown, Crocky Hargreaves @crockyscoldbrew

His side hustle is selling nitro cold brew on a bike. His other job is as a Beer Dealer for sponsor Garage Project @garageproject We love a good #brewbikerbeerdealer.

Crocky is a Certified Beer Cicerone, and he has a sticker and certificate to prove it. He’s the eighth best Barista in the Lower South Island (2011-2014), which is a claim unsubstantiated by us despite our credentials in hosting barista competitions and he’s an uncertified Cold Brew Cicerone but is aiming to win this accolade as soon as it’s invented.

Another judge who’s a Negroni (classic but cool), we’re excited to have Crocky bring the achingly hip to the judging panel.

Judge #6 in the Coffee in Good Spirits Throwdown is Joe Slater.

His day job sees him commuting from the Wairarapa to don his Soda Baron / Managing Director hat at Six Barrel Soda Co. @sixbarrelsodaco, and more recently the new Cameo Café Syrups @cameocafesyrups (launching soon!)

As our official syrup sponsor for this event and having competed in a few cocktail competitions in Australia and the UK, we reckon Joe can judge.

Aside from being a mixologist, Joe loves river swims, sourdough, and side hustles. His perfect weekend is at Castlepoint with a thermos of coffee, maybe with a drop of Cameo Café Syrups Caramel.

All judges, such as Joe, are required to tick the following boxes: resting frowny face, highly skeptical, and have big opinions. It’s three “yes’s” from us.

As a cocktail, Joe is Sazerac – neat, sweet, and boozy. Sounds like a dream carbonic coffee cocktail combination.

Meet Judge #7 in the Coffee in Good Spirits Throwdown, Zane Subritzky from Atomic Coffee Roasters, representing the technical element and replacing Grand High Pooba Judge Casey Deane.

He likes to live his life in the shadows so we’re bringing him into the light with this fun-filled throwdown.

Zane’s credential’s include drinking a lot of wine he can’t really afford,
like all tech’s claims to always be right and he owns a multimeter.

ANOTHER judge who’s a Negroni (bitter, reliable, better after a few), we’re looking forward to having Zane on the panel at our CIGS throwdown.

Name: Katie Knight 

Insta: @byanyotherrose

Representing: Frank’s ✌️

Region: Wellington 

What is your current role?  Barista 

If you were a fruit, what would you be any why? 
I would be a Raspberry, because it is native to the British Isles just like me! 

All time favourite Cocktail? And why?

It has to be an Amaretto Sour, the perfect blend of sweet and sour with a touch of almond.  

What would you do with the $1000 cash prize?

I would buy more coffee and more good spirits. 

Joe Wishnowsky, Mojo Coffee, Wellington

Name: Joe Wishnowsky 

Insta: n/a

Representing: Beanery by Mojo

Region: Welly

What is your current role? Roaster

If you were a fruit, what would you be and why? An Orange. Everyone likes oranges and they’re great as a half time snack! 

All-time favourite Cocktail? And why? Probably a Manhattan because they’re simple and delicious, plus they’re garnished with cherries! 

What would you do with the $1000 cash prize? Definitely buy more bottles! 

Sean Tiernan, Flight Coffee, Wellington

Name: Sean Tiernan

Instagram: @TheDrummingBarista

Representing: Flight Coffee and The Hangar

Region: Wellington

What is your current role: Head Barista at The Hangar

Fruit: I would be a pineapple because I like Pina-colada’s and getting caught in the rain. 

Favourite cocktail: Rum Old Fashioned. Why? Because it makes me feel like a 27-year-old million air who owns a high flying tech company home in Thorndon and Queenstown and The Bahama’s, instead of a 27-year-old living in Petone working in hospo. 

What would I do with the cash prize? Buy a new coffee grinder for the house and finally treat my wife to a Moccamaster, even though she thought it was an espresso machine. Oh, and replace the booze in the alcohol cabinet!

Alex Hobson, Atomic Coffee Roasters, Auckland

Name: Alex Hobson

Representing: Atomic Coffee Roasters

Region: Auckland

What is your current role? Coffee Roaster/Production Team

If you were a fruit, what would you be and why? Tough question this one! I would probably be some type of citrus… Maybe a Grapefruit? Not because I’m bitter or sour but because I’m not overly sweet either haha but I definitely pair well with Tequila!

All-time favourite Cocktail? And why? I guess I would have to go for the Mexican classic “Paloma” cocktail which consists of Tequila, Lime, Pink Grapefruit Juice & Soda. It’s super refreshing, light has the perfect balance of bittersweetness (like myself) and always makes me feel like I’m on vacation.

What would you do with the $1000 cash prize? Well since there’s no promise of going on vacation anytime soon perhaps a large number of grapefruits and some premium tequila!? Most likely towards some fun new brew gear.

An Nguyen, JDE Coffee, Auckland

Name: An Nguyen

Insta: @annguyennz 

Representing: JDE Coffee

Region: Auckland

What is your current role? Coffee rep.

If you were a fruit, what would you be and why? Grapefruit – super complex, a bandwagon of sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and aroma.

All-time favourite Cocktail? Gin and tonic And why? Typically Asian, I like long, low abv drink – so my Asian flush not appearing too early then people mistakenly think I’m drunk & got sent home 

What would you do with the $1000 cash prize? Well, give it to the family- have myself a Welly trip with no kids is truly rewarding already – I just appreciate the simple things, perhaps I’m getting old haha. 

Andrea Marseglia, Firsthand Coffee, Hawkes Bay

Name: Andrea Marseglia

Insta: @captainspaghetti92 

Representing: Firsthand Coffee Roasters

Region: Hawkes Bay

What is your current role? Alternative drinks research and development

If you were a fruit, what would you be and why? If I was a fruit I would be a pineapple. Rough on the outside sweet and juicy on the inside. 

All-time favourite Cocktail? Naked and Famous And why? The perfect balance between sweet, sour, smoky, and herbal. 

What would you do with the $1000 cash prize? I would invest the money in starting a project to make a coffee liqueur. 

Hayley Mcivor, Goods Manufactory & Cafe, Wellington

Name: Hayley Mcivor 

Insta: @hayleymcivor

Representing: Goods Manufactory & Cafe 

Region: Wellington 

What is your current role? Day manager 

If you were a fruit: If I was a fruit I’d be a satsuma. And why? Bright, sweet, and always making things easier for others. I’m often the “Mother Hen” making sure that people are well fed and taken care of. Satsumas are like that too – they have their own packaging and are pre-divided into bite-sized pieces for eating! They’re always lookin’ out for ya, and I try to do the same. 

All-time favourite Cocktail? A spicy margarita – the spicer the better!!! And why? They are Sour & refreshing with a kick to keep you on your toes. The perfect cocktail for anytime of the day. 

What would you do with the $1000 cash prize? I would probably spend it on making a huge Sunday roast for my nearest & dearest. 

Sam Low, Freelance Food and Beverage Creator, Auckland

Name: Sam Low

Insta: @_sam_low_

Representing: Myself

Region: Auckland

What is your current role? Private Coffee Trainer & Consultant, Brand ambassador and Home cook.

If you were a fruit, what would you be and why? A Clementine, all-inclusive citrus, familiar flavours, beautiful aromatics, lucky in Chinese culture and very specific! Not quite a mandarin and not quite an orange. 

All-time favourite Cocktail? And why? Negroni… Simple, sophisticated and to the point!

What would you do with the $1000 cash prize? Pay rent, buy some wine, buy a nice meat cleaver, shout some friends a meal at Dominion Rd in Auckland… if there’s anything money left, GROCERIES! Cause life…

Event: Coffee in Good Spirits Throwdown 2021
Location: Prefab Hall, 14 Jessie Street, Wellington
Date: Thursday 18 March 2021 5.30 pm – 9.30 pm
Entry: Free for spectators

Thanks again to our sponsors: Acme, La Marzocco, AMC Roastery Supply, Cameo Coffee Syrups, and Garage Project.