Our unsung heroes: The technician’s of New Zealand

Event Date: 4th August, 2020

At NZSCA, we are looking to shine a light on ‘our people’, who are the individuals, teams and companies that make up our diverse, inclusive industry.

In the continuing story of the people in our industry, we contacted the qualified people we knew fixing and installing our equipment and machinery. The answers to our invasive questions were dry, hilarious and thoughtful.

They are the unsung heroes, those folks that keep our machinery oiled and working. Often overlooked or rung in a panic, we’d like you to put a face to that name and voice on the end of the phone.

Their lube and machine preferences were varied but their passion for cleaning and qualifications shone through. They all have similarities in who they would call if it all went wrong (shout out to Dave Tobeck and Martin Caughley) and interesting thoughts on what the future of the NZ Coffee could look like.

Please note: This is not an exhaustive list as many technicians and member companies we contacted where too shy or introverted to answer and be listed. If you’d like to be featured and are a member company with certified technicians, let us know.

We invite you to clean your coffee equipment, brew a tasty coffee and read our tech talks.


Name: Brendon Wishnowsky

Company: Coffee Supreme

Region covered: Wellington

How do you brew or drink your coffee: Espresso / long or short

Lube preference: Super Lube

Internal or external: External

Most common issue you are faced with: User error & poor design lately.

Goto tool: My brain or what’s left of it

Favourite/preferred espresso machine and why: My ugly little Pavoni Eurobar at home, to try & function without using it on a daily basis would be a mistake.

Favourite/preferred grinder and why: My Porlex hand grinder. If I’m using it, it means I’m abroad somewhere sunny on holiday. 

If it all went ‘Pete Tong’ (wrong) on a repair/service, who would you call: If dealing with a La Marzocco probably Dave (Tobeck) he speaks fluent Marzocco better than most. Otherwise my co-works, not much between us we couldn’t remedy.

Who taught you the most about your profession? (who is your Mr Miyagi/Master): Adrian Murdoch (LM AU) He took me under his wing when I was a noob who needed a new career and Geoff Dawkins (Supreme GM) who’s made every mistake & fixed every problem you can think of (I’m surprised he is still alive).

Robots are the future of coffee! True/False: Coffee seems a bit low brow for a Robot so – False

What changes would you like to see in the New Zealand coffee industry: Not so much a change but an addition of a coffee industry-standard certification for Techs – tailored to electrical repair, testing & safety in our actual working scenarios and machinery. Not lumped in with “joe sparky” from Sorry Electrical.


Name: Chris Uren

Company: Espresso Tools New Zealand Limited

Region covered: Christchurch, Canterbury

How do you brew or drink your coffee: Espresso

Lube preference: Sigill – Silicone Grease Pigal 125ml

Internal or external: External

Most common issue you are faced with: Keeping on top of our range of parts – with over 20 brands of Espresso Machines / Grinders we invest in parts, ready for our tech’s to fix/repair the machines at site.  (5 Vehicles)

Goto tool: Tech Op’s by Espresso Tools (Job Service Management App)

Favourite/preferred espresso machine and why: La Marzocco, to work on these wonderful espresso machines/grinders I can see their passion for great espresso. The build quality is first class.  A proud company with so many great professionals who continue to push the boundaries with innovation. The innovation and quality of all the manufacture’s is great to see…

Favourite/preferred grinder and why: Ceado E37T, easy to use, clean – no mess. Doesn’t break down…

If it all went ‘Pete Tong’ (wrong) on a repair/service, who would you call: No choice – we have to fix the machine

Who taught you the most about your profession? (who is your Mr Miyagi/Master): Over the years I have been involved with a lot of great coffee professionals – Chris White – Altura Coffee, John Prins – Espresso Mechanics, Dave Tobeck – La Marzocco New Zealand, Carlo Lamperti – Rancilio

Robots are the future of coffee! True/False: False

What changes would you like to see in the New Zealand coffee industry: Get rid of the cowboys who are not registered in the industry. Promote the technical experts who have built their knowledge over the years of hard work.


Name: Blair Thorpe

Company: Espresso Tools NZ Ltd

Region covered: Christchurch, Canterbury.

How do you brew or drink your coffee: Usually a long black but do enjoy a good filter or cold drip for a clean brew.

Lube preference: Kluber

Internal or external: External

Most common issue you are faced with: Lack of cleaning / maintenance.

Goto tool: ¼” Drive socket set and a #2 Phillips Screwdriver

Favourite/preferred espresso machine and why: To use at the moment would be the Astoria Storm. Why – I love the tech behind it , the steam wands / levers are amazing and it makes great coffee every time.

Favourite/preferred grinder and why: Ceado E37 – consistent , quiet , clean and super easy to service.

If it all went ‘Pete Tong’ (wrong) on a repair/service, who would you call: Just take 5 and come back with a clear head , there’s always a solution.

Who taught you the most about your profession? (who is your Mr Miyagi/Master): John Prins – Espresso Mechanics

Robots are the future of coffee! True/False: Never, good coffee is as much about passion as it is about technique, you can’t automate the human factor. There is great automatic machines that produce fantastic espresso and milk but you will never replicate the café experience.

What changes would you like to see in the New Zealand coffee industry: More cafes to recognise the value of quality equipments beyond the initial expense.


Name:  Ricardo Mitchell

Company: Espresso Tools New Zealand Limited

Region Covered: Christchurch, Canterbury.

How do you brew or drink your coffee: long black but it depends on how I feel.

Lube preference: Sigill – Silicone Grease Pigal 125ml

Internal or external: external

Most common issue you are faced with: Staff not cleaning or reporting a week later. It just makes matters worst and increase downtime.

Goto tool: My phone. I like to take photos of machine behaviours. That way I can review the machine or parts.

Favourite/preferred espresso machine and why: Victoria Back Eagle please. It’s a Fancy and exotic machine. It’s just cool to see the machine parameters while the barista makes coffee.

Favourite/preferred grinder and why: Mythos One Grinder please. It’s ease to setup and fast.

If it all went ‘Pete Tong’ (wrong) on a repair/service, who would you call: in New Zealand it’s my team or Chris

Who taught you the most about your profession? (who is your Mr Miyagi/Master): A variety of technicians around the world. From Italians, South Africans, New Zealanders and Netherlands.

Robots are the future of coffee! True/False: That’s a false for me.

What changes would you like to see in the New Zealand coffee industry: More barista competitions and interaction with the public since it’s them buying Barista coffees.


Name: Julian Trigg

Company: Statement Coffee

Region covered: Top of the South Island

How do you brew or drink your coffee: French Press when at home, flat whites in the am and if at all in the pm espresso then cold brown bubbly stuff (not coffee) after 3 pm.

Lube preference: SuperLube, its food-safe temp stable and the, well the name says it all!

Internal or external: External.

Most common issue you are faced with: Scale issues and flesh interface errors especially on grinders.

Goto tool: iPhone

Favourite/preferred espresso machine and why: La Marzocco Linea classic, because it’s legendary. It’s unassuming, has straight lines, natural colours in the stainless, it works its ass off, I know them well as an ex Barista and a Tech.

Favourite/preferred grinder and why: One that is broken down and needs a burr change :-).

If it all went ‘Pete Tong’ (wrong) on a repair/service, who would you call: One of my parts suppliers then my Lawyer.

Who taught you the most about your profession? (who is your Mr Miyagi/Master): Many different people added to my abilities and knowledge hard to pick one.

Robots are the future of coffee! True/False: False, robots may be the future for bad lattes and fast-food restaurants. So NOT FOR ME.

What changes would you like to see in the New Zealand coffee industry: Ban the word plunger… it’s a French Press. Plungers go into toilets and solenoids.


Name: Malcolm Henry
Company: La Marzocco

Region covered: Auckland

How do you brew or drink your coffee: Weekends: One or two cups from trusty Swiss gold. Workdays: 17-25 mugs of batch brew.  Unless I’m feeling tired/stressed/bored/thirsty/manic/depressed, in which case, significantly more.

Lube preference: Food grade. Applied liberally.

Internal or external: A gentleman never tells.

Most common issue you are faced with: My own incompetence and failing memory.

Goto tool: Fancy tools are over-rated. Any problem I can’t fix with two rolls of plumbing tape and a quick replacement of the brain was probably just operator error anyway.

Favourite/preferred espresso machine and why: La Marzocco Leva X. By a country mile.  Intimate silence while brewing, tactile control of flow rate & pressure, curvaceous graphs.  It’s the Dita Von Teese of espresso machines.

Favourite/preferred grinder and why: Well, the Mazzer Super Jolly is the best-named grinder of all time – no contest. But I’d push it off the bench like a cat if you gave me a Versalab M4 to try.

If it all went ‘Pete Tong’ (wrong) on a repair/service, who would you call: Either my colleague (and renowned GC) Dave “Towball” Tobeck, or Harvey “The Wolf” Keitel.  Depending on just how ‘wrong’ we’re talking.

Who taught you the most about your profession? (who is your Mr Miyagi/Master): Everyone has something to teach.  But if I have to choose just one then Justin Emerson (long-termer at Coffee Supreme and now with La Marzocco) would be my go-to tech guru.

Robots are the future of coffee! True/False: False. And may I suggest a coffee-robot Turing test?  Show me one who can greet me warmly, put me at ease, flirt, tell a filthy joke, read my mood, choose good music, critique a film, be a great workmate, become a friend, smile, laugh, and actually cares about each cup… and I’ll show you a movie from 1987 called ‘Cherry 2000’

(Addendum: But I secretly love espresso vending machines in Italy. Especially at beaches and art galleries)

What changes would you like to see in the New Zealand coffee industry: A total ban on latte art competitions and free counselling for all the people they’ve affected over the last decade.


Name: Phill Kearney

Company: La Marzocco

Region covered: Auckland

How do you brew or drink your coffee: Most commonly V60, with too much prep than should be needed to make a coffee.

Lube preference: Not too thick not too runny, needs to be just right

Internal or external: No comment…

Most common issue you are faced with: You can never have too many spare parts, you always need one more than you’ve got.

Go to tool: The claw. My fat fingers can never pick up the screws I drop inside the machine, need the grabby claw to save the day.

Favourite/preferred espresso machine and why: I have to say the Leva because it’s just damn cool to watch make coffee. A great collaboration between electronic and mechanical.

Favourite/preferred grinder and why: A clean EK. Always makes a clean filter brew. If it’s well-aligned then my grind sieving doesn’t create too much waste.

If it all went ‘Pete Tong’ (wrong) on a repair/service, who would you call: Sorry Dave. Always need your help.

Who taught you the most about your profession? (who is your Mr Miyagi/Master): When I first started, I was on the phone to Damien in Australia almost every day. Dave has taught me a lot more about the tech world with his experience too.

Robots are the future of coffee! True/False: False, technology plays a big role in the future but best used to help us explore and experiment with the world of coffee and what it can offer us rather than to take away the magic of it.

What changes would you like to see in the New Zealand coffee industry: More collaboration. I love when coffee companies come together to celebrate such an awesome industry rather than have that rival business mindset.


Name: Sam Giles

Company: La Marzocco NZ

Region covered: Auckland

How do you brew or drink your coffee: Short blacks coz I’m old school

Lube preference: WD-40

Internal or external: Better out than in

Most common issue you are faced with: “steam is too weak” followed by “now it’s too powerful”.

Goto tool: welding tip cleaners or vice grips.

Favourite/preferred espresso machine and why: My Linea Mini every day but I still have a soft spot for my 60s Arrarex Caravel lever

Favourite/preferred grinder and why: Mazzer Kony E every day or an old Zassenhaus box mill if I’m away

If it all went ‘Pete Tong’ (wrong) on a repair/service, who would you call: Malcolm Henry or Dave Tobeck. I’m lucky to work with techs of their calibre. If I’m desperate I’ll call my mum though. She’s always happy to offer advice on things she knows nothing about.

Who taught you the most about your profession? (who is your Mr Miyagi/Master): Sensei Malcolm Henry.

Robots are the future of coffee! True/False: What you want me to fix those too? Bloody hell. No way.

What changes would you like to see in the New Zealand coffee industry: Stop putting milk in it. That’s just weird.


Name: Dave Tobeck

Company: La Marzocco NZ

Region Covered: Auckland

How do you brew or drink your coffee: Black, any method available.

Lube preference: Lanolin

Internal or external: Your call

Most common issue you are faced with: Physical, and emotional maturity, balance, and stability. Also, hpm plugs and sockets.

Goto tool: Bootlace crimping tool, often proceeded by my grandfather’s wire strippers.

Favourite/preferred espresso machine and why: GS3 MP (mechanical paddle) low, beautiful, thermally stable, mechanical pressure control.

Favourite/preferred grinder and why: La San Marco sm91 – plastic fantastic – so ugly, but reliable and the smoothest lever action you could ask for.

If it all went ‘Pete Tong’ (wrong) on a repair/service, who would you call: in order of appearance… Dave Hollick, Grant Williams, John Prins (but probably wouldn’t answer), Damo, Adrian, Andrea, Scott, Justin, Malcolm (it takes a village to raise a child).

Who taught you the most about your profession? (who is your Mr Miyagi/Master): Dave (Uncle) Hollick. This man is a saint, with the patience to match.

Robots are the future of coffee! True/False: I hope not.

What changes would you like to see in the New Zealand coffee industry: Expectation of the end-user for free on loan equipment from their coffee roaster. A wise woman once said ‘does your meat supplier give you a free oven?’ after all, nothing is ever truly free.


Name: Andrew Walton

Company: Caffeine Fix – Coffee Machine Repairs,

Region covered: Christchurch

How do you brew or drink your coffee: It varies as I get to play with different equipment – the recent surge in good quality filter machines is great as an alternative to espresso, we very recently got a Moccamaster filter machine at the workshop – so the answer to the question would be “black and in large quantities”

Lube preference: Super Lube – used it on everything from Nespresso Machines in the UK to La Marzoccos in NZ and everything in between.

Most common issue you are faced with: Cleaning issues – from seized solenoid valves full off coffee, chiselling out 10-year-old group seals and the old “my steam wand doesn’t work” which is often down to the three months of congealed milk stuck to the end of it. 90% of issues could be avoided if people looked after their machines better – however, it’s great for business! Beyond that I get plenty of calls about water “under my machine” which is hopefully where any leaking water should be found as water tends to fall downwards, if it’s dripping upwards we’ve lost gravity and have bigger worries.

Goto tool: Bahco SL25 mini socket set – it’s just one of those useful tools that aren’t 100% necessary but seems to make almost every job just that little bit easier.

Favourite/preferred espresso machine and why: Wega Atlas – it’s easy to work on, simply designed, parts are plentiful and they’re within the budget of most customers – from a tech’s perspective I think they’re great, but from a barista’s perspective a fancy PID controlled machine, with dual boilers and better temperature stability is probably the preference – but then there’s a lot under the hood to go wrong!

Favourite/preferred grinder and why: The La Marzocco Vulcano Swift, it has the grinding qualities and simplicity of a Mazzer but with a very clever self-dosing/tamping system, based on microswitches opposed to complicated electronics and timers – they’re great quality, simply designed, performs the required task very well and are fairly easy to work on.

Who taught you the most about your profession? (who is your Mr Miyagi/Master): A guy called Ricky back in the UK, he knew his stuff back to front but was also a very stressed man – we always made sure we tried everything before making the call for advice or would suffer a bit of verbal abuse along with helpful tips!

Robots are the future of coffee! True/False: I worked as a tech for Nespresso’s B2B sector in Europe for a number of years, their flagship Aguila machine is not far off robotic, it even does decent textured milk – it’ll never make you the best coffee, but also never the worst – I think the robotic barista is already employed in most European service stations, where push-button bean2cup machines have replaced many traditional machines – but are a long way off here in NZ where “barista made coffee” still quite rightly holds a lot of weight.

What changes would you like to see in the New Zealand coffee industry: We are the service agent for Breville here in Christchurch, but also see plenty of what most people class as “proper” espresso machines like Rockets, Vibiemmes and La Marzoccos – I think with we need to be a little less judgmental about machinery, not every café can afford a White Eagle and not every home user can have a Rocket – but as long as we’re all working on our skills, making great coffee and supporting the local roasters I think we should just live together in perfectly extracted harmony!


Name: Duane Baguley

Company: Espresso Road

Region covered: Hamilton

How do you brew or drink your coffee: Flat white

Lube preference: Loxeal

Most common issue you are faced with: Lack of machine cleaning

Goto tool: Multimeter

Favourite/preferred espresso machine and why: ECM Technika Rotary Pump with PID – Fantastic performance and great to look at.

Favourite/preferred grinder and why: ECM V-Titan – Fast and looks great next to the Technika

If it all went ‘Pete Tong’ (wrong) on a repair/service, who would you call: Phillip McKinnon from Beanaround Espresso Services

Who taught you the most about your profession? (who is your Mr Miyagi/Master): Phillip McKinnon from Beanaround Espresso Services

Robots are the future of coffee! True/False: False. Can a robot taste?

What changes would you like to see in the New Zealand coffee industry:  To teach the home barista that a little bit of cleaning will make your coffee taste so much better.


Name: ​Martin Caughley

Company:Espresso Ninja

Region covered: Wellington, lower North Island

How do you brew or drink your coffee: Espresso only, usually with perfectly steamed milk and stunning latte art (okay, okay- I’m still working on that one!)

Lube preference: The right one for the job!

Internal or external: As required, as long as everything is cleaned immaculately first.

Most common issue you are faced with: Convincing the less well-versed espresso machine operator that their grind really does affect the way their coffee tastes! But, once the light bulb goes on there’s no turning back, and we’re happy to be a part of that path of discovery.

Goto tool: ​Klein True RMS digital clamp multimeter – anybody will tell you that when there’s one of those tricky electrical/electronic conundrums on a machine, I just can’t help myself jumping in on it with my trusty meter!

Favourite/preferred espresso machine and why: For Home: La Marzocco Linea Mini – this is what got me through lockdown! For Cafe: Aremde Nexus One – just because they are individual pieces of art and are see-through. How cool is that?!

Favourite/preferred grinder and why: Overall, Mazzer grinders still stand out as robust, reliable, and well-engineered. Just keep on top of their servicing and they will reward you with a lifetime of performance.

If it all went ‘Pete Tong’ (wrong) on a repair/service, who would you call: Um, me? That’s where the buck has always stopped in my world…

Who taught you the most about your profession? (who is your Mr Miyagi/Master): Matt Graylee the original Ninja Master, and from then on, a whole lot of deep end fast thinking! Seriously though, we are always learning, and I find my awesome team of techs to be a great source of worthwhile feedback for continual improvement in our company knowledge and systems.

Robots are the future of coffee! True/False: While it is incredible how complex and sophisticated the latest super automated machines are, they don’t make great conversation like your favourite barista does, and the coffee just ain’t the same!

What changes would you like to see in the New Zealand coffee industry: Less wastage. The path each and every bean travels, from the coffee grower to the barista, is mind-blowing; let’s treat each bean with the respect that it deserves, and minimize wastage where possible.


Name: ​Peter Van Der Gulik

Company: ​Espresso Ninja

Region covered: Wellington, lower North Island

How do you brew or drink your coffee: ​Espressos and V60 for me.

Lube preference:​ Molykote.

Internal or external: ​Bit of both (?)

Most common issue you are faced with: ​People wanting the highest quality with a low budget. “Good work isn’t cheap. Cheap work isn’t good.”

Goto tool: ​The “Persuader”

Favourite/preferred espresso machine and why: ​Cimbali Granluce One Group or La Pavoni Concorso One Group. Both are achingly sexy, from the 1950s, lever groups and SO well made. Simple, pretty, reliable, and strong ftw. I love vintage espresso machines and I’ve always dreamed of owning one.

Favourite/preferred grinder and why: ​I have a Eureka Atom at home and I love it. It’s super-fast, quiet, grinds consistent, and matches my Linea Mini! For anything commercial, Mazzer and Mahlkonig are the way to go.

If it all went ‘Pete Tong’ (wrong) on a repair/service, who would you call: ​The boss! Martin Caughley.

Who taught you the most about your profession? (who is your Mr Miyagi/Master): ​There are so many who have kindly taught me things about espresso machines over my 14 years. I couldn’t pick one. We’re lucky to have so many skilled and friendly coffee techs in NZ.

Robots are the future of coffee! True/False: False. ​Nope. They are getting better all the time, but I believe a good barista with the right tools will always make a better coffee than a robot.

What changes would you like to see in the New Zealand coffee industry: ​More inclusion and diversity of techs. I’ve only ever personally known two female techs. Also, I would like to see all the coffee techs electrically licensed and registered.


Name: Hamish Woollett

Company: Espresso Ninja

Region covered: Wellington, lower North Island

How do you brew or drink your coffee: Long black with cold milk (long brown).

Lube preference: Inox.

Internal or external: external.

Most common issue you are faced with: Customer explaining unfathomable grinder settings. Goto tool: Leatherman Skeletool!

Favourite/preferred espresso machine and why: San Remo Cafe Racer – this machine offers awesome customisation options with an exoskeleton frame. It also has a boatload of features shared with machines at a much higher price point.

Favourite/preferred grinder and why: San Remo’s Revo would be the dream but realistically anything by Mazzer. I find Mazzer haven’t had to stray far from their original designs to still produce simple, bulletproof and efficient grinders.

If it all went ‘Pete Tong’ (wrong) on a repair/service, who would you call: Mr Martin Caughley.

Who taught you the most about your profession? (who is your Mr Miyagi/Master): As above, Martin has been a bottomless pit of knowledge, wisdom and support.

Robots are the future of coffee! True/False: False. No robot can replace a good barista!

What changes would you like to see in the New Zealand coffee industry: More farming of coffee beans for a fully Kiwi made product.


Name: Zachary James Widener

Company: Espresso Ninja

Region covered: Wellington, lower North Island

How do you brew or drink your coffee: I am a “three mugs of filter coffee a day” kinda guy from a Moccomaster Classic.

Lube preference: Food grade and/or flavoured. Strawberry!

Internal or external: That seems to be a loaded question. Both?

Most common issue you are faced with: Scheduling services around a busy cafe’s operations.

Goto tool: The black pick/hook tool. You know the one.

Favourite/preferred espresso machine and why: The trusty Wega EPU semi-auto (the Toyota Corolla of coffee machines) always work when you need them to.

Favourite/preferred grinder and why: Mazzer Robur S Manual!

If it all went ‘Pete Tong’ (wrong) on a repair/service, who would you call: Ghostbusters… Who else are you gonna call? If that fails I call Martin Caughley- he knows everything about everything.

Who taught you the most about your profession? (who is your Mr Miyagi/Master): Or Mrs or Missus! I have to tip my hat to my wife Naomi who did teach me everything I know about the coffee industry. I owe her everything. Chicks rule.

Robots are the future of coffee! True/False: True, and as a former cafe owner and former roaster, this was always on the fringe of my conscience.


Name: Cody Westerman

Company: Espresso Ninja

Region covered: Wellington, lower North Island

How do you brew or drink your coffee: Flat white w/coconut milk

Lube preference: Inox

Internal or external: Both

Most common issue you are faced with: Head seals that haven’t been changed in years… except for on the machines we service regularly!

Goto tool: Seal pick!

Favourite/preferred espresso machine and why: La Marzocco Linea Mini, looks great and produces excellent coffee

Favourite/preferred grinder and why: Eureka Atom – easy to use and adjust, quiet and fast

If it all went ‘Pete Tong’ (wrong) on a repair/service, who would you call: The Boss! (Martin Caughley)

Who taught you the most about your profession? (who is your Mr Miyagi/Master): Same as above, Martin taught me most of what I know about espresso machines.

Robots are the future of coffee! True/False: False a lot of people don’t/won’t trust a machine to make them a decent coffee, with good reason.

What changes would you like to see in the New Zealand coffee industry: More/continued focus on fair trade, ethical and sustainable practices.


Name: Iopu Stowers

Company: Espresso Ninja

Region covered: Wellington, lower North Island

How do you brew or drink your coffee: Espresso- Latte

Lube preference: Loxeal

Internal or external: Both, as required!

Most common issue you are faced with: Home machine overdue for service

Goto tool: Kincrome Spanner Roll

Favourite/preferred espresso machine and why: Faema Legend E61- my first full commercial rebuild!

Favourite/preferred grinder and why: Mazzer- strong, well built, grind coffee well

If it all went ‘Pete Tong’ (wrong) on a repair/service, who would you call: Martin, Peter, Dylan, or Hamish

Who taught you the most about your profession? (who is your Mr Miyagi/Master): Martin and Peter

Robots are the future of coffee! True/False: No, you can never beat a hand made Italian espresso machine

What changes would you like to see in the New Zealand coffee industry: None, I love it!


Name: Matt Fitzsimons

Company: Espresso Ninja

Region covered: Wellington, lower North Island

How do you brew or drink your coffee: V60, French Press, short/long black

Lube preference: Inox

Internal or external: confidential information…

Most common issue you are faced with: ‘my shots are oily’

Goto tool: pick or spanner roll

Favourite/preferred espresso machine and why: Probably the Mod Bar- intriguing design, breaking up the traditional shape and space usage of common ‘box’ style machines.

Favourite/preferred grinder and why: Mazzer, trusty, reliable, and bulletproof.

If it all went ‘Pete Tong’ (wrong) on a repair/service, who would you call: Martin Caughley

Who taught you the most about your profession? (who is your Mr Miyagi/Master): see above

Robots are the future of coffee! True/False: Most likely true, but for all the wrong reasons!

What changes would you like to see in the New Zealand coffee industry: More NZ made products- an NZ made machine perhaps?


Name: Dylan Smith

Company: Espresso Ninja

Region covered: Wellington, lower North Island

How do you brew or drink your coffee: At home = espresso, tramping = Moka pot

Lube preference: Inox

Internal or external: All over!

Most common issue you are faced with: Grinder settings out

Goto tool: 200mm adjustable Teng

Favourite/preferred espresso machine and why: Linea Classic, I love to rebuild them, and they are reliable and consistent

Favourite/preferred grinder and why: Mazzer Robur dosing- robust and simply well-engineered

If it all went ‘Pete Tong’ (wrong) on a repair/service, who would you call: Martin Caughley

Who taught you the most about your profession? (who is your Mr Miyagi/Master): Martin, the boss!

Robots are the future of coffee! True/False: False, false, false!

What changes would you like to see in the New Zealand coffee industry: None- I have always enjoyed being a part of the coffee scene.


Name: Terry Lepper

Company: Altura Coffee Co

Region covered: Auckland

How do you brew or drink your coffee: Long Black

Lube preference: Bluestar Paste 70 428 and Rocol Foodlube 2

Internal or external: Paste external, Foodlube external

Most common issue you are faced with: Flow jets getting blocked at group heads

Goto tool: Bosch IXO Battery Screwdriver with a 90-degree head

Favourite/preferred espresso machine and why: Any Domestic E61 machine. Extraction is smooth, levers deliver a personal touch.

Favourite/preferred grinder and why: Slingshot. Easy to work on. Easy to clean. Feels like it is built for the Barista And the Tech

If it all went ‘Pete Tong’ (wrong) on a repair/service, who would you call: Graeme Butterfield / Chris Uren

Who taught you the most about your profession? (who is your Mr Miyagi/Master): Phill Kingston

Robots are the future of coffee! True/False: False

What changes would you like to see in the New Zealand coffee industry: More emphasis on cleaning machinery, the cleanest machines perform the best, are the most reliable and last longer


Name: PJ Daniell

Company: Kokako

Region covered: Auckland – ish

How do you brew or drink your coffee: Big on anything pour-over or batch brew

Lube preference: Haynes Lubri-film Plus

Internal or external: As required

Most common issue you are faced with: Coffee machines being in all corners of the country and not having a helicopter to assist on all breakdowns. Working on the Helicopter option though.

Goto tool: Manometer gauge portafilter handle.

Favourite/preferred espresso machine and why: KB90 ABR for the win! A workhorse with pure precision.

Favourite/preferred grinder and why: Mazzer S series, super fast & super reliable in volume settings.

If it all went ‘Pete Tong’ (wrong) on a repair/service, who would you call: Lucky to have a bunch of knowledgeable professionals to call on but notables are Malcolm at LM NZ and Steve Smith at Machine limited.

Who taught you the most about your profession? (who is your Mr Miyagi/Master): Grant Williams (Mr Rocket).

Robots are the future of coffee! True/False: False, well I hope so anyway.

What changes would you like to see in the New Zealand coffee industry: A lift of the minimum entry-level barista knowledge so as to raise the result of the product in the cup across the country.


Name: Daryn Pearson

Company: Java Jons

Region covered: Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty

How do you brew or drink your coffee: Long Black

Lube preference: CRC 3037 Silicone Grease Food Grade

Internal or external: ???

Most common issue you are faced with: Domestic Customers “How long will it take, I need my Coffee”

Goto tool: Mega Tester

Favourite/preferred espresso machine and why: Rocket Appartamento, no to complex and the best steam and Hot Water taps to use and service

Favourite/preferred grinder and why: Mazzer Robur, easy to maintain, very little ongoing issues

If it all went ‘Pete Tong’ (wrong) on a repair/service, who would you call: Really depends on the machine (Dave Tobeck, John Prins, Grant Williams)

Who taught you the most about your profession? (who is your Mr Miyagi/Master): Pretty much self-taught, early on John Prins and Grant Williams gave me a lot of phone support

Robots are the future of coffee! True/False: False, people want conversation.

What changes would you like to see in the New Zealand coffee industry: Coffee Tech guild, a support network


Name: Craig Turner

Company: Espresso Repair Specialists (ERSNZ)

Region covered: Wellington & the lower North Island

How do you brew or drink your coffee: I enjoy a long black and on the odd occasion a flat white when the mood strikes

Lube preference: Inox is our preferred lube

Internal or external: I am both in the workshop and on the road travelling most of the lower north island

Most common issue you are faced with: I would have to say the most common issue we come across out in the field and the workshop would be Limescale issues such as blockages and build up. Unfortunately, this is usually due to previous inadequate filters being fitted to the machines water feed, lack of filter change or education around the maintenance needed for a coffee machine

Goto tool: My Snap-On electric driver, this is by far my favourite tool as it has every attachment you can think of from deep reach sockets, driver bits etc and saves an amazing amount of time on jobs allowing us to be more productive and at a bonus keep the cost to a more affordable level for the customer. Haha, unfortunately, it is also my son’s favourite tool and I have had to purchase another spare battery as he “likes to fix things like dad” and runs it flat.

Favourite/preferred espresso machine and why: We love a lot of the espresso machines out there but my favourite machine and one I would love to have at home would be a La Marzocco Leva X. I just love the lever mechanism of this machine and being an ex mechanic I love seeing moving parts in operation.

Favourite/preferred grinder and why: Mazzer because it just keeps going and going, doesn’t overheat or solve world peace but it does a pretty great job.

If it all went ‘Pete Tong’ (wrong) on a repair/service, who would you call: As I had to learn on the fly when I started as a coffee tech I had to mostly train myself with some guidance at the start by my father Kevin Turner who beat me to the industry by 7 months. Which wasn’t too bad as I had been an A grade car mechanic for 7 years previously, so I knew my way around tools and mechanical things.

Who taught you the most about your profession? (who is your Mr Miyagi/Master): Unfortunately, I didn’t have a phone a friend at the start so I have become my own Mr Miyagi and spent countless hours of my time learning and studying through these machines after hours and at home looking through flow and wiring diagrams, getting stuck in doing ground-up rebuilds and building custom machines etc. In the shop, we always bounce ideas off each other where needed.

Robots are the future of coffee! True/False: I hope this would be false as human interaction is a big part of the cafe bizzo.

What changes would you like to see in the New Zealand coffee industry: I would like to see more inclusiveness in the industry and an even chance for all as well as more working together as a unit.


Name: Dan Burford

Company: Espresso Repair Specialists (ERSNZ)

Region covered: Wellington & the lower North Island

How do you brew or drink your coffee: For me a good old Flat white is perfect.

Lube preference: INOX

Internal or external: Internal (Domestic and Commercial repairs and rebuilds)

Most common issue you are faced with: Lack of domestic training given to people who have equipment at home. (Some of the screens that come out of home machines will make your eyes water.)

Goto tool: Our Ultrasonic cleaner, if you haven’t got one you don’t know what your missing. Makes rebuilding a machine so much easier and safer.

Favourite/preferred espresso machine and why: If I was to spend a fortune on a home machine it would be a Kees Speedster for sure! I have been lucky enough over the years to work on a lot of great machines in cafe settings my top 3 in no particular order La Marzocco, Synesso, Kees Van der Westen. (Seriously how do you narrow it down???)

Favourite/preferred grinder and why: Short answer is Mazzer they just grind your beans day in and day out. Look after them and they look after you.

If it all went ‘Pete Tong’ (wrong) on a repair/service, who would you call: Craig would be my first call. Otherwise, I would roll up the sleeves and sort the issue.

Who taught you the most about your profession? (who is your Mr Miyagi/Master): In the early year’s Al the Coffee Doctor in Palmerston North was on speed dial and he was a huge help. As were Grant and Lio from L’affare. They showed me the in’s and out’s of the Wega. Later in my career, I was lucky enough to meet Craig, he has been a book of knowledge and filled in a few gaps for sure. It’s been 10 years and I am still learning.

Robots are the future of coffee! True/False: Who knows? To be honest, the way the industry is going with the newer machines and grinders weighing in and outs as well the Puqpress doing the tamping, the human element is slowly being removed. <—–(non PC answer)

What changes would you like to see in the New Zealand coffee industry: It would be great to get the much-hyped Techs Guild underway or a National training program going. It’s an industry where people are so protective of the skills needed to do this job. And the learn on the job approach is adopted but it would be amazing for younger people wanting to enter our industry to be shown the correct way to set an LMZ expansion valve or remove a Wega steam tap without rounding the nuts.


Name: Shane Cullimore

Company: Switch Espresso

Region Covered: Christchurch

How do you brew or drink your coffee: Anything black! Down with dairy!

Lube preference: Superlube

Internal or external: Yes.

Most common issue you are faced with: User error…

Goto tool: 3mm Hex key, and I’ll find an excuse to use anything from Milwaukee tools..

Favourite/preferred espresso machine and why: La Marzocco KB90 or Linea PB, because they are elegant and reliable.

Favourite/preferred grinder and why: Rhino hand grinder, because it fits in my hiking bag with my aeropress… 

If it all went ‘Pete Tong’ (wrong) on a repair/service, who would you call: The scrap metal dealer.. 

Who taught you the most about your profession? (who is your Mr Miyagi/Master): Dr Google and Mr youtube…

Robots are the future of coffee! True/False: Can robots fix robots? 

What changes would you like to see in the New Zealand coffee industry: I’d like to see baristas listen to their trainers more, and better wages for all cafe staff! 


Name: Jason Nairn

Company: Ozone Coffee Roasters

Region Covered: New Plymouth, Taranaki.

How do you brew or drink your coffee: Usually a long black or a good filter coffee for when I’m on the run, which seems to be all time…

Lube preference: Inox Food Lube… Reliable.

Internal or external: Lol not sure if they are talking about the Lube or where I work… So Externally for the lube question for sure and as for work… the whole of New Zealand is my workshop with my base being at Ozone Coffee Roasters New Plymouth

Most common issue you are faced with: Operator error… Customers basic lack of knowledge to set up there grinder, coffee machine etc, but they are Rockstar’s on Facebook for sure…

Goto tool: My super heavy tool bag… and it keeps getting heaver

Favourite/preferred espresso machine and why: The BMW of the coffee industry the La Marzocco Linea classic… ( easy to service and super reliable) and for a cheaper alternative the Toyota Corolla of the coffee industry the trusty Wega, I think those things will even go under water lol, as for my most favourite the La Marzocco KB90… WOW!!

Favourite/preferred grinder and why: Mazzer Robur… Fast, quiet and any muppet can use it ( well just about every one )

If it all went ‘Pete Tong’ (wrong) on a repair/service, who would you call: OMG speed dial 1# Alister (aka the Coffee Doctor) if he doesn’t know then it hasn’t been figured out yet.

Who taught you the most about your profession? (who is your Mr Miyagi/Master): Thrown in the deep end 13 years ago with 3 days training then the rest was trail and error, my 12 years as a qualified mechanic and running my modified race bike at New Zealand National level before that  helped me over come most problems and staying opened minded… Even now I’m still learning every day… Bloody love that part!!!!

Robots are the future of coffee! True/False: FALSE!! a robot doesn’t make you feel good while you are waiting for your coffee… that will always be  that amazing barista who cares… or not,  That’s when you go somewhere else.

What changes would you like to see in the New Zealand coffee industry: Better pay and hours for baristas.