A treat for coffee lovers

The best in the business visits

LUCY TOWNEND
Last updated 06:51 27/02/2013
Barista Aymon McQuade
DAVID UNWIN/Fairfax NZ
Brilliant brew: New Zealand’s top barista Aymon McQuade called into Roma Restaurant to give Palmerston North coffee lovers a taste of his talents.

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Palmerston North coffee connoisseurs had a treat with New Zealand’s top barista stopping by.

Wellington man Aymon McQuade made a special trip to the city to see his friend, and client, Roma Restaurant manager Steve Briggs.

I’ve come in to help him out and give him a bit of a leg-up with his refreshed business look.’’

Mr McQuade, a sales rep for Gravity Coffee, brewed more than 100 cups of coffee during the three hours he was in the city yesterday.

He said morning tea time was the busiest, when there was a rush of customers.

The long black drinker beat 30 of the country’s best espresso makers to take the 2012 title of national champion last March.

But he won’t be defending his title in the championships starting in two weeks.

‘‘I’m stepping back because it’s all-consuming. It’s not just about making coffee, it’s a 15-minute full-blown presentation to music and building an in-depth knowledge of your bean, it’s origin and how it’s roasted, where it’s from and what it should taste like.

‘‘It takes months of full-on concentration and preparations, which doesn’t leave a lot of time for other things.’’

He touted a return in 2014, but said he’d ‘‘see how it goes’’.

There is no Palmerston North competitor in this year’s event, but it does have Tomato Cafe barista and highly-regarded coffee judge Andrew Feldon marking others’ attempts.

Mr McQuade said he could tell from his fleeting visit that Manawatu residents appreciated a well-made coffee.

‘‘People in Palmerston North aren’t any less discerning than coffee drinkers elsewhere... there’s no lack of want for a good cup here and people know what good is.’’


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- Manawatu Standard

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