Meet the Team: Anissa Magdaleno – Kokako Organic Coffee Roasters

Meet the Team: Anissa Magdaleno


Next up in our series of interviews with our Commercial Bay team, meet Anissa - a people person through and through, she's the smiling face who is often greeting you when you arrive at the bar for your morning brew. Anissa is also a dab hand at sewing and block printing — she creates her own beautiful homewares and clothing when she's not at work (when can we buy some?!) Read on for a chat with our California gal!

 

What is your first memory of coffee?
Ordering a cup of bottomless coffee from a local brunch spot near my hometown in California. I remember loving the timeless taste and feeling of sipping on multiple cups of coffee throughout my meal.

What do you love most about working in the coffee industry?
I studied Cultural Anthropology at university and found myself really interested in people. Working in the coffee industry I tend to think about the farmers who grew the coffee plants, the hands that harvested each cherry and all the lives invested in this good. When I get my hands on coffee I try my best to understand all that has taken place prior to me brewing each cup and pulling shots. I see that I am the middle man in bringing the lives of the farmers and consumers closer. I feel very proud in providing people with delicious coffee and sharing the stories of the farmers who grew the coffee.

And how did you end up working with coffee?
While at university I worked for a specialty donut and coffee shop called Sidecar. I was initially hired as a server and I worked my way up to a barista. We used Stumptown coffee, this was my first time exposed to specialty coffee. 

Where were you before here?
I was actually working as a flight attendant back in the States. I really enjoy travelling so I thought it was a perfect job. Plus, the perks weren’t too bad. 

And what made you want to work with us at Commercial Bay?
I was so drawn to Kōkako for its values. Since living here in New Zealand, Kōkako has always stood out to me for its commitment to sustainability, care for people and the environment. I felt a connection with what Kōkako was doing and wanted to work with a company making a positive impact.

 



Best coffee moment to date?
In my earlier days as a barista, I remember having a coffee that tasted like blueberry pancakes. I have very fond memories of my mom making my siblings and I blueberry pancakes on the weekends and it was pure nostalgia to me. 

If you could use only one piece of brewing equipment for the rest of your life, what would that be?
Chemex. Brew gear that is aesthetically pleasing and also brews a deliciously clean cup. 
What coffee have you been enjoying lately?
I love some really good Ethiopian coffee. I find the fruity and floral characteristics to be really interesting. 

Your favourite drink, when not drinking coffee?
Matcha (Mizuba is the best), homemade kombucha, or good ole' water.

And when you’re not pulling shots, what will we find you doing?  
You will probably find me working on some sort of project. I really enjoy working with my hands. Sewing my wardrobe, making household items and adding block printing designs to it all. I’m keen on making goods for myself I can use and enjoy on the daily.