June 10, 2022
Meet the team : Caz Orr
Caz flew into our life the first time when she was hired by Pato at Kōkako outpost Good Karma Coffee. Her energy was infectious and her love for coffee was clear from the get-go. She joined our team about two months ago as our Barista Trainer and Account Manager and we thought it was about high time we introduced her lovely self to you.
We kicked off by asking Caz to tell us 5 facts as fast as she could about herself and it turns out sharing is caring in all parts of her life except for when it comes to food.
1. I have really curly hair
2. I like playing the ukulele
3. I seen a kōkako for the first time last week!
4. I don't like sharing food
5. I did a skydive one!
We hope you enjoy getting to know this lass as much as we have.
What is your first memory of coffee?
My very very first memory of coffee was sipping my dad’s instant coffee because I liked the smell but…I was 10 so it’s safe to say I didn’t really like it. My family are all tea drinkers, so I was brought up drinking tea for breakfast lunch, dinner and then before bed. So coffee wasn’t on my radar. When I was doing my working holiday visa in Australia when I was 23 I worked at so many different jobs, selling paint ball tickets in shopping malls, cleaning houses and working in farms but it was when I managed to get a job in little café on St Kilda Road that I fell in love with coffee and it wasn’t just because of the yummy cappuccino I got on the house every shift, it was the atmosphere the fact that people wanted to be there and that I helped make their day that little bit better with a nice chat or making sure they had the paper to read, it was then I realised this is the job for me.
You are originally from Northern Ireland, do you have any tips for finding great coffee there or another favourite spot in the UK?
Northern Irelands specialty coffee scene has grown so much especially in the last 5 years but there wouldn’t be a speciality coffee shop in every street corner you need to go looking. There is an account on Instagram called @nicoffeemaps and it gives a shout out to all the cool coffee shops to visit. There is also an actual map you can buy for coffee shops around Belfast so you can play the tourist for the day. The UK as a whole is massive for speciality coffee, I would definitely recommend going to the London Coffee Festival, coffee roasters from all over the UK get involved so it’s a great way to try different coffees and you will certainly find a favourite from that! Shout Out - One of my favourites would be Assembly Roast.
Give us a bit of slang that's unique to Northern Ireland:
"Scundered" (which means embarrassed)
What do you miss most about home?
Battered sausage supper with curry.
Can you draw us a picture of your childhood home?
What made you want to work at with Kōkako as our Trainer and Account Manager? My experience as a customer of Kōkako was super positive so I knew being apart of the team would be great, then helping colleagues to learn and up their coffee skills was always something I loved to do so it’s been a goal of mine for a while now to be a trainer. Now being behind the scenes and working with Kōkako it’s 10 times better, I see how much effort and attention to detail they put into helping their customers which is amazing. Pairing that with working as a trainer is great because they trust me and encourage me to use my own style, so I feel super lucky.
Can you write something in Irish for us?
Nope but I know 'amach' means exit because I see it when I'm exiting the motorway!
You train lots of baristas; from entry level through to experienced baristas who are seeking further professional development. What’s the key to getting good engagement from each trainee?
First making them feel relaxed and second encouraging them to give their opinion.
For me I just want every person to feel relaxed when they come for a training, I understand it can be nerve racking coming in to an environment you don’t know and using equipment you aren’t used to so I just like to chat and make them feel relaxed and ask what they want out of the experience I feel it brings people out of their shell and gains the confidence to ask the question they might think are silly but actually super important. I think no matter what your experience there is always more to learn as long as they are open minded and willing to learn then there isn’t much difference in training an experienced or new barista.
It’s great when someone asks me a question that I don’t know the answer to because I like them to know that we don’t all have the answers we are all always learning.
Also what I think brings good engagement is asking baristas for their opinion. I think it’s easy to lose interest when someone’s telling you do it something a certain way, so I like to encourage baristas ask “why?”. Its also ok if you prefer a chocolatey Brazilian coffee to a fruity Ethiopian don’t be afraid to say so and if you think that coffee isn’t tasting quite right then its good to speak up and say let’s talk about this what can we do to make it better? I want baristas to know that their job is super important and to keep that enthusiasm there no matter what level you are.
Do you like riding rollercoasters?
Oh, I'm too scared! But anything that ends with a splash — I'm there!
When you’re not pulling shots, what will we find you doing?
Me and my partner, Adam, have our own little camper van so we pretty much go away every weekend, we have found our favourite spots in new Zealand that we always find going back to like Waihi Beach and Waipu but we love exploring and love checking out new places, we are quite outdoorsy so love a good hike, we give surfing a good go and always follow it up with a few beers dancing to a bit of Van Morrison or some 90s rave!
Best late night snack?
Munching chips and chocolate at the same time.
What's your favourite time of the day for a coffee?
and your favourite?
I love filter coffee made with any brewing method I just find the flavour varies so much I just love the fact that you can make an amazing tasting coffee at home without the big machines, it so simple you just got to find a great single origin and experiment, but don’t get me wrong I do love a good flat white.
But I got to say probably the best coffee from a coffee shop I have had was in Berlin in a café called Populus Coffee. I had a single origin Burundi Flat White, and it just blew my mind it’s always stuck with me how amazing it was. I think single origin espressos are fab and it would be great to see that offered more in NZ.
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