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Meet the Barista Series: Creamy, Head Barista at NOC’s Wan Chai West

15 MAY 2019
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Welcome back to our Meet the Barista Series, where we introduce you to the coffee aficionados that serve up the best brews at each of our locations.

This month we chat to Creamy, Head Barista at our Wan Chai store.

What’s the best part of your job?

For me, it’s having a group of friendly and supportive regular customers. It’s great to have customers who genuinely appreciate what you do and who want to keep coming back because of my passion for coffee. I love this idea of community, especially in a place like Hong Kong where there are so many people, and so many different options. For example, one of my regulars has been getting coffee here since when she was pregnant with her child and she now comes in with her toddler every weekend. It’s amazing to be surrounded by these wonderful people at work every single day.

When did you get your start in the coffee industry?

At sixteen, I began working for an international coffee chain as a part-time barista. I went on to work in bars and restaurants, but I rejoined the coffee industry because I realised I preferred a dynamic working environment that fosters continuous training and education. I also love that I can start and end my day early, so I have more time to spend with my family.

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How do you train your baristas in the NOC-method?

I really appreciate the knowledge sharing culture across the NOC stores – I love that we learn as a team and share what we learn through latte art practice and cupping sessions. I practice this same knowledge-sharing with new baristas when they join the team at our Wan Chai store.

But to me, customer service training is as important as coffee training. I have over 12 years of experience in the F&B industry, so I understand that creating a good coffee experience is much more than just brewing a cup of coffee. When it comes to customer service, details matter. For example, I make sure we acknowledge customers as soon as they come in because it is important that they feel seen and valued. I want my team to evaluate the coffee experience they are creating from a customer’s point of view, and to gain the knowledge and skills required to increase customer satisfaction. I want our baristas to be aware of every coffee they brew and the daily interactions they share with customers.

What experience do you want to create for NOC customers?

I hope to create a friendly environment for our customers so they experience first-hand the passion our team has for coffee. I like how the Wan Chai West location is small in size and only offers a limited menu: I see this as an advantage because we can bring the coffee brewing process closer to customers, and customers are more comfortable asking us questions about their coffee. To make sure our customers feel truly valued, we also take the initiative to ask what they think about their coffee and encourage customers to try out new brewing methods and recipes.

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What’s your favourite brewing method?

Espresso. It was the first brewing method I learned and I love how easy it is to pull a good espresso. It’s also amazing how the water temperature, the dose and the ratio of different ingredients in a recipe can produce entirely different flavours.

What does NOC mean to you?

To me, NOC is almost like a family. I love working with my fellow baristas. At work we are a team of passionate professionals who love brewing good coffee and sharing our coffee knowledge. Outside of work, we are great friends who enjoy each other’s company. As the company grows, our team is busy running more locations but we still make time to get together after work for cupping and latte art practice sessions, or even just to hang out. It’s really cool to be part of such an enthusiastic, supportive and fun social circle.

How do you take your coffee?

My go-to is iced americano – it’s the only coffee I drink, wherever I roam.