Genevieve Hill has become very popular amongst the locals since she recently won the Barista Championships in Port Macquarie. We catch up with Genevieve to find out what it takes to win the title, and discuss the highlights of her job as a barista at Peloton.
> How long have you been a barista, and how did you get into the industry?
I’ve been a barista for around a year and a half now, and I’ve been here at Peloton for that entire time.
I was still at school when I realised that I really wanted to work with coffee. One of my best friends worked at Peloton at the time, and she told me about a job that was going here. She basically helped me to get my foot in the door and got me the job. Gwen and Lloyd have basically trained me from the beginning of my career. It has been great.
> What is your favourite type of coffee?
My favourite is a three quarter latte, which is a small latte. It is a bit stronger than your average latte because there is less milk – it’s delicious.
> Peloton uses Peak Coffee. What makes Peak so outstanding?
The staff from Peak are all really helpful. When I went down to do my competition, I went into Peak one Friday and Shane, Kev and Sean all helped me out. They helped me to get a blend of coffee and fixed me up with everything that I needed. They’re fantastic.
And obviously their coffee is amazing!
> You recently won the Barista Championships here in Port Macquarie. Tell us about what was involved in the competition.
In the local competition I was competing against thirteen other baristas. All contestants had to make twelve coffees in twelve minutes. This included four milk coffees, which you had judged on their taste, four black coffees, which were also judged on taste, and four latte arts, which were judged on your latte art skills (where presentation was really important).
During my routine I had music by Jack Johnson playing in the background. It helped with motivation and definitely helped calm the nerves during the competition!
> Your win here was followed by a trip to Sydney for the finals. What was that experience like?
The trip to Sydney was for the National Finals. I was competing against 28 other baristas from all over Australia. It was a really good experience for me.
There were a lot of great people down there with different levels of experience. I learned a few new tricks of the trade and met some great people along the way.
The competition was judged in exactly the same way as the Port Macquarie competition – twelve coffees in twelve minutes judged on taste and presentation. The only thing that was different was that I didn’t use music in my routine.
In Sydney I came twelfth out of all the finalists. The competition was very close, and I only missed out on making it into the top ten by four marks. It is still an awesome feeling to be among the top twelve baristas in the country.
> What are your goals for the future?
Obviously I want to continue to make great coffee and put love into every cup that I make. I want to share my love of coffee with as many people as I can.
At this stage there are no immediate plans for my own coffee shop. I plan to stay here for quite a while longer and get my name out there a bit more.
I love the great people here – not just the people that I work with, but also the customers that we get to meet. We have a lot of regulars that come through every day, and it is just a really great atmosphere to work in.
> Thank you Genevieve.