This month I’d like to introduce Jessica Macdonald as the New Zealand Specialty Coffee Association’s Community and Events Coordinator.
Much has happened since 2014 when we first created the Executive Director staff role with the New Zealand Specialty Coffee Association. Aptly filled by Aymon McQuade for the past 18 months, we wish Aymon all the best as he pursues new challenges with Bell Tea and Coffee. His departure provided the opportunity for the Board to review and realign the role with a greater focus on member liaison and events support – the role we welcome Jessica to.
Jessica’s affair with the coffee world started 12 years ago when she left New Zealand to travel. Landing in Melbourne, she joined the team at Icoco in Albert Park, Victoria, and discovered her love of coffee and the roasting process. After completing training in coffee roasting, she moved to London and worked supplying quality coffee for high-end events, exhibitions, and private parties throughout Europe, gaining valuable technical knowledge of coffee machines. She later helped the company set up its first roasting operation.
In 2010 Jessica was offered a production position at Square Mile Coffee Roasters in London. She worked in all areas of the company, constantly learning as it went from a small startup to a specialist roastery, focused on supplying exceptional coffee to the burgeoning London coffee scene. Following her passion, Jessica eventually developed and settled into the role of Head Roaster and was in charge of all quality control.
During this time she was a member of the Cup of Excellence Jury, as well as being involved in World Coffee Events (WCE) where she was a Chairperson of the WCE Rules and Regulations Sub Committee, as well as a barista judge and coach. She also sat and passed Coffee Quality Institute’s Q-grader certification.
Now in New Zealand, Jessica mixes her love of the coffee industry with organising competitions. The first event Jessica will be involved with is the NZSCA’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 8 July. A highly anticipated and social event each year, this year’s AGM will be no different. It will also include the release of the member survey completed earlier this year.
Growth and evolution is a key part of any business, industry or association, and the NZSCA is committed to ensuring that we meet member expectations.
The inaugural survey gave members the opportunity to anonymously voice their opinions on a range of topics, as well as gather information on industry statistics, something that has not been held until now. As expected, results were varied, refl ecting the diverse nature of our members – from small, owner/operator roasters, through to multi-nationals, as well as our allied members that provide support to the industry.
It’s also an exciting time for our barista competitors as they get closer to representing New Zealand on the world stage in Dublin from 23 – 25 June. We are thrilled to see Sam Low truly taking New Zealand coffee to the world, competing in the World Barista Championship, as well as taking his skills and knowledge to a training and quality control role with Code Black Coffee in Melbourne.
We also wish Ria Lingad every success at the World Brewers Cup as she competes for the world championship title. We are truly proud of the calibre of both these competitors and firmly believe the passion, dedication, and commitment of all competitors this year bodes well for the future development and growth of the New Zealand specialty coffee industry.