Baristas uncovered: Emma Wogan

You exchange daily chat-chat, the odd joke and they know what you want before you ask, but what do you actually know about the person who makes your coffee every day?

Emma Wogan (27) is the head barista at Vogel St Kitchen in Dunedin. Originally from Christchurch, she has been living in Dunedin for three years. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Emma Wogan (27) is the head barista at Vogel St Kitchen in Dunedin. Originally from Christchurch, she has been living in Dunedin for three years. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Emma Wogan (27) - Vogel St Kitchen, Dunedin

Q How did you end up making coffee?
I was actually working Lotto when I started off: a Gloria Jeans opened up and since we shared a work space I started learning what I could from the girls and using the coffee machine where possible. I liked it enough I'm still doing it 10 years later.

Q Key to being a good barista is?
Focus is pretty key, but most importantly you need a good flow. Down time is used to clean and get everything topped up - a barista is always busy!

Q Weirdest drink request you've had?
That phase of putting butter in long blacks was a bit of an interesting one ... but nothing beats a Mocha with 6 sugars.

Q What do you drink?
I'll drink a flat white most of the time, but any caffeine is good when the going gets tough.

Q What does it take to make those shapes on top of a coffee?
Patience and a lot of practice. Other baristas make amazing mentors as well, you can always learn new pouring techniques and bounce ideas off one another.

Q Top tip for home coffee makers?
Don't expect cafe quality straight away. Domestic machines can be surprisingly capable, but they all have little quirks. Do your research and learn the best way to work with your machine. Failing that, VSK is open 7 days a week.

Q Chemex or Cold Brew. What's your preference?
Definitely cold brew.

Q Would you serve coffee in a avocado shell, one of the latest instagram crazes?
Can't say I would willingly serve one, but have to admit I've had a wee try at making one - it's pretty hard to keep stable, I think I ended up wearing most of it.

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