This is How We Brew It

Words Vicki Ravlich-Horan, Images Alex Spodyneiko

There is so much more to coffee than a flat white, from the different brew methods to the beans. We were curious to know what the team at Excelso drink, their favourite brewing methods and their pick of bean. This is what we discovered.


Excelso’s head roaster Layla Spiers travelled the world with her barista skills. She especially loved working at Ozwald Copplepot in London, a coffee bar that, Layla says, is incredibly passionate about espresso. This could explain it being her coffee of choice. “I love the more concentrated flavour of the coffee,” comments Layla. “Black coffee is my favourite. A smooth full bodied long black definitely hits the soul.”

As for the beans, Layla says, “Our current seasonal blend is my pick. It has a nice full body and really smooth on the palate as a long black.”


Neta Noonan, who is originally from Auckland, is Excelso’s barista trainer and has over fourteen years barista experience. Interestingly, Neta’s choice of brew method avoids the expresso machine she spends her days teaching people to master, instead opting for the Chemex. “The team keep telling me that the AeroPress is perfect for taking away on camping trips, so I’m keen to improve my skills before summer,” says Neta.

When it comes to beans, Neta says, “Kenyan coffees are usually my go-to, but this week I’ve been really enjoying the rich cherry and dark chocolate flavours of our Finca la Montanita from Costa Rica.”


Rebecca Louisson, or Beka, is Excelso’s head barista. Before moving to Tauranga, she worked in Queenstown and admits she loves a casual bevy in the sun with pals—an espresso martini of course! A keen hiker, Beka says, “I do a pretty great job of encouraging (most) of our team up the Mount every Wednesday after work.”

If it’s not an espresso martini, Beka loves the Kalita filter brew, saying, “I honestly think it gives the fullest flavoured experience, especially with the more delicate flavours of the lighter roasts.” Having had a few sips of the summer seasonal blend Layla is working on, this is her pick for beans, but, in the meantime, she loves a single origin Kenyan. “They have such complex and rich flavours, like the perfect cocktail, they just hit the spot every time.”


Barista and 2IC roaster Gustavo Pereira hails from Brazil. A keen surfer, Gus says the AeroPress is his favoured brewing method. He says, “It’s compact and easy to travel with, perfect for surf trips. There are lots of different tips and tricks to extract different flavours in your coffee. It is really versatile.” So taken with the AeroPress, Gus says, “I just got a puckpuck for my AeroPress for summertime. It’s a vessel that attaches to the top of the AeroPress that allows you to brew cold drip. It has a controlled drip rate that you can even connect to your phone via an app. It’s going to be perfect for surf trips. I might even try running some whiskey through it!”
He may be from Brazil, but it’s the single origin Mexican coffees that are his favourite. “I love our Chiapas—it is so sweet and is perfect for a flat white or long black! It’s hard to find origins that suit everyone, but this definitely does it! It’s a favourite in my house.”


Bay of Plenty native and Excelso’s operations manager Nicole Melville has worked for Excelso on and off for five years, initially as account and dispatch manager back in 2016. Nicole says, “It was a bit of a different direction for me, but it was still everything that I love about hospitality, connecting with our customers and providing them with an amazing product. Last year, after the first lockdown I joined our team again as barista trainer before taking on managing our team and the day-to-day antics of the roastery.”

Nicole’s favourite coffee, and one that takes off in the summer months, is cold brew. “I love the flavours that come through,” says Nicole. “The slow, cold process gives it such a clean, bold flavour. The extra hit of caffeine doesn’t hurt either. It definitely helps me get through the busy days!”

As for beans, Nicole says, “Kenya Gitwe is my favourite so far! I love this washed coffee so much. It’s super fruity and juicy through every method we’ve tried. It’ll definitely be on the cards for a summertime cold drip.”


Curious to find out more about any of these different brewing methods or beans, or just want to discover something new? Make sure you pop in and see the team at Excelso.
112 Third Ave West, Tauranga











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