If Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie can conquer America as ‘New Zealand’s 4th Most Popular Parody Duo’, then there’s a formidable future ahead for New Zealand’s fifth top barista, Matt Ross.
The Flight of the Conchords duo previously referred to themselves as ‘New Zealand’s fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo’, but as of 2014 refer to themselves as ‘the almost award-winning fourth-most-popular folk duo in New Zealand’.
It’s clearly ‘Kiwi as’ to be fourth.
But why be fourth when you can be fifth?
Matt, owner of Mt Zion Coffee at Our Place, not only won fifth place in last weekend’s Meadow Fresh NZ Barista Championship, but he came fifth in the 2019 NZ Latte Art championship. It’s reassuring to have a local barista who is so consistent with his work.
He’s also starting his fifth week at Mt Zion, after previously working at Folk.
“I’ve been a barista for about five years,” says Matt. “Over the past few years I’ve wanted to branch out and do my own thing.”
He’s entered the NZ Barista competition for the past two years.
“There wasn’t one last year because of Covid. It got postponed twice and then cancelled.
“I entered for the first time a couple of years ago. I really loved the competition scene and meeting all the amazing people from around the country.”
Asked about the coincidence of coming fifth in both the NZ Latte Art and NZ Barista championships, Matt says he seems to like the number five.
He grew up in Auckland, which is where he developed his love of coffee.
“It was really random,” he explains. “An awesome Christian couple from a coffee shop in Auckland gave me an opportunity. I dove in, loved it and stayed there.”
Matt and wife Hannah came to Tauranga when Hannah started studying at BTI. His newly-opened shop, Mt Zion Coffee, derives its name from the Bible.