We chat to Luise Metelka from Flight Coffee & The Hanger in Wellington. Recently named New Zealand's Barista of the Year in the 2021 Meadow Fresh New Zealand Barista Championship, she sure knows how to make a great coffee. We wanted to hear more about this great spot in the Wellington cafe scene.
The Hangar was originally the Flight Coffee Roastery. When we expanded, we built out the kitchen, increased the offering and The Hangar became the face of the café.
One of the most special things about Flight Coffee & The Hangar is our unique offering of tasing flights of coffee – these are essentially an opportunity to try a range of our single origins or blends. We also have great food here!
Luise, Flight Coffee - The Hanger, Wellington
"What makes Flight Coffee so special is the ‘seed to cup’ structure and ethos."
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O U R M O S T P O P U L A R D I S H
The breakfast burrito or the butties!
M Y P I C K F R O M O U R M E N U
I loooooove the cheese scones – I have one every day.
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I’m originally from East of Berlin, Germany. I moved to Melbourne, Australia when I was 19 years old and that’s where I first fell in love with coffee and the craft of coffee making. I then moved to Wellington in 2017 and started at Flight Coffee as a barista, working my way up to head barista and now roaster. Outside of work, I eat out a lot and I enjoy hiking with my puppy Maye (Viszler cross English Pointer) and my partner, Brett.
"I T E S T E D A L O T O F M I L K S. M E A D O W F R E S H B R O U G H T
T R O P I C A L, F R U I T Y T O N E S T O M Y C O F F E E."
What makes your coffee so great?
That’s a really big and complex question. I think what makes Flight Coffee so special (and part of the reason why I knew I wanted to work for the business when I first moved to Wellington) is the ‘seed to cup’ structure and ethos.
We work with a sister company called Raw Material, a green bean producing company focused on helping farmers reach specialty coffee markets. This allows us to be in full control of our supply chain, know exactly where our coffee comes from, and means we can ensure we’re supporting the farmers it’s coming from in a much fairer way.
How does Meadow Fresh milk and coffee work well together for you?
Funnily enough, one of the sections in the NZ barista champs was actually the ‘milk beverage’ category and I won with flat white coffee - using Meadow Fresh! As part of the competition, I tested a LOT of milks. Meadow Fresh worked the best with my coffee as it brought a lot of tropical, fruity tones to the coffee, which didn’t happen with other milk products I used.
Share a favourite moment where you learnt about the art of coffee.
That was definitely in Melbourne! When I started learning about the science that actually goes into an espresso and how every coffee has a unique taste to it. I hadn’t realised that before and it was quite a turning point for me, so that moment will always stick with me.
What is one piece of advice you’d give others starting out in the hospitality industry?
I think passion is everything. Also, what I’ve learnt and what I always teach is attention to detail and cleanliness is key – I always say a good barista is a clean barista! Because you lose quality very quickly otherwise.
It has been a crazy year, tell us about some neat things that people in the industry have done to support each other.
For me personally, it was the NZ barista championships. On the back on a tough year, after having to cancel the competition twice, we were able to finally run it. We had quite a few people who really helped pull it off, which was really special for everyone.
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You can find Luise at
The Hangar - 119 Dixon Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011
MON - FRI 7am to 3pm
SAT - SUN 8am to 3pm
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A N O T H E R H O S P I T A L I T Y S P O T L U I S E L O V E S I S
Shepherd for a nice dinner – because it’s casual dining, you don’t have to worry about what you wear (no one is judging you!) and they still give you an incredible service and serve amazing food.
Coffee-wise, Pour & Twist because they’re the best ambassador of the small specialty coffee roasteries around the country.