Celeste is an actress and top coffee barista, born in Dunedin, New Zealand, currently living in London, UK. With more than ten years of experience in the coffee industry, she has held top positions in leading artisan cafés all over the world and has been rightfully named as one of London’s Top Five Baristas in The Financial Times.
As if this weren’t enough, she is an influencer, an inspiring go-getter, creating positive lifestyle media content and being the brains behind The Girl in the Cafe web-series. Interviewing people like Anette Moldvaer and Ben Anderson, Celeste is someone you won’t want to take your eyes off in the near future!
Tell our readers a bit about your journey in coffee.
I got here [in London] back in 2007, when the specialty scene was just getting started. It was really encouraging to see cafés popping out, like Lantana in 2009; they really made a kiwi feel at home with their Avo on toast and their caffeinated drinks. I worked as their Head of Coffee for a while and then also got involved with Soho-based cafés Flatwhite and Milkbar.
What I wanted to do after I moved here from Melbourne was to raise the level of both food & coffee; I felt it was a bit of a mission so I combined my creative side with coffee and my people skills, which eventually led to me producing my own show: tgitc.
I couldn’t say what actually happened. It was an aha!
moment while walking on the street. I had some equipment, great friends, I’m really good at talking to people, a great barista and this is how it kind of all came together.
I had a full-time job when I first started working on these TV series.
However, I must say it wasn’t even close to that sense of grandeur it had in my head so I needed to learn how to stay grounded, and would need a reality check every once in a while, in order to not get disappointed. Nonetheless, I felt a new sense of life doing this project!
How did you end up being The Girl in the Café? And has your acting career been affected by this endeavor?
I think nowadays it’s safe to talk of a fourth wave in the industry. You see all these coffee professionals choosing to expand and do so much more than simply being a barista; they do films, they write about it, and I believe it really helps to share the knowledge around and go about it in a new and creative way – this happens all the time in other sectors so why not here as well, right!?
When I had this idea I carried it around and protected it like a newborn, but I would also ask my friends “am I going insane? Is this just another one of my ideas that will not see the light of day?”, although it felt different!