We’re committed to helping you serve great-tasting coffee, time after time. We have an experienced team of baristas on hand not just to show you how to make the best coffee, but also to train you and your staff so you can do the same.
Duane, Hannah and Lara are enthusiastic and passionate about great coffee, and are ready to share their passion with you. They’ll help you and your staff understand the basics - the origins and processes behind the coffee they serve, how to get the best out of the machinery and developing the role of the barista - right through to advanced cupping and latte art techniques if required.
A visit from one of our baristas will inspire and enthuse your staff, helping your business grow.
New Zealander Duane Kennedy learnt his trade in one of the most vibrant coffee communities in the world. Originally from Auckland, Duane joined the burgeoning café society in Hamilton, developing his interest in the culture and science of artisan coffee which, in the company of other enthusiasts, soon turned into a passion.
Coffee plays a huge part in the culture right across New Zealand - it’s said that Wellington has more cafés per capita than New York City! “It was a pretty geeky time,” he admits. “I hung around with a group of other enthusiasts, drinking different coffees, experimenting and talking about ways we could push flavours using different ingredients and techniques. This community taught me the basic skills to become a barista, but it also became clear that you never stop learning. When you are involved with other enthusiastic people, no matter how experienced you think you are, there will always be something new to learn about coffee.”
Eventually Duane, also a keen musician, packed up his drum-kit and coffee tamper and made his way to London, where he found work at the renowned ‘Flat White’ café in Soho. Run by fellow countrymen, the café proved to be an excellent venue for Duane to enhance his barista skills (having to produce over 600 coffees a day!) but also to learn more about UK coffee tastes, trends and preferences.
When Duane felt the need for another change, Peros provided the direction. “Working at Peros gives me a fantastic opportunity to pass on my knowledge through barista training. I help a great variety of people, with different levels of experience, to improve the quality of their beverages,” he says. “I’m constantly delighted by their enthusiasm and attitude – they are so keen to learn which makes it a pleasure to teach.”
Since graduating from the University of Liverpool with a degree in English literature, Hannah has followed her passion for coffee rather than words.
For three years she worked as a head barista and coffee shop manager for Coffee Union, working alongside gourmet coffee enthusiasts Jon Whyte and Sam Tawil, who both have well-established coffee businesses in Liverpool.
Hannah then switched cities, working for a number of years as head barista and manager for the gourmet boutique coffee house Broderick's Love Coffee in Manchester. During this time she used her talents to help expand the concept and set up two new outlets from scratch.
In 2011 Hannah discovered a new challenge and became a barista trainer for Peros. She has really enjoyed putting all her know-how and experience into teaching others how to get the most out of being a barista.
“It’s great to support people who are eager to learn different skills and are receptive to new ideas. We generally have a lot of fun and I hope we’re able to inspire and enthuse our trainees to take pride in their role as barista. We think we can help pretty much any barista, whatever their ambitions - from wanting to improve their basic skills to wanting to become World Barista Champion!”
Throughout her career, Hannah has always been keen to improve her skills and benchmark her ability against other baristas by being involved with competitions, either competing or helping out. In 2009 she took 2nd place in the finals of the Brasillia Barista Competition and in 2010 she entered the UK Barista Championships and performed well in her regional heat. In 2012 she finished 8th in the UK Latte Art Championships and attended the World of Coffee conference in Vienna as a volunteer working on the World Championships.
Lara Hunter Rodwell
After twelve years ‘down-under’ learning and refining her barista skills, Lara Rodwell has returned to the UK to take up the role of barista trainer at Peros. Having originally set out to work and travel around the world during a single gap year, Lara discovered a passion for coffee and its ‘community’ in Australia that persuaded her to stay for twelve years.
It began when her travels took her to New South Wales and Lara found a job in a small café serving the vibrant East-coast tourist resort of Bruswick Heads. Lara spent six years here, inspired and enthused by like-minded individuals, learning more and more about coffee, its preparation and the culture that surrounds it.
“Australia, at that time, was probably the best place in the world to learn about coffee,” says Lara. “It’s so embedded in the community that coffee is not just about the beverage, it’s more about the social side. Cafés are the places to meet and get to know people and good baristas are local heroes - everyone loves them!”
For the next six years, Lara moved on to develop her experience and skills as head barista at various operations in Byron Bay, including the five-star resort ‘The Byron’. Here she worked closely with Paul Bassett, World Barista champion 2003, helping to showcase his winning espresso blend. She also paid regular visits to his roastery in Sydney to understand more about the journey from bean to cup.
Lara is now bringing her experience home to the UK as a barista trainer with Peros, but is still looking to learn new ideas. She feels the UK coffee scene is now on a par with Australia, with fewer practitioners but more experimentation. “In the UK there’s more willingness to push boundaries and do things differently. All baristas need to be humble enough to learn from each other, so we can continuously enhance our offering,” she says.
“My job as a trainer is not only to explain the skills required to be a better barista, but also to fire the same passion for great coffee that inspired and enthused me when I started out. Being a barista is a great skill to have - one that opens up opportunities throughout the world. And don’t forget, everyone loves a good barista!”