Vishan, 33, has been working as a barista for 4 years. He tells us that, “A lot of people in Mauritius, when they think about coffee, they think Ricoffy. But when we brew a cup of coffee, we freshly grind the coffee beans.” Humidity dampens roasted coffee, which affects the gases, and oils that contributes to its flavour.
Pre-ground coffee has heightened chances of being affected by humidity due to its greater surface area. The result? Less flavourful coffee. “At Moka’z, we freshly grind and prepare coffee only after the customer orders it to ensure a much fuller and richer flavour.”
Christina, 24, brews over 100 coffees per day. “As a barista, we are always learning new things, such as latte art designs, the clients’ preferences, different coffees…”
According to her, the most popular orders locally are cappuccino and café latte – two coffees that come complete with those oh-so Instagrammable latte art designs. For this she tells us, “The way in which we froth the milk is a very important factor when it comes to latte art.” It needs to be done perfectly – at the right temperature and for just the right amount of time in order to achieve the right consistency.
She ends by saying that,
Rooben, 35, didn’t know much about coffee before starting to work at Illy. He told us, “through the different trainings, both the off-site theory training and the on-the-job training, my knowledge of and my passion for coffee increased.”
Rooben and Jude Yagapen – the Chief Quality Controller at SIP, the managing company for Illy in Mauritius – tell us, “Each step of the coffee-making process is important.” This involves ensuring the quality of your ingredients; using the right equipment effectively and keeping it clean; precise measurements; the right temperatures; and careful timing.
Imported from Italy, Illy offers roasted coffee beans that come packed in a pressurised metal container with natural, inert nitrogen. This not only keeps it fresh and dry up until the moment it will be used, but intensifies and rounds out its flavour – a lot like fine wine. Even their water goes through a purifying reverse osmosis filter.
If ever you’re looking to assess the quality of a coffee, Jude told us to, “drink an espresso and time how long the flavour stays in your mouth.” The longer it lingers on your tongue, the better the coffee is.
Muzamil, 24, Assistant Shop Manager, has passed through the different job posts within Vida e Caffè over the last three years. But he tells us that, “As soon as I became a barista, I immediately loved the job and became passionate about coffee.”
Muzamil explains, “We try to serve our customers the best espresso in the world through the perfect timing of our shots. The best espressos are extracted between 25 and 30 seconds. But the perfect shot of coffee is extracted within exactly 26 seconds.”
Vida e Caffè are the Portuguese words for life and coffee. “And that’s what our concept is all about.” The Coffee shop also embraces a concept that they call the Vida vibe – which in short encompasses the employees lively and passionate way of being. Muzamil continues, “It’s about the way we communicate with each other and serve our customers.”
It’s made up of half a cup of coffee and half a cup of milk, which gives it its silky smooth texture. Muzamil adds,