An Auckland coffee-maker has snatched the title of New Zealand's top barista from a Wellingtonian at the national championships in the capital this evening.

Hanna Teramoto, 38, from Espresso Workshop in Parnell, stole the crown from last year's winner Nick Clark of Flight in Wellington.

It is the first time Ms Teramoto has taken the trophy, coming a close runner-up last year.

The title was a surprise, she said.


"I can't believe it. I never, never thought I would beat Nick," she said moments after her win was announced.

She swallowed her nerves and successfully covered up a couple of mind blanks during her routine to secure the title.

"I was so nervous. I don't know why but I just felt like 'I want this over'," she said. "I wasn't even thinking about being the champion, I just wanted to get the whole thing over.

"I had these little blank moments in my routine but I managed to cover it up and I think that not many people noticed, so that was good."

She won the judges over with her knowledge of coffee beans which she sourced from a co-operative, sorting them by size to capture different flavours.

Ms Teramoto, who is from Japan, became a barista around seven years ago after moving to New Zealand in 2006.

She beat a total of 22 competitors, including seven from Auckland and nine from Wellington, over two days of heats, to secure the crown.

The baristas had to create perfect espressos and cappuccinos, as well as four signature drinks to highlight their skill and imagination.

She will now take her skills to the World Barista Championship in Rimini, Italy, in June.

However, she said it was too early to think about that yet, saying the shock of the win had given her "brain freeze".

There were no plans for rowdy celebrations either, she said, saying she felt like "going to bed" instead of popping the champagne after such a stressful weekend.