Wednesday April 4. 2018
readers have their say... Find out the WORD on the Street. Question: There is a push to remove the legal requirement to wear cycle helmets. Yes or no?
Nikki Delaney. Johnsonville “That’s stupid. It’s a safety precaution, the same as a seatbelt in a car.”
Pasha Ahmadi, Lower Hutt/Tawa “That’s not a good idea!”
Samuel Pou, Johnsonville “It seems to be saving lives. I’m all for keeping it compulsory.”
Kuljit Kaur, Porirua “That’s odd … helmets are for safety.”
Cherry Skinner, Kapiti “It’s ridiculous! Helmets save lives!”
Jan Hughes, Khandallah “That’s stupid! Why would they?”
Local youth tackle a coming of age story One of Wellington’s newest musical theatre companies, WITCH, is presenting the Tony award-winning rock opera Spring Awakening between April 10-21 at Bats Theatre. A number of young people in the cast are from the northern suburbs The director, 24-year-old Ben Emerson, took on the challenge of the New Zealand premier, wanting to see a cast in their early 20s directed by their peers. It is a very timely production, despite being based on a German play written in the late 19th century. The universal themes covered include exam pressures, sexual abuse, suicide, first love and an adult world which fails to provide a safe environment for young people. Ben says: “The ‘Spring Awakening’ comes around every gen-
eration.” The show resonates in the 21st century and it interesting that The Stoneman Douglas High School students who, following a massacre at their school, have been famously vocal in their quest for gun reform, were in fact rehearsing Spring Awakening at the time the killings occurred . Ben, as director, said he felt the biggest responsibility of the actors in his show was to unpack the emotion. “Make it honest and ensure it has a New Zealand voice”. He hopes that young people will come and see themselves in the characters, and maybe feel a little less lonely, and that adults will come to the show and see the need for change, “becoming the champions to opening up the world for these kids”.
These young people from the northern suburbs are part of the cast of the rock opera Spring Awakening. From left: Alan Palmer, Caitlin Penrose, Jess Old and Alex Rabina, (kneeling) Maxwell Apse and Joseph Mara. PHOTO: Ben Emerson.
Barista wants to brew the best in national champs By Dan Whitfield
Frank Hsu is looking to become New Zealand’s next barista champion. PHOTO: Dom Thomas
Local barista Frank Hsu is attempting to make his best coffee yet. The Wellington man and owner of Frank’s on The Terrace and in Newtown will make another appearance at the New Zealand Barista Championship later this month. Frank tested his coffeemaking skills in the same competition last year leaving with a respectable third place. That said, this year he has his sights set on the top spot. This year Frank is getting technical. His goal is to use a “unique method that looks into coffee particle size” and how extracting coffee using similar sized particles
eliminates problems with the extraction process. “[This will] make the flavour more transparent and bring back how coffee is meant to taste,” Frank says. As part of the competition, Frank will make four espressos, four milk beverages, and four signature beverages in 15 minutes – all while explaining the process from start to finish, how the coffee was grown, the processing method that was used and how everything translates into the flavours in the cup. The New Zealand Barista Championship is run in close comparison with the World Barista Championship. The winner will travel to the World of Coffee in Amsterdam in June as New Zealand’s representative.
“I’m building upon the foundation I had from preparing last year. This time I’m more aware of the rules and regulations, how judges would score a competitor based on the sensory experience, and how important it is for a barista to research deeper into method and knowledge and using latest technology to bring out the most potential out of the same coffee,” he says. “Knowledge and skills empowers [the] barista to take back the control of extraction from machinery and to methodically extract every ounce of the flavour from the coffee while achieving ideal optimum balance in the cup.” This year’s competition is being held at the Expressions Arts and Entertainment Cen-
tre in Upper Hutt. Frank is set to showcase his skills as part of the national heats at 11:25am on Saturday, April 14. He will compete on Sunday, April 15 if he makes it through to the finals. “I’m pretty confident this year as I know how much better my knowledge, skills have become over the yer and how much better the coffee taste this time around.” Frank is encouraging his regular customers as well as anyone wanting to see New Zealand’s best baristas in action to come along on the day. Frank also went up against the best in 2009 where he placed ninth in New Zealand. In 2010, he was fourth in Wellington.
Independent Herald 04-04-18