Array

Top barista brings a dose of talent to Red Deer

One of New Zealand’s top baristas will soon be pouring drinks on Little Gaetz Avenue.

One of New Zealand’s top baristas will soon be pouring drinks on Little Gaetz Avenue.

Brendon Neilson is scheduled to join the staff at DOSE Coffee Co. on May 9.

He provided a preview of his skills on Friday at Red Deer College’s Alumni Wine Tasting Festival, where he operated a slow pour-over coffee bar, while DOSE owner Rolland Forsland served up cappuccinos and lattes.

“He’s very, very talented,” said Forsland of his new barista.

“We’re pretty fortunate to have him with us.”

Originally from New Brunswick, Neilson learned the coffee trade in Edmonton while studying theology at Taylor College and Seminary.

“I was always kind of interested in coffee, and became a customer at Transcend (Coffee),” he said, adding that he eventually made the transition from patron to employee.

In 2010, Neilson and his wife Melanie moved to New Zealand so that he could continue his studies there.

Neilson again found work in the café industry and soon after was named the top barista in the Auckland region.

That was no small achievement, considering how serious the people there are about their coffee.

“In New Zealand, there’s really quite a strong café culture,” said Neilson, describing how most prefer high-end espresso-based drinks — in contrast to Canada’s Tim Hortons-dependent population.

The top baristas in the South Pacific country are respected around the world, he added.

Neilson and his wife recently settled in Red Deer, where Melanie now teaches at Gateway Christian School.

Neilson is putting the finishing touches on the dissertation for his doctorate degree, but has found the time to ply his coffee skills at DOSE.

He said he enjoys serving a high-end cup of coffee — and seeing its impact on customers.

“You have this opportunity to be giving people some of the best coffee they’ve ever had.

“It has that potential to be a fine food substance that really can be quite an experience.”

Neilson doesn’t know what the future holds after he’s earned his degree. But he’s sure of one thing.

“I always know that coffee will be part of what I do.”

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Castor murderer vows to fight conviction

Jason Klaus tells courtroom he loved his family who were murdered in December 2013

Advocate poll shows another hospital wanted in Red Deer

Over 50 per cent of voters support second hospital

Olds RCMP has new detachment commander

Staff Sgt. Jim MacDonald now on the job

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

DJ Sabatoge and TR3 Band kick off Sylvan Lake’s Winterfest 2018

Central Alberta’s youngest DJ will open for TR3 Band kicking off Town… Continue reading

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month