Coffee and interview with Celeste Wong
With her new video series out, we sit down to meet Celeste Wong, aka The Girl in a Cafe.
LBC: You’ve been working in coffee for a while now. Which cafes have you worked in?
Celeste: I started in New Zealand at a small retro roastery/cafe called The Strictly Coffee Company then moved on to Batch Espresso in Australia. In London, I spent seven years at Flat White and their sister cafe Milk Bar, before moving on to Lantana, where I was head of coffee for all three sites, and assistant General Manager in their Fitzrovia cafe.
LBC: And what is your background outside of coffee?
Celeste: I'm an actress, director, presenter and entrepreneur. I also have a background in commerce and design.
LBC: Tell us a bit about the first series of The Girl in the Cafe.
Celeste: The first series, subtitled ‘Coffee Portraits’, introduces you to London’s artisan coffee industry on the ground as I spotlight specialist talent from my unique perspective as an industry expert. These are short and interesting portraits that give a perfect balance of insight, education and entertainment.
LBC: How did you decide to start with the interview of Phil?
Celeste: I met Phil when he was at Climpson and Sons through a friend. I instantly liked his nature and I kept an eye on his coffee career and progress from afar. The time came when I wanted to design a new bespoke blend for the cafe I was working with so I selected a few roasters and out of them I was impressed by what he was doing at Alchemy Coffee and enjoyed the way we worked and communicated - not to mention his talent and skill. From there I got to know him well from working together and we became friends. He embodies the type of character and genuine values I admire and want on my show, so when the time came to interview there was no question he would be a guest in my series.
LBC: What's next in the series?
Celeste: In series two, the focus will be on customer portraits. In these videos, I meet my guests’ after hours in a London coffee shop for insightful, educational and fun discussions; introducing you to their extraordinary stories and talents. Firstly, you get to know what makes them tick, then I throw an amusing coffee-related surprise their way and you get to see a whole new side!
LBC: What are your goals and ambitions for this project?
Celeste: I'm looking for an appropriate platform or production company to work with more closely to achieve the quality of program I really envisage and to grow from this even more. I also would like to continue the project and expand on my guests and make it international, in the sense that I know many people around the world doing amazing things that I think will inspire others and we can learn from them - both in the industry and around the industry.
LBC: What else? Any more pop ups?
Celeste: Yes, I'm holding a Coffee Stand at Clerkenwell Design Week May 24-26 at the House of Detention (Sans Walk) as part of the "We are the Women" exhibition. So come see me and all the amazing work people are putting on. It’s in an old jail! Really cool...