Walk into the brand new Artcaffe branch at The Oval, Westlands and one of the first things you are sure to notice is the new outdoor bar on the balcony overlooking Westlands.
Perched from this position, Artcaffe patrons enjoy their meals with some of the best coffee and cocktails in town, the refreshing Nairobi breeze cooling them down as they wind down an otherwise busy day.
The man tasked with catering to these creature comforts, in as far as coffee and cocktails is concerned, briskly walks through the restaurant with a silent smile, checking to see if patrons are happy with the drinks served.
Meet Geoffrey Kaize, one of Artcaffe’s finest, a master barista and mixologist. We sat with him to learn more about his work and passion.
1. Tell us about how you got started in the world of coffee?
It all begun almost five years ago when I joined Artcaffe’s Barista ‘boot-camp’ which ran for approximately two weeks in the hands of top Baristas in the industry. During that short period, I learnt everything about coffee including preparation, proper machine use, coffee drinking behavior…name it. This was my first professional coffee experience and I’ve been passionate about coffee ever since.
2. How did you transition from coffee to cocktails?
My “cocktail-shaking” skills were acquired in the same way – I had an interest in expanding my skills and decided to undergo intense training under the mentorship of my boss.
3. How do you maintain your creativity in the cocktails you create?
The eclectic tastes of our customers are what keep us pushing the envelope on creativity and innovation. We experiment a lot as a team, and once we find a great flavor we give samples to guests for feedback.
I also do a lot of research online and practice as often as I can to improve my skills and develop new signature drinks for our guests.
4. Which signature drinks have you created?
So far I have two signature drinks featured on the Artcaffe menu. An alcohol-based one called ‘Butter Hot Shot’ and the ‘Espresso Grappa’.
5. What makes the outdoor bar at Artcaffe Oval different?
We had a lot of fun with the bar concept. Since it was going to be a major feature at the new branch we created 30 specialty cocktails, which can only be found at this Artcaffe, to enhance the customers experience.
6. What makes you passionate about your job?
I love that I can be anything I set my mind to. Currently, as the Chief Barista and Mixologist at Artcaffe, I’m responsible for the coffee and cocktail drinking experience across all our five branches. It’s very exciting for me because I love dealing with people – from staff to customers. I particularly enjoy the challenges that come with the job because they require exploring creative solutions.
7. Which drink on the menu is your “go to” drink?
Art Iced Coffee. I especially love this drink after a hard day at work as it relaxes and refreshes me in preparation for the next day’s work.
8. Which cocktails do you recommend?
For something smooth and sweet, I recommend the Sweet Melon Martini or Candy Shop. If you want to blend my love for coffee and cocktails, it would have to be the Espresso Martini.
Like what you just read? You can experience first hand by booking online here or simply giving us a call on 0711 222 222