Wellington barista Lucas

Single Origin Brazil: Emporio Coffee welcomes Lucas Sidow de Campos

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28 May 2019

From studying agriculture and roasting his own coffee in Brazil to milking cows in Culverden and tending grapes in Martinborough, we’re lucky to have Lucas Sidow de Campos join us in Abel Smith St.

We asked Lucas about his fondness for coffee and a new life in Wellington NZ.

Lucas, where did your love of coffee come from?

I grew up in Itapetininga, a countryside city in the São Paulo State, Brazil. I relished spending weekends and holidays on my parents’ small lifestyle farm and it was here I discovered my love of animals and went on to complete a agricultural degree, working on other farms while studying. As part of my course, I also got involved with horticulture and worked in plant nurseries. An interest in coffee seemed a natural progression, and my knowledge now extends to all stages of the coffee process.

How did you come to be roasting coffee in Wellington?

I first came to Wellington in 2014 when my partner received a scholarship to study at Victoria University. I wasn’t in the city that long though when after six months studying English, and armed with a working holiday visa, I found myself working on a dairy farm in Culverden. Those 4am starts now make the 7am Emporio mornings feel like luxury! The farm was hard work, with each day finishing about 5 or 6pm. I then moved to Martinborough to work on the Craggy Range winery, where I could at least have weekends in the Capital.

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And then you returned to Brazil and roasted coffee

When my partner had completed his studies, we went home and I set about looking for a job. I decided to start producing honey on my parents’ farm and it was here that I also began my own coffee roasting business, having completed short courses in São Paulo. 

It wasn’t long before my partner secured an IT job in Wellington and we came back to New Zealand, this time with the confidence of a five-year visa.

And so you came to work for Emporio Coffee?

Arriving in August 2017, I initially worked as a barista for the Roxy cinema and restaurant in Miramar. I started with Emporio about two months ago and really enjoy the mix of responsibilities I have here. I’m involved with all aspects of daily life at the roastery, front and back of house.  It’s an interesting job for me at Emporio.

Coffee has a complex chain. You can change the flavour of the coffee with the soil, by the way you roast it, and the way you brew it. Everything can change the flavour.

But it’s still the roasting I love the most and it’s great to also be able to share my experience and training with Eric and the team. Together we are trying new things, making small adjustments. It’s my goal to set up my own roastery one day.

While I miss my family and friends back in Brazil, Wellington is a great place to live. I like living in Newtown and the compact nature of the city. And it’s fantastic that such a small city has such a huge demand for good coffee.

Coffee roasting Lucas

Curiously for a coffee professional in New Zealand, you take your own coffee with milk …

It’s true, I prefer a flat white to the obligatory long black of most baristas here. I appreciate the contribution milk brings to the coffee.

I’m open to all styles of making though, I like filter coffee; my home collection of coffee pots is testament to my approval of various methods!

Wellington barista lucas coffee roaster

 Photos: Mark Tantrum