THE KING OF BARRISTAS
Everyone in the Village knows Mamun from Circus Circus and he knows them by the coffee they drink. A Mt Eden Icon, Mamun is loved by his customers and as I’ve conducted this series of interviews, he has hands down received the most shout-outs from Business owners in the village.
A lot of people say that when they come into Circus Circus, they always know their coffee.
Yup, that would be me.
How long have you been a Barrista?
Close to twenty years. Close to seven at Circus Circus and before that twelve years at a small café called Take Five Coffee in St Lukes Mall. I started off as a dishwasher. I watched people making coffee and I thought it will be exciting, it’s such a cool job and people are happy. I spoke to the owner and said I wanted to learn. At first he said no, but I kept pushing for an opportunity and he agreed. He was a good teacher.
I love making coffee. If you make a bad coffee, you can ruin someone’s day. It’s a very fine line between a good coffee and bad coffee. Its all about getting the 3 T’s right – Taste, Temperature and Texture. It has to be right. It doesn’t matter how busy or quiet you are. When it’s busy, most people ruin it. I make about 500 coffees a day before 3PM and we do more than 8,000 a week.
We have so many regular customers. So, it’s not just the product by itself, you also have to make them happy, make them feel comfortable, goof around with customers, and you need to have a very warm heart to work in hospitality. If it is not, you’re just wasting everybody’s time.
Tell me about your childhood and where you grew up?
I’m from Northern part of Bangladesh, a place called Sylhet. It’s in the highlands surrounded by tea gardens. My dad was a lawyer and wanted me to be a lawyer, but I hated it. I saw him in his office at 3 in the morning. He was always reading and studying. I can’t do it. It’s not me. I love meeting people and talking to them. He was very disappointed.
I came to NZ when I was only 19. I didn’t know anyone. Immigration initially declined my case because there was a lot of fake documentation coming from Bangladesh. But I eventually got my residency and went to work in Napier, where I met my wife.
Tell me what you like about working in Mt Eden?
The regular customers and the people are really nice. The best thing about the village is that it has its own personality. No sky rise buildings and apartments. It’s very nicely done and untouched.
What do you do in your spare time?
I like reading books, anything involving politics. Stories of politicians, autobiographies, about Bangladesh sometimes. I also take the kids fishing when it’s a nice day. The best thing I can do is to give my kids time. You can give them 2 million dollars but if you give them time, they don’t have any worries.
Have you ever thought of doing something else?
I love coffee. But I really want to do Real Estate. I’m really good at selling things. That’s my nature. And for some reason, if I say something, people always trust me. They are always like okay, give it to us. I don’t know what it is. It’s not the money that attracts me. It’s just talking to people and selling things.
Mamun is a real character, is truly passionate about what he does, and makes a mean coffee that will kick start your day with positive vibes.
447 Mt Eden Rd
Follow us @circuscafe