Lulu Reidy-Stubbs is your classic born-and-bred Wellingtonian - a true coffee and cafe enthusiast. Taking her love for coffee one step further, Lulu is currently the Head Barista at The Botanist, a plant-based cafe in Wellington's gorgeous Lyall Bay.
Serving up brunch favourites but with a plant-based twist, The Botanist's boasts a range of imitation meats like soy sausage and facon, perfect for transitioning vegans or those wanting to try plant-based meat alternatives. One of the cafe's most innovative dishes is its fish and chips, made from banana blossoms that have been cooked to replicate the exact texture of fish.
After completing a coffee course with Mojo fresh out of high school in 2019, Lulu has been working as a barista in Wellington's famous coffee scene ever since.
The Botanist has been the perfect playground for Lulu to embrace new espresso techniques and flavour profiles. She especially enjoys nailing the precision and brewing techniques required to make a good hearty espresso, including shot extraction. Learning how to make a variety of different coffee styles and drinks, as well as utilising alternative milk has also been a rewarding part of being a barista for Lulu.
"It keeps you on your toes, and it takes precision and technique."
Aside from the privilege of enjoying unlimited coffees, Lulu finds great joy in serving her fellow Wellingtonians their daily brew.
"It's amazing seeing people enjoy drinks that I've made with love. Getting compliments and feedback on our coffees and alternative milk options is super cool."
Lulu is also a big advocate for alternative milk. She encourages everyone to try plant-based milk with their coffee.
"It's delicious, good for the environment and your health, plus we don't charge extra for alternative milk at The Botanist!"
When Lulu is not working, she loves to spend time with friends and family, playing with her coffee machine station at home or shopping around town.