Meet the Barista: Victoria Straight, Sime’s Kitchen

Victoria Straight fuels her love for making coffee at Kaikoura’s Sime’s Kitchen. The 23 year-old Health Science student got her hospitality start making coffee at a weekend job during high school, and upon moving to Nelson discovered a true passion. Straight began working with one of Nelson’s top baristas at cafe Morri St., now known as Morrison’s.

“From there, I saw a whole new side to coffee. I realised that it is an art.”

Now at Sime’s Kitchen, Straight finds reward working alongside others who put passion into making coffee great. 

“From my boss, Sam to front of house superstar, Connie, each of us have a love for producing great coffee. Every time - no matter who is on the machine - the same great coffee will be produced.”

A good coffee begins with the bean, and next is the shot. Straight enjoys an organic bean that has come from happy farmers, in fair trade conditions. At Sime’s Kitchen, she uses People’s Coffee’s multi origin flagship blend, Don Wilfredo.

“The shot needs to be perfect - perfect weight and a perfect extraction. It can’t be under-extracted because you won’t get all of the flavour and if it is over-extracted it will be bitter.” 

The milk should be the perfect temperature, too hot and it will burn your perfect shot. 

“Lastly, there needs to be lots of love.”

Sime’s Kitchen also creates beautiful food, from scratch. Where they can, the kitchen staff use local produce from small businesses and the team pride themselves on seasonal, fresh and organic food where possible. 

“I take great pleasure in serving people great food that is made with love by the awesome kitchen staff, accompanied by a great tasting coffee.”

Straight has seen a rise in the use of eco, reusable coffee cups - “which is awesome”. 

Oat milk has also been on the rise, it has a creamy texture that goes well with coffee. Though oat milk is the most popular milk alternative at Sime’s Kitchen, a regular flat white with cow's milk is still the cafe’s top seller.

Straight’s go-to order is a flat white, with butter, raw honey and Chaga.

When she’s not making coffee or studying, Straight can be found foraging native plants of Aotearoa, surfing, adventuring, or curled up snugly with cacao and a good book.