We are definitely missing our Mayfair shop, our lovely customers and seeing our fabulous team everyday as we adapt to our new way of life.
So, we thought to cheer us all up we would like to introduce you to our amazing Higgins family, and where better to start than with Preethi, the manager of our Duke Street shop.
When did your interest in coffee begin?
I love coffee and have been drinking it since childhood. I was born and raised in India in an area that produced a lot of coffee and I have been around it my whole life. My love for it is the reason I pursued a career at H.R. Higgins. Moving to the UK from India was a big challenge but coming here has given me the opportunity to do what I wanted to do, and to be who I want to be, without fear of being judged.
What does your role at H.R. Higgins involve?
I started as a barista in the coffee room. I gradually expanded my skills by learning about brewing and cupping. After 7 months I was promoted to shop manager. My role now is quite varied. It involves amongst other things ordering tea and coffee for the shop, liaising with the roastery, recruiting and managing staff, customer enquiries and general admin. I’m on the shop floor during busy times, so you’ll find me behind the counter serving customers, or downstairs in the coffee room helping staff.
What have you learned working at H.R. Higgins?
In addition to learning about the coffee business, over the years I’ve become adaptable, organised and of course you have to be a team player when working for a small business. I’ve found I have a positive attitude and I see every day as an opportunity to learn something new.
Has working for H.R. Higgins changed you in any way?
Working at H.R. Higgins has enriched my life personally and professionally. I look forward to the challenges it brings.
Do you prefer tea or coffee?
Though I am a fan of tea, I have to say that I prefer coffee always. As I mentioned, where I am from in India produces a lot of coffee and I have loved it for a very long time.
What is your favourite coffee to drink at home?
That’s a difficult question but I do have a couple of favourites. Our Kenya Estate has a beautifully refreshing citrus flavour. I am also a big fan or the Nicaragua la Bastille for its fruity and sweet notes.
How do you brew at home?
I like to keep things simple when I am brewing at home and use a filter. The filter method is incredibly versatile and gives good results for all different roast. Personally, it is my favourite brew method because I like the clean aftertaste that it gives to any roast.
What is your favourite tea?
Again, a hard choice but I really like Japanese teas. To some they are an acquired taste but they have a natural sweetness that I really enjoy.
What are your plans for the future?
It’s my vision to qualify as a Q Grader, a trained and licensed coffee cupper, with the ability to evaluate coffees based on the Specialty Coffee Association practices. I would also like to travel to origin to meet those women, like Bethy Plaza, who are producing the incredible coffees we sell.
When did you last laugh and why?
I laugh every day. There is so much to be thankful for and happy about that I find it hard not to find the joy in things.