Ben Put, Canada

2017-10-18T13:17:34+00:00

Canada
Ben Put
Monogram Coffee

 

Please tell us a little bit about yourself:

I am a co-owner of Monogram Coffee, located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Monogram consists of two cafes and a roastery. This has been an exciting year for me as my wife, Tara, and I had a baby in December 2016. Malcolm and Tara.

What are you excited to do while you are in Seoul?:

Korean BBQ! I also want to visit Namusairo. I visited it two years ago and had one of the best espressos of my life. I am also going to bring an empty suitcase just for Hazelnut Snickers bars.

Please list the coffee competitions you have participated in, what year they took place, and your results:

Canadian Barista Championship 2010-12 – 2nd Place

Canadian Barista Championship 2013-17 – 1st Place

2014 WBC – 11th Place

2015 WBC – 3rd Place

2016 WBC – 3rd Place

Canadian Brewers Cup Championship 2017 – 2nd Place

Canadian Latte Art Championship 2015 – 2nd Place

Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to prepare for the WBC? 

So many people! My wife for not only letting me compete, but attending almost every competition I have ever been in (only missed one!). My business partners, Justin and Jeremy. Ninety Plus and the entire Makers team have supported me all year long with coffee and with friendship. The entire team at Monogram Coffee. The whole crew at Urnex for supporting me the past three years. Josh Hockin and Mike Strumpf!

How do you see the coffee industry changing in the future?:

Making quality coffee is still difficult, but it is getting easier. This will hopefully allow cafes to differentiate themselves in ways beyond simply coffee quality. I’m excited to see diverse cafe aesthetics, models, and offerings all with excellent coffee.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Hopefully still making coffee in the cafe and the roasterie.

What are your interests outside of coffee?

I play electric and upright bass. I like cooking and trying new foods. Playing with Malcolm is a new favorite. I like reading, but always wish I read more. There are few things better than being at home.

 benjamin.put

 putankhamun

 benjaminput

 

David Coelho, Portugal

2017-10-18T13:08:32+00:00

Portugal
David Coelho
7groaster

 

Please tell us a little bit about yourself:

My name is David Coelho, I am the Roaster & Head Barista of 7g Roaster in Portugal! I love everything about coffee and I love to learn more about it every day!

What are you excited to do while you are in Seoul?:

Enjoy the vibe of the city!

Please list the coffee competitions you have participated in, what year they took place, and your results:

Portuguese Barista Champion 2014,2016, 2017

WBC 2014 Rimini – 44th Place, Round One

WBC 2016 Dublin – 25th Place, Round One

 

How do you see the coffee industry changing in the future?:

Coffee industry is changing every year. I hope that the direction in the future will be more focus on quality and less in quantity.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I see myself at the forefront of my company, taking 7groaster to the next level, as a great specialty coffee shop and a unique roastery in Portugal.

What are your interests outside of coffee?

Family!

 david.coelho.9256

 david_coelho_barista

 

Lavinia Toma, Romania

2017-10-10T09:54:09+00:00

Romania
Lavinia Toma
Origo

 

Please tell us a little bit about yourself:

I’m a 24 year old who fell into coffee 3 years ago. I was amazed by the multitude of flavors a cup can develop, and my tasty journey has begun since then.

What are you excited to do while you are in Seoul?:

I look forward to meeting new and old friends and tasting new things!

Please list the coffee competitions you have participated in, what year they took place, and your results:

Barmaniada – 2015 – 1st Place

WBrC – 2015 – 24th Place

Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to prepare for the WBC?:

Mihai Panfil for being my coach, boss and friend, and the whole team at Origo for their support during the past months. Vlad and Dan from Steam Coffee Shop for helping with my routine.

 

 lavtoma

 lavtoma

 

Silvester Dan Samonte, Philippines

2017-10-10T09:53:14+00:00

Philippines
Silvester Dan Samonte
El Union

 

Please tell us a little bit about yourself:

I like tasty things and I’m always trying to find a way to make things tastier. Usually I’m at our beach side coffee bar or our new roastery/training lab pumping people up about specialty coffee. When not in coffee, you can find me looking for inspiration in food. I also surf, bike, swim, hike and love live music experiences.

What are you excited to do while you are in Seoul?:

Sharing some fabolous coffee and eating Korean BBQ.

Please list the coffee competitions you have participated in, what year they took place, and your results:

2016 Philippine Nationals Barista Championships – Champion
2016 World Barista Championships (Dublin) – 14th (First Round)
2017 Philippine National Barista Championships – Champion

Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to prepare for the WBC?:

To my family, El Union Family, my coach and past coaches, the judges I’ve had the pleasure to serve, and everyone on this journey with me to make my Philippine specialty coffee better everyday.

How do you see the coffee industry changing in the future?:

More efficient and tasty coffees.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?:

Inviting you to our farm and lab.

What are your interests outside of coffee?:

Design, food, sports, live music, humanism and goodness.

 silvesterdansamonte

 slysamote

 silvesterdans

 

Leo Moço, Brazil

2017-10-09T06:12:26+00:00

Brazil
Leo Moço
Barista Coffee Bar

 

Please tell us a little bit about yourself:

I’m a nutritionist and IT analyst but quit everything to work with specialty coffee in 2005. I started living in a coffee farm for three months and since that time I haven’t stopped learning. For two years, I dedicated myself to study coffee roasting and in 2009 I launched my coffee roastery, Café do Moço. In 2014, myself and my wife opened our first coffee shop, the Barista Coffee Bar. Today I’m focused on working with small farmers to improve their coffees, always trying to increase the specialty coffee market in Brazil.

What are you excited to do while you are in Seoul?:

I want to know more about the coffee scene at Seoul.

Please list the coffee competitions you have participated in, what year they took place, and your results:

Brazilian Barista Competitions:

2005 – 21st
2006 – 6th
2007 – 8th
2008 – 5th
2009 – 10th
2011 – 6th
2012 – 5th
2013 – Champion
2014 – 3rd
2015 – Champion
2017 – Champion

Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to prepare for the WBC?:

I need to thank everyone at the BSCA (Brazilian Specialty Coffee Association) for their support; to Sakamoto for accepting being my coach for the competition and life! And also to my friend Marcia Yoko, and my wife Estela Cotes.

How do you see the coffee industry changing in the future?:

I see an increase in the relevance of Brazilian coffee in the specialty coffee market. Not only as the biggest producer in the world, but also as a super high quality specialty coffee provider.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?:

Providing Brazilian ultra specialty coffee for all the baristas in the world.

What are your interests outside of coffee?:

Soccer! I’m a Flamengo lover.

 leo.moco.ribeiro

 barista.leomoco

 

Kyle Ramage, United States

2017-09-29T13:00:39+00:00

United States
Kyle Ramage
Black & White Coffee

 

Please tell us a little bit about yourself:

My name is Kyle Ramage. I have competed for the last 4-5 years mostly with not super great results, but last year things really turned around when I fell into being the coach of the 2016 US Barista Champion, Lem Butler. Through that experience I gained not only a great friend, but a coach, and business partner. Through him I also met Jose Gallardo, the most inspiring and interesting coffee producer I have ever encountered. In September we opened Black & White Coffee Roasters in Wake Forest NC. We are excited for our new venture.

What are you excited to do while you are in Seoul?:

Well, compete. Also, enjoy some amazing food, and scoop some Korean sneakers and maybe some cool golf stuff.

Please list the coffee competitions you have participated in, what year they took place, and your results:

2012 SERBrC
2013 SERBrC
2013 SERBC
2014 SERBrC
2015 SERBC – 6th Place
2015 USBC – 18th Place
2016 USBC Qualifier
2017 USBC – Champion

Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to prepare for the WBC?:

Oh wow, my wife, who put up with all my craziness. Lem Butler – coach, business partner, friend. Gary Horne – sponsor, mentor, friend. Pacific Foods – sponsor. Acaia – sponsor. Georgia Lee Ceramics – wears. Clockwork Espresso – tamper sponsor. Sturdy Brothers – apron sponsor.

How do you see the coffee industry changing in the future?:

It will likely be very different. I would assume there would be major breakthroughs in grinders, espresso machines, and coffee packaging which will open the doors to even more customers for speciality coffee. Also, climate change is no joke.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?:

I hope to be running a successful coffee roaster with a few cafes that does good in the community, the industry, and at origin.

What are your interests outside of coffee?:

I am into quite a few things. I love gear, coffee gear in particular. I enjoy learning about and fixing machines. I also play Golf, and Disc Golf pretty regularly. I am also an amateur live audio tech. I am also a committed member of North Wake Church and my faith is quite important to me.

 Kyle Ramage

 Kyle_Rampage

 Kyle_Rampage blackwhiteroasters

 

Rory Rosenberg, Norway

2017-09-29T12:45:35+00:00

Norway
Rory Rosenberg
Kaffa and Oslo Cold Brew

 

Please tell us a little bit about yourself:

I have been working with speciality coffee for 7 years now, and have recently started my own cold brew business in Oslo. We are on a mission to do cold brew better and getting speciality coffee into more peoples hands in a format they are familiar with. I have been living and working in Oslo for 4 years now, but am originally from Durban, South Africa.

What are you excited to do while you are in Seoul?:

To taste, see and experience as much as possible.

Please list the coffee competitions you have participated in, what year they took place, and your results:

Norwegian Barista Championship 2014, 2nd Place
Norwegian Barista Championship 2016, 2nd Place
Norwegian Barista Championship 2017, 1st Place

Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to prepare for the WBC?:

Ben Carlson and the whole Bukeye washing station team from Long Miles coffee project. Collaborative coffee source. Kaffa Roastery. The other small sponsors. My sister, Lauren, and my girlfriend, Milda.

How do you see the coffee industry changing in the future?:

I think the coffee industry will continue to get more specialised, but I also hope to see speciality coffee become more commercial and accessible to more people, so that we can continue to grow the volumes we buy from farmers.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?:

Definitely still working with speciality coffee, but in what way, I’m not sure just yet. I have just started a new venture and will put all my efforts into doing this right for now.

What are your interests outside of coffee?:

Skateboarding, film, travel, and cooking.

 rory.l.rosenberg

 zweidick

 

Sonja Zweidick, Denmark

2017-09-29T12:37:20+00:00

Denmark
Sonja Zweidick
Barista Connect

 

Please tell us a little bit about yourself:

I am from Austria, but 17 years ago I moved to Denmark for love. In 2012 I entered the coffee world from a previous occupation in hospitality, and I started off working as a barista. Ever since specialty coffee has continued to widen my perspective and intrigued me to explore. Lately I have also looked into the field of roasting, and there is still so much more to discover. My attendance at previous barista championships, nationals as well as WBCs, have pushed my limits and accelerated my learning curve. I also founded Barista Connect in 2015—an international network with annual events for female coffee professionals, to strengthen connections and share knowledge with women in our industry. So far we have thrown three events in Aarhus, London and Vienna, and I am super excited to meet many more cool coffee ladies out there.

What are you excited to do while you are in Seoul?:

I can’t wait to get a whiff of the local specialty coffee scene and Korean culture. Of course also trying out the local cuisine with food sharing, kimchi and barbecues.

Please list the coffee competitions you have participated in, what year they took place, and your results:

Danish Barista Championship 2017 – 1st place
WBC 2015 – 25th Place
Austrian Barista Championship 2015 – 1st Place
WBC 2014 – 33rd Place
Austrian Barista Championship 2014 – 1st Place

Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to prepare for the WBC?:

I am extremely thankful to the great number of friends and supporters, who have all dedicated so much to me – positive energy, their valuable time or essential financial contributions. <3 First and foremost my life partner Michael Dvinge, for being my patient manager and an inspirational source. My collaboration partners at Café Granja La Esperanza in Colombia for their innovative approach. Potter KH Würtz, Square Mile Coffee Roasters and Prufrock, Arla Essens, NitroBrew, Acaia and finally my sponsors BWT, Spar Nord and Eva Solo.

How do you see the coffee industry changing in the future?:

Specialty Coffee is developing at a very fast pace. We have probably only seen the tip of the iceberg so far, and I am very excited to experience where new innovative initiatives will take our industry from here. One of the big challenges is climate change, which has already made an impact on coffee production in several parts of the world. As an industry we need to be very conscious about the consequences, and carefully adjust to the changes. I think it will become an even more current challenge in the future.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?:

I have just recently started a new chapter in my career as a freelance Barista, Consultant and Roaster. As my female coffee network/event, Barista Connect gets more established I really look forward to having more time on my hands to invest in it. Several possibilities have already presented themselves in the last six months, and I am currently working on a new project of my own. So professionally I could be in a number of different places five years from now, and that truly excites me! I stay open minded.

What are your interests outside of coffee?:

All things sensory really. Due to my background in hospitality, wine actually caught my attention prior to coffee. The sensory qualities and experimental processing of natural wine continuously stand out to me. Generally I am curious about what affects our perception of food.

 sonja.zweidick

 zweidick

 

Okuta Mark, Uganda

2017-09-15T05:26:18+00:00

Uganda
Okuta Mark

 

Please tell us a little bit about yourself:

I am an espresso master with growing passion for filter. I have been working with farmers to achieve the finest coffee — it’s what drives me. I have a special place for God and my country. I have been working with coffee for 9 years.

What are you excited to do while you are in Seoul?:

I am looking forward to seeing specialty coffee culture.

Please list the coffee competitions you have participated in, what year they took place, and your results:

UNBC – 2009 (Finalist)
UNBC – 2010 (Champion)
ABC – 2011
WBC – 2011
UNBC – 2012 (First Runner Up)
UNBC – 2013 (First Runner Up)
UNBC – 2014 (Champion)
ABC – 2014 (First Runner Up)
WBC – 2015
FCBC – 2015
UNBC – 2016 (Champion)

 

What are your interests outside of coffee?:

Spirits and bartending.

 

 

Melody Lu, Taiwan

2017-09-15T05:19:58+00:00

Taiwan
Melody Lu
Single Origin Espresso & Roast

 

Please tell us a little bit about yourself:

I was born in Taiwan and grew up in Canada, it was back then in Calgary that I first began my foray into coffee. Eventually I migrated back to the mystical land of Asia, I do a little bit of everything: mainly as a barista, cupper, and consultant.

What are you excited to do while you are in Seoul?:

Have a very Korean-BBQ-and-naengmyeon-filled reunion with all the lovely coffee folks.

Please list the coffee competitions you have participated in, what year they took place, and your results:

2011 Canadian Cup Tasters Championship – Champion
2014 Taiwan Brewers Cup Championship – 3rd Place
2014 Taiwan Barista Championship – 3rd Place
2016 Taiwan Barista Championship – Champion

Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to prepare for the WBC?:

…the list is still growing so I have to save this answer until the very end 😉

How do you see the coffee industry changing in the future?:

I think technology will come to aid even more so and make coffee easily available to people, but it’s still the human touch that makes coffee something that goes beyond a sensory pursuit. So I’d say the traditional role of a barista may evolve along to something with more capacity to concoct, and seeing more interesting takes on the business model of coffeehouses that would allow this to happen sustainably.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?:

I will probably be doing something coffee-related, no preconception on what exactly though, because coffee has always taken me to places I have never expected (in a good way!)

What are your interests outside of coffee?:

Reading, watching movies, going out for walks with my dogs, cooking, travelling.

 plodia