Project Description

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.