Editor’s note: As we approach the beginning of the 2014 World Barista Championship, which takes place in Rimini, Italy, June 9–12, at the SCAE’s World of Coffee event, we would like to introduce you to the National Barista Champions who all worked incredibly hard to earn a position in this preeminent coffee contest. Profiles of all 54 competitors will appear on Barista Magazine’s blog between Monday, June 2, and Monday, June 9, and can all be accessed under the category header “WBC 2014 Rimini.”
BARISTA CHAMPION OF RUSSIA
Coach: Federico Bolanas
About me: Hello All! My name is Dima, I am 32 years old and I work at Omni Coffee. I started working with coffee in 2004 as a barista. Omni Coffee is located in a city called Krasnodar, south in Russia, very close to the Black Sea. My position today is Head Coffee Trainer inside our “Omni Coffee school”. Last year I became, as the first person in the Russian Federation , an Authorized SCAE Trainer. The AST education is a new wave in Russia and it is a big challenge for me personally and the whole company. My passions are my wife and my family; coffee and coffee people; and football (soccer and American football).
How many years have you worked with coffee or in the coffee industry?
Before coffee, did you work in a different job or industry, or what did you study in school?
I spent my childhood and youth in the football (soccer) academy. After that I was in medical school and worked for a medical emergency. And then coffee has happened in my life.
How did you get started in coffee?
It’s very simple! Read a newspaper job advertisement “barista required.” Called – was invited – was well suited for this position – and everything has started.
What was your first amazing experience with coffee?
Continuous process. I think it’s a constant knowledge evolution. It looks like the first breath of air: once having started you cannot stop.
Who has been your greatest influence in coffee? Why?
It is impossible to select someone. A huge amount of people. I call them “coffee people”: from customers and baristas to “coffee-Jedi.”
What would you like to see change about the coffee industry/community?
I want only one thing: a tasty coffee should always win.
Name a coffee luminary (famous person) you would like to meet, and why:
I prefer to keep the name to myself! But I hope that this will happen here in Rimini.
Name a barista you admire, and why:
My students. Nowadays they get more knowledge and skills during two-days of classes than I got during my first year. Imagine for a moment what will happen in ten years.
Do you have a favorite customer? If so, tell us about him or her.
The one who is sincerely smiling when he/she receives his/her “cup of happiness” and takes a sip. For example, my wife.
Besides your own cafe, what cafe do you think everyone should visit?
As many as possible of those where “coffee people” work. This is knowledge that I can bring into my house.
Which coffee producing country you would like to visit, and why?
As many as possible. All coffee producing countries have their own unique experience.
What are your interests outside of coffee?
Soccer and American football. “Ex-athletes” – for me there is no such thing
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
For me it is not important. I hope to deal with coffee. I hope to be happy, honest and be respected by people for what I do.
Is there anyone you would like to thank or who helped you prepare for the WBC?
My wife and family. My team and the company. Thank you for your trust.