BARISTA CHAMPION OF EL SALVADOR
Barista Mag: Before coffee, did you work in a different job or industry, or what did you study in school?
William: My first job was at VIVA ESPRESSO 3 years ago. After graduating from high school, I began studying graphic design.
BMag: How did you get started in coffee?
William: I was looking for a job—any job to make ends meet. VIVA ESPRESSO offered me my first job as a barista, but I would have to start as a waiter first and would have wait until a barista position opened up to begin my barista training. While working as a waiter at VIVA ESPRESSO, my interest in learning about coffee and how to brew it and how to make latte art grew more and more. I was finally called to begin my training two years after and I was very excited. After a couple months of training I was officially promoted to the barista position.
BMag: What was your first amazing experience with coffee?
William: I remember this one clearly!…it was the first time I recognised a specific flavour in a coffee! I was caramel and I remember saying to myself OMG this is just like caramel!
BMag: Who has been your greatest influence in coffee? Why?
William: Daniel Mendez, the 2012 barista champion of El Salvador, because he taught me techniques on how to brew coffee and how to make latte art.
BMag: What would you like to see change about the coffee industry/community?
William: I would like to see high-end specialty coffee reach a larger audience and be available more widely. I feel the specialty coffee industry is a very small community that caters to a very small crowd and the rest are missing out.
BMag: Name a coffee luminary (famous person) you would like to meet, and why:
William: I would like to meet James Hoffmann because I’ve heard so much about him and how knowledgeable he is about coffee.
BMag: Name a barista you admire, and why:
William: Alejandro Mendez because he has been a great inspiration for me! I truly admire his accomplishment in the WBC especially because he achieved it in such a short time after beginning his career in coffee. He is also a good friend and a very humble guy, both things I respect very much in a person.
BMag: Do you have a favorite customer? If so, tell us about him or her.
William: I don’t have preference for anyone. I enjoy making coffee for all types of customers.
BMag: Besides your own cafe, what cafe do you think everyone should visit?
William: Can’t say…I would like to travel more to answer this one.
BMag: Which coffee producing country you would like to visit, and why?
William: I would love to visit a country that produces coffee with different farming and harvesting practices than those applied in my own country to expand my understanding of the possibilities in coffee. But I don’t have any country in particular in mind at this time. The most stunning coffee I’ve tasted was from Kenya, so it could be interesting to go there.
BMag: What are your interests outside of coffee?
William: Graphic design and football (soccer).
BMag: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
William: I definitely see myself working in coffee. I would like to make specialty coffee more more widely available.
BMag: Is there anyone you would like to thank or who helped you prepare for the WBC?
William: I would like to thank Federico Bolanos for his knowledge and experience preparing baristas for competition, and Alejandro Mendez for being there next to me training everyday.