WBC Countdown: Barista Champion of Canada Jeremy Ho

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JEREMY HO
BARISTA CHAMPION OF CANADA
@OhYmerej

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Barista Mag: Before coffee, did you work in a different job or industry, or what did you study in school?

Jeremy: I studied biomedical sciences and public health and worked global health research projects in infectious disease as well as wet lab research positions in neuroscience.

BMag: How did you get started in coffee?

Jeremy: After I had my first amazing experience in coffee, I started working part time for a local chain of shops while I was going to school. A year later, I moved to Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters to continue learning as much as I could about coffee, and the rest is history.

BMag: What was your first amazing experience with coffee?

Jeremy: I remember going to a cafe in Vancouver, BC, Canada that was known for excellent coffee back in 2005. I had an espresso and a filter brew and I was blown away that coffee could actually taste like fruits. From then on I was hooked and wanted to learn as much as I could about it.

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BMag: Who has been your greatest influence in coffee? Why?

Jeremy: Phil Robertson and Sebastian Sztabzyb for showing me an amazing relentless pursuit of coffee knowledge, never being satisfied with current success, and a thirst for evolution, innovation and experimentation to push coffee forward. Ben Put for always being an inspiration and role model for what a coffee professional should be. Mike Tam for starting along this coffee journey with me and helping to develop our passion for it together, and everyone at the original location of Phil & Sebastian Coffee who helped shape me into the barista I am today.

BMag: What would you like to see change about the coffee industry/community?

Jeremy: I would like to see the growth of a variety of coffee retail experiences that all highlight different aspects of amazing coffee. I would like to see the global community continue to strengthen, and closer to home, I would like to see the Canadian coffee community become closer, continue to push our quality and become more recognized as a global leader in coffee roasting and retail. In conjunction with this I would like to see more press and attention focussed on the amazing things happening in the Canadian coffee scene.  I would also like to see more rigorous, peer reviewed research done on many aspects of green coffee, roasting process and brewing.

BMag: Name a coffee luminary (famous person) you would like to meet, and why:

Jeremy: George Howell to have a conversation on his perceptions on the industry as it has changed and evolved throughout his entire involvement, how he has pursued his passion and how he has managed to stay successful and current throughout the many phases of the industry.

BMag: Name a barista you admire, and why:

Jeremy: My coach Ben Put. He has always exemplified professionalism, practicality, innovation, inquiry and incredible humility and hospitality. He also has the best ‘barista-intuition’, and has made me the best tasting drinks.

BMag: Do you have a favorite customer? If so, tell us about him or her.

Jeremy: I love all our customers, but I have a soft spot for those that come to our weekly tastings faithfully, always displaying a willingness to learn and an excitement to taste our coffees and learn what we have to share every week.

BMag: Besides your own cafe, what cafe do you think everyone should visit?

Jeremy: Revolver in Vancouver. Such an incredible looking cafe, and a great vibe that just screams “amazing coffee”. Well brewed and pulled coffee and a great focus on simple, amazing coffee.

BMag: Which coffee producing country you would like to visit, and why?

Jeremy: I would like to visit Colombia. With such a great history of producing coffee and being so well known to all coffee-drinkers, there are absolutely incredible lots of coffee coming out that taste so unique and special. Would love to learn more about what makes their coffee so delicious and meet the people behind it.

BMag: What are your interests outside of coffee?

Jeremy: More coffee. Joking aside, I love listening to and playing music, and finding amazing places to eat.  I love great food and relaxing with family and great friends.

BMag: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Jeremy: Continuing to pursue coffee with just as much wonder and excitement!

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

Jeremy: Ben, Phil, Sebastian, Justin, and our team preparing for the WBC. Thanks to all the roastery and cafe staff for supporting us throughout this entire journey. Thanks to the coffee community across Canada for supporting me, answering questions and helping to refine my ideas.  Also thanks to my loved ones for being patient, considerate and encouraging throughout all the long hours and late nights practicing!

 

About the Author

Sarah

Sarah Allen is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.