WBC Countdown: Barista Champion of Guatemala José de la Peña

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José de la Peña
BARISTA CHAMPION OF GUATEMALA
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Barista Mag: Before coffee, did you work in a different job or industry, or what did you study in school?

José: I studied Industrial Engineering

BMag: How did you get started in coffee?

José: A friend of my brother’s was the supervisor of coffee shop near where I live. He invited me to work with him, so I filled out the paper work neccesary to get the job.

BMag: What was your first amazing experience with coffee?

José: The first time I worked with an espresso machine, I didn’t realized how good a coffee could taste. I didn’t understand at the moment that I was working with a coffee that had won awards.

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

José: Living in a producing country, sometimes it feels like coffee people from around the world have more contact with the producers in my country than I do, and I live here. It would be great if the community in Guatemala would be more united with our own people, and more involved with the people that can work with their coffee locally.

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

José: James Hoffmann because of his support to the coffee community through experimenting with different techinques for preparing coffee, and [sharing] that knowledge [with] other colleagues.

BMag: Name a barista you admire, and why:

José: Raul Rodas, because of his effort to enhance the quality of Guatemalan coffees through experimentation with different processes; and for winning the 2012 World Barista Championship and setting Guatemala as a top coffee producer.

 

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

José: Every coffee shops deserves special attention from all clients, because of their effort to make a better cup.

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

José: Kenya or Ethiopia because of their importance to the coffee industry.

BMag: What are your interests outside of coffee?

José: Sports and hobbies.

BMag: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

José: Winner of the World Barista Championship

 

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.