Barista Mag: Before coffee, did you work in a different job or industry, or what did you study in school?
Mirriam: I worked at the Chikumbuso orphanage in Lusaka.
BMag: How did you get started in coffee?
Mirriam: Blue Moon Cafe trained the Chikumbuso staff, and I got interested in coffee and got employed by them.
BMag: What was your first amazing experience with coffee?
Mirriam: Participating in the Zambia barista championship. The first time I participated, I got disqualified because of going overtime. But I got very determined to win the competition and compete in the World Barista Championship.
BMag: Who has been your greatest influence in coffee? Why?
Mirriam: Bob Keating from Blue Moon Cafe, who got me first interested in coffee.
BMag: What would you like to see change about the coffee industry/community?
Mirriam: I would like to see Zambia change from a tea-drinking country to coffee-drinking country, and I would like for people to want to learn more about coffee.
BMag: Name a coffee luminary (famous person) you would like to meet, and why:
Mirriam: Alejandro Mendez, 2011 World Barista Champion, because he is also from a coffee-producing country (and I have met Raul already). It would be nice to get tips on how to bring coffee culture in producing countries to a better level.
BMag: Do you have a favorite customer? If so, tell us about him or her.
Mirriam: Any Zambian who wants to learn about coffee.
BMag: Besides your own cafe, what cafe do you think everyone should visit?
Mirriam: P’zazz at Ababa House in Lusaka, Zambia. They make almost as good coffee as we do.
BMag: Which coffee producing country you would like to visit, and why?
Mirriam: Guatemala. Raul Rodas is such a great barista, and I would like to see where his coffee comes from.
BMag: What are your interests outside of coffee?
Mirriam: Baking and cooking.
BMag: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Mirriam: I would like to have my own coffee business.
BMag: Is there anyone you would like to thank or who helped you prepare for the WBC?
Mirriam: Teija Lublinkhof, who helped to train me and organize this trip.