WBC Countdown: Barista Champion of Thailand Areephorn Kaeajaroen

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AREEPHORN KAEAJAROEN
BARISTA CHAMPION OF THAILAND

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

Areephorn: I used to be a barista before in 2008 and then I resigned from this job. After that, I was a volunteer to be a disseminator at Dhammakaya Temple to propagate Buddhismm.

BMag: How did you get started in coffee?

Areephorn: First, I liked drinking instant coffee very much, but I never tasted any fresh coffee before. I liked watching Korean Series called ‘Coffee Prince’ very much and later I was in love with the taste of fresh coffee and the espresso maker looked very interesting to me.

BMag: What was your first amazing experience with coffee?

Areephorn: My first amazing experience was the day that my customer told me, ‘I like your coffee.’ Their words of encouragement meant a lot to me and inspired me to be a better barista everyday. Since then, they become my regular customers and I love hearing, ‘Can I have more espresso, please?’

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

Areephorn: My coach, Mr.Nipon Ketwichenchai, is the greatest influence in coffee in my life, because he loves coffee very much. He always introduces me to different varieties of coffee and ways of preparing coffee. We like experiencing the taste of coffee and sharing all about coffee together.

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

Areephorn: It would be nice to have great baristas everywhere in the world to offer numerous charming coffees from their hearts to all coffee lovers.

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

Areephorn: I like Raul Rodas, Guatemala, the 2012 WBC champ, because he is a natural barista and agile in every move of his wonderful coffee making, and he has a nice smile.

BMag: Name a barista you admire, and why:

Areephorn: I admire Fabrizio of Mexico because he has a sense of humor and charm. He looks happy and seems pleasant. I always smile when thinking about him.

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

Areephorn: Yes, I do. He is my regular customer even though he doesn’t like to drink much coffee each day, but he sometimes buys coffee for the monks. He always encourages me to be a good barista and also cheered me up during Thailand Barista Championship in 2013. I really appreciate his thoughtfulness.

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

Areephorn: I would like to visit Brazil, because it is the world’s largest coffee producer with good quality.

BMag: What are your interests outside of coffee?

Areephorn: Presently, there is nothing interesting other than coffee for me as I love being a good barista.

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

Areephorn: First, I would like to give a special thanks to my parents who gave me birth. Second, Dhammakaya Temple where I knew Homkrun coffee. Third, Homkrun coffee company who supports and sponsors me for the WBC. Fourth, my coach, Mr.Nipon Ketwichenchai, who is the best trainer and shares all his coffee and barista skills with me and also to all of my barista friends who always cheer me up. Lastly, I thank the Thai Barista Association for the opportunity to be a part of the WBC.

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.