Editor’s note: As we approach the beginning of the 2014 World Barista Championship, which takes place in Rimini, Italy, June 9–12, at the SCAE’s World of Coffee event, we would like to introduce you to the National Barista Champions who all worked incredibly hard to earn a position in this preeminent coffee contest. Profiles of all 54 competitors will appear on Barista Magazine’s blog between Monday, June 2, and Monday, June 9, and can all be accessed under the category header “WBC 2014 Rimini.”
BARISTA CHAMPION OF HONG KONG
The Cupping Room
Coach: Kieve Lam
About you: Kapo is a 2-time Hong Kong Barista Champion. Kapo worked in coffee for 4 years and he has been competing for 3 now. He owns a coffee shop in Hong Kong, The Cupping Room.
How many years have you worked with coffee or in the coffee industry?
Before coffee, did you work in a different job or industry, or what did you study in school?
I studied Psychology in college and Supply Chain management in my MBA. I worked in different fields including biotech, leisure management, and restaurant management before being a barista.
How did you get started in coffee?
My love of coffee started in San Francisco where I interned for a summer during my MBA study in 2009. After my graduation, I went back to Hong Kong to start a coffee shop and have been involved in coffee ever since.
What was your first amazing experience with coffee?
A pour over coffee that had mango and passionfruit flavor.
Who has been your greatest influence in coffee? Why?
My staff. We keep challenging each other and the way we [do things]. I keep improving at a phenomenal rate because of them.
What would you like to see change about the coffee industry/community?
More diversity in terms of coffee shop model. I would like to see new conceptual interior design or cross over with other industry or brands. Diversity always wins.
Besides your own cafe, what cafe do you think everyone should visit?
Colonna and Smalls in Bath, UK
Which coffee producing country you would like to visit, and why?
Colombia. In my opinion, it’s the most progressive coffee producing country.
What are your interests outside of coffee?
Traveling and foodies.
Is there anyone you would like to thank or who helped you prepare for the WBC?
Andy Sprenger from Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters. He’s fantastic.