WBC Countdown: Barista Champion of Korea Jinkyu Kim


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

Jinkyu: Before coffee, I repaired cars at a car center and I worked a clothing store.

BMag: How did you get started in coffee?

Jinkyu: By chance, I drank a cup of espresso. I felt strongly intrigued by the coffee. So I decided to start in coffee.

BMag: What was your first amazing experience with coffee?

Jinkyu: The espresso which was supposed to be bitter was sweet, and it tasted like fruit and chocolate. The taste remained. I was surprised and it was amazing.


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

Jinkyu: I would like to see more profit going to the producing countries.

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

Jinkyu: James Hoffmann. I want to meet James Hoffmann and ask him about coffee and coffee machines.

BMag: Name a barista you admire, and why:

Jinkyu: James Hoffmann. I admire James Hoffmann because he knows a lot about coffee.

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

Jinkyu: Square Mile Coffee Roaster in London.

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

Jinkyu: I want to go to El Salvador, because I am using coffee from El Salvador at the WBC.

BMag: What are your interests outside of coffee?

Jinkyu: I have no other interests besides coffee.

BMag: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Jinkyu: I think that in 5 years, other baristas around the world will be buying my coffee. I will be one of the best baristas in the world.

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

About the Author


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.