WBC Countdown: Barista Champion of Taiwan Chia Cheng Chien



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

Chia: Before I got into the field of coffee making, I ran a breakfast restaurant. Even now, I still run the breakfast shop and a cafe.

BMag: How did you get started in coffee?

Chia: I got started in coffee because I wanted to serve good coffee at my breakfast restaurant.

BMag: What was your first amazing experience with coffee?

Chia: It was about three years ago when I first tasted the coffee from one of my coffee bean providers. I never thought coffee could have a fruity flavor.


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

Chia: Sidney Kao, a coffee friend working for Robert Kao & Company. He’s given me opportunities to taste many high classes of coffee beans from all around the world, and he’s taught me a lot about roasting beans.

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

Chia: I hope that more and more people will learn about how to taste coffee and appreciate the beauty of drinking coffee.

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

Chia: I’d like to meet Michael Phillips because he is such a great barista. I admire him very much because his concept of coffee making, and his performance at the 2010 WBC impressed me a lot.

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

Chia: Any customer visiting with his/her dog.


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

Chia: Ethiopia is the coffee producing country that I’d like to visit most because it’s the first country where the coffee beans were found.

BMag: What are your interests outside of coffee?

Chia: Tennis.

BMag: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Chia: I’ll continue serving good coffee at my breakfast restaurant, and letting more people know about coffee and enjoy coffee.

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

Chia: I first want to thank my family for the unconditional support, especially my wife for taking good care of my one-year-old son. To prepare the competition, I hardly saw my son at all. This is what I’ll want to make it up to him after the competition. Then, I also want to show my great gratitude to Ninety Plus Coffee Company and Robert Kao & Company. Last but not the least, I want to thank my trainer, Ya-Ling, and my English teacher, Tzu-yu, too, and all staff at my cafe who helped me a lot with daily business so that I could fully focus on competition preparation.

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.