How did you get into the coffee industry and become a barista?
I was in school at the time and needed a job. The longer I worked in coffee, the more I wanted to learn. Eventually I realized that this was the craft that I wanted to pursue for the rest of my life!
What is the most unusual ingredient you’ve used in a coffee drink? Why did you choose it?
Tonka Bean! It is one of the most complex ingredients I have ever used. It smells like vanilla, cherry, cinnamon, and amaretto. It's technically banned by the FDA so I have only ever used it at the Canadian Nationals.
What are you thinking about right before you go on stage at a competition?
I am usually scanning my cart over and over to make sure nothing is missing! I've had to run backstage for items before and it is not a fun experience.
What is your best coffee experience?
I will never forget the first time I visited a coffee farm. Getting to taste fresh coffee fruit, cupping coffee on the farm, and getting to walk amongst the trees was a dream come true.
What is your favorite brew method at home and why?
I love using the Espro french press. I like simple brewing methods at home and the Espro has a double filter so it is a lot cleaner than most french presses.
What is one piece of knowledge you would share with a non-barista coffee drinker?
The importance of variety! It is one of the most interesting recent developments in coffee. Tasting different varieties from the same farm is an eye opening experience.
Outside of coffee, what do you do for fun?
In my spare time I enjoy playing music, reading, and spending time with my lovely wife.