What is your current occupation and employer?
I am the Green coffee buyer for Toby’s Estate Coffee Roasters, in Sydney, Australia.
List all the national and world coffee competitions you have competed in.
World Barista Championship 2016, Dublin - Ireland
World Barista Championship 2015, Seattle - USA
National Barista Championship 2016, Marseille - France
National Barista Championship 2015, Lyon - France
National Latte Art Championship 2015, Lyon - France
National Barista Championship 2014, Paris - France
When and how did you decide to pursue a career in coffee?
I discovered specialty coffee about seven years ago. That was when I was still studying at university, and I just got absorbed in it.
What’s the best piece of coffee-related advice you’ve received?
“Coffee will always prove you wrong” - Mario Fernandez Alduenda
This is a real reflection of what I have been experimenting with during most of my coffee career. Coffee always surprises me against the norm or any preconceived ideas.
What brought you to Toby’s (and Australia)?
Cosimo Libardo offered me the job and brought me to Australia at the beginning of 2017.
What is your favorite part about being a green coffee buyer? And what’s most challenging about it?
I feel like it is the closest to coffee I could be. Working as a green coffee buyer, I am tasting incredible coffees every day and get the chance to learn about the story behind every cup. There is nothing more interesting and rewarding than getting to build and maintain direct and long-term relationships with coffee producers, especially when you get the chance to bring this kind of volume of this quality. Those people I am connecting and working with are the real value of what I do- they represent meaningful partnerships and vision. This trust and friendship are so important to me, as we care and want the best for each other. On top of bringing amazing coffees, I get the chance to build community and sustainability projects at origin, as well as developing research and experimentation projects.
How do you think you grew as a coffee professional from your two years competing in barista competitions?
As for many competitors, it was the greatest catalyst to my coffee experience. Competition pushes you to learn about yourself, about what you want to stand for in your coffee career, and of course, it teaches you all things coffee as well as commitment and discipline.
Describe the importance of cleaning or clean equipment in making the best coffee beverages.
Working in green beans, you realize how many details go into being able to produce a pound of specialty coffee (I am not even talking about competition lots). There are a ton of challenging variables that need to be controlled in order to achieve the desirable result. When you manage to get coffees like that shipped all the way to Australia, it is already a little miracle. Then you need to store it properly, and a lot of time and dedication goes into profiling adapted roasts for them. Then we are lucky to have a team that is specifically dedicated to quality control- they brew and taste every single batch, from every day, at different aging points. Once again, this is a lot of variables that need to be understood and managed. And we do not want cleanliness to be a part of that puzzle.
What is your favorite Urnex product and why?
Grindz - I taste several different coffees everyday through different methods, as well as daily purchasing or control cuppings. Most of the coffee through the same grinder.
What is unique about coffee culture in Australia?
People say g’day instead of good morning. ;)
Which producing countries have you visited so far in your role at Toby’s?
Brazil, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Myanmar
What is your go-to beverage to order at a café?
A pour over
What is your favorite brew method at home?
Outside of coffee, what do you do for fun?
Go to the beach, play piano, badminton or spend time with horses.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Somewhere in coffee of course!