Barista Champion of Austria

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.”

La Cabra

Sonja of Austria
Sonja Zweidick of Austria

Coach: Michael  Dvinge

About you:  My interest in coffee came through wine which shares a lot of the complex structure of coffee. I have been in the coffee industry for about 2 years now. There have been many challenges but it has been a thrilling job so far; there is still so much more to learn. These are pretty exciting times for me as well! I am proud to have recently been named the first female Austrian Barista Champ. I also just started a new job at La Cabra, a coffee bar and roastery in Aarhus, Denmark.

How many years have you worked with coffee or in the coffee industry?
I have been in the coffee industry for about 2 years now

Before coffee, did you work in a different job or industry, or what did you study in school?
I studied Hospitality and Tourism Management and later on I worked in the restaurant industry.

How did you get started in coffee?
I worked in restaurants where there is such a high standard for food and wine; I noticed that when it came to coffee, the exigency faded. I became more curious about coffee and ended up as a barista.

What was your first amazing experience with coffee?
How outstanding coffee can taste, when each link in the chain has done the right thing

What would you like to see change about the coffee industry/community?
I would like to see more support for speciality coffee and those who make an effort to encourage farmers’ development, valuing craftsmanship and quality.

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

Name a barista you admire, and why:
Matt Perger

Besides your own cafe, what cafe do you think everyone should visit?
Maruyama Coffee

Which coffee producing country you would like to visit, and why?
There are so many I have in mind. I’m thinking of Central America, especially El Salvador, which has these outstanding soils.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Getting into roasting and becoming a certified judge.

Is there anyone you would like to thank or who helped you prepare for the WBC?
Merlyn Perez – Silva, David Sarinelli and Niels Hestbech from Kaffe Mekka, Nordic Approach and the team at La Cabra

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