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.”
BARISTA CHAMPION OF GERMANY
Coach: Laura Barzel
About you: Hi! I’m Erna and I love coffee! I work as a barista in MÃ¼nster, Germany, at roestbar, a local roaster with four coffee shops. As an SCAE authorized trainer, my work also includes training our staff and interested people, which is a great opportunity to share my passion for specialty coffee.
How many years have you worked with coffee or in the coffee industry?
Before coffee, did you work in a different job or industry, or what did you study in school?
I studied Classical Archeology, Ancient History, and Philosophy, and graduated from University with a M.A. degree in 2011. I worked as an archeologist at excavations in Greece; I taught one semester at the university, and started a PhD. But by that time, I had already deeply fallen in love with coffee, so I decided to quit my career as an archeologist and became a full time barista and trainer.
How did you get started in coffee?
As a student, working at roestbar.
What was your first amazing experience with coffee?
The first time I could taste the complexity of coffee in a cupping. Ever since there have been many more cuppings and a lot of other amazing experiences.
Who has been your greatest influence in coffee? Why?
That’s a difficult question! At first probably Sandra GÃ¶tting and Mario Joka, owner and roaster of roestbar. But also all the great coffee people I’ve meet during the last years. When it comes to coffee, I’m like an information sponge ”I love asking questions and that way I try to learn from everybody.
What would you like to see change about the coffee industry/community?
On the one hand I’d like to see the specialty industry keep growing, on the other hand we should start working on a more explicit definition of specialty coffee.
Name a coffee luminary (famous person) you would like to meet, and why:
There are so many!
Name a barista you admire, and why:
I admire every barista who loves and makes good coffee and is able to communicate that.
Do you have a favorite customer? If so, tell us about him or her.
I appreciate every customer who is interested in a good cup of coffee.
Besides your own cafe, what cafe do you think everyone should visit?
I just visited San Francisco, there are a lot of great cafes, but I especially liked Four Barrel and Saint Frank Coffee.
Which coffee producing country you would like to visit, and why?
I already had the chance to go to El Salvador, which was an amazing experience. Actually I’d like to see all coffee producing countries, but a dream coming true would be a trip to Ethiopia, because I really love these coffees.
What are your interests outside of coffee?
I like good food and drinks, detective novels, dancing, and fishing.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Definitely still in the specialty coffee industry!
Is there anyone you would like to thank or who helped you prepare for the WBC?
I have to thank so many people and I am very grateful that I know so many amazing people! There’s:
– my team at roestbar, who’s always supported me – without them I wouldn’t be here
– my family and friends who helped training, supported me, borrowed things, polished glassware etc.
– my trainers Tom Schweiger and Philipp Meier
– BWT Water and more and RÃ¶ststÃ¤tte Berlin who made it possible for me to train on a Nuova Simonelli Maschine
– the farmers who produced the coffee and the milk
– and of course my husband.