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 THE CZECH REPUBLIC
Coach: Gabriela PexovÃ¡
About you: Barista, owner of a coffeehouse with speciality coffee in Brno called COFFEE FUSION; Czech barista champion 2009; 28th place at the World Barista Championship in 2009, Atlanta; 2013 Champion Barista of Grand Prix C.B.A.
How many years have you worked with coffee or in the coffee industry?
More than nine years
Before coffee, did you work in a different job or industry, or what did you study in school?
At high school I studied [at the] school for waiters and cooks, and after, I used to worked as a bartender.
How did you get started in coffee?
I started at Coffee Heaven as a barista and trainer
Who has been your greatest influence in coffee? Why?
My greatest influence came from Jaroslav TuÄek from Doubleshot roasters in Prague.
What would you like to see change about the coffee industry/community?
I wish that customer could always get the highest quality of coffee.
Name a coffee luminary (famous person) you would like to meet, and why:
Tim Wendelboe for his amazing coffees.
Name a barista you admire, and why:
Do you have a favorite customer? If so, tell us about him or her.
I like all my customers equally.
Besides your own cafe, what cafe do you think everyone should visit?
Absolutely Octane in Atlanta and Kaffeine in London.
Which coffee producing country you would like to visit, and why?
Panama, El Salvador, Ethiopia
What are your interests outside of coffee?
My girlfriend, traveling, skiing, flair bartending.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I hope still in my coffeehouse “Coffee Fusion” with a small roastery.
Is there anyone you would like to thank or who helped you prepare for the WBC?
Jaroslav TuÄek from “Doubleshot”