Barista Champion of Zambia

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.”

Dailess Nalwamba
Blue Moon Cafe

Zambia's Dailess Nalwamba
Zambia’s Dailess Nalwamba

Coach: Bob Keating III

About you: I love the coffee beverage ever since it was introduced to me. My hobbies kind of evolved around anything to do with this drink. August of the year 2012, I got engaged in employment at Blue Moon Cafe, a Zambian market located at a popular shopping mall in the capital city Lusaka. I’m a second born child in a family of 6 children. I’m a student at a local social and arts studies institute known as the National Institute of public administration (NIPA). I’m pursuing Project Management. My intention is to equip myself with skills to be able to one day run my own coffee training school in Zambia, where cupping, roasting, and the art of making a perfect cup of coffee are offered as classes.

How many years have you worked with coffee or in the coffee industry?
Three years.

Before coffee, did you work in a different job or industry, or what did you study in school?
I worked in a bookshop as a sales person.

How did you get started in coffee?
I was first introduced to coffee by Bob Keating, the manager of the enterprise that employed me, Blue Moon Cafe.

What was your first amazing experience with coffee?
Seeing the first Zambian champion making a good cappuccino during the time he was training me. His skill with the coffee machine and above all the good taste of that cappuccino drink he made.

Who has been your greatest influence in coffee? Why?
Bob Keating, manager and proprietor of Blue Moon Cafe, the enterprise I work for. He has been inspirational, taken me to coffee farms in Zambia and introduced me to coffee cupping.

What would you like to see change about the coffee industry/community?
Increase in the growing of coffee and make the bean a foreign exchange earner for Zambia. The climate is good for coffee growing and therefore coffee has the potential to create employment in Zambia. I would like to see the locals appreciate the drink for Zambia to have a coffee training school to help increase the popularity of the coffee.

Name a coffee luminary (famous person) you would like to meet, and why:
I don’t have any one yet! Of course I would love to have one, maybe very soon in the near future, maybe after this WBC if I ever get there again.

Name a barista you admire, and why:
Raul Rodas. In my view he is very creative when it comes to coffee related drinks and he is a brilliant trainer who does this job with passion.

Do you have a favorite customer? If so, tell us about him or her.
Yes! Matthew Coon, he always encourages me to do my best in my job and encourages me to work hard in all spheres of life.

Besides your own cafe, what cafe do you think everyone should visit?
Munali coffee cafe, because that’s where my runner up in the last national coffee championship comes from.

Which coffee producing country you would like to visit, and why?
Brazil! This is the highest exporter of coffee in the world and producer of robusta coffee.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Having my own coffee training school.

Is there anyone you would like to thank or who helped you prepare for the WBC?
Bob Keating.

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