Introducing the 2023 World Barista Championship Competitors: Part 4

In advance of the WBC event on June 21–24, we introduce the champions from Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, and New Zealand.

FROM STAFF REPORTS
ALL PHOTOS COURTESY WORLD COFFEE EVENTS

The ancient city of Athens, Greece, will be the backdrop for the 2023 World Barista Championship on June 21–24, at the World of Coffee event. Forty-eight national champions from around the world will take the stage to compete for the ultimate coffee championship title.

In the run-up to the World Barista Championship, we will showcase these champions here at Barista Magazine Online in the alphabetical order of their countries. (Here are parts onetwo, and three of this series.) Today, meet the champions of Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, and New Zealand.

ITALY

DANIELE RICCI
MAME

Daniele Ricci smiles as he poses with his arms crossed at a barista competition.
Italian barista champion Daniele Ricci will compete in his second World Barista Championship in Athens.

“I’m currently based in Switzerland, where I moved after being in Amsterdam for two years. This is going to be my second WBC, and I can’t wait to meet everybody and be challenged one more time.
I approached the coffee industry thanks to a regional barista competition that was taking place in my hometown. I fell in love with coffee immediately and decided to compete in order to learn something new, in a different way.“

JAPAN

TOSHIO UCHIBE
UNIR

Japanese barista champion Toshio Uchibe poses with his first-place trophy with trees in autumn colors behind him.
Longtime barista competitor Toshio Uchibe will make his WBC debut in Athens after claiming the Japanese barista championship.

“I work at one of the Unir branch shops in Osaka. I have challenged the competition more than 10 times. The reason I challenge myself in barista competitions is because the challenge allows me to further explore the excellent coffee that Unir has to offer. I am very excited to compete at the WBC stage.“

KENYA

ESTHER ATIENO OCHIENG
FAIRCHAIN KENYA

Esther Atieno Ochieng holds a syringe used to create her signature drink at the Kenyan barista championship.
Esther Atieno Ochieng won the Kenyan barista championship in her second attempt.

“I work at FairChain Kenya, and this is my second year competing for the barista championship. I have been in the industry for seven years now and competing this time I am really passionate about what I do, and I love to challenge myself.“

MALAYSIA

RAIN LEE
KITA COFFEE

Rain Lee holds a to-go coffee cup and poses for the camera.
Rain Lee has been working in coffee for a decade and is excited to represent Malaysia at the World Barista Championship in Athens.

“It’s been 10 years of my barista career and competition journey. Unbelievable! From a lost girl to a multitasking barista, baker, full-time mom, and café owner at the same time, let’s make it furthermore!“

MEXICO

EDILBERTO ZAPATA
CARDINAL. CASA DE CAFE

Edilberto Zapata poses in front of his café holding a ceramic coffee cup in his hands.
Edilberto Zapata loves barista competitions as a way to promote Mexican coffees.

“Everyone calls me Shak, and I’m co-founder of Casa Cardinal in Mexico City and an advocate of Mexican coffee, which I truly love. Been competing for six years, as I believe it’s a way of sharing a message while enhancing and sharing our craft.“

NETHERLANDS

NIELS TE VAANHOLD
MOCCA D’OR

Niels te Vaanhold pours some coffee into a white ceramic cup from a small glass container as he smiles at the camera.
Niels te Vaanhold followed up a second-place finish in 2022 to win the Netherlands barista championship in 2023.

“My name is Niels te Vaanhold, and I work as a Q Grader and barista for a coffee roastery called Mocca d’Or in the Netherlands. Ten years ago, I started as a barista at Five Elephant, and six years ago I started working for Mocca d’Or. I have been competing for a couple or years now. In 2018 I won our National Cup Tasters Championship. Afterward, I came in second in the World Cup Tasters Championship in Brazil, Belo Horizonte. Last year in 2022, I came in second in our National Barista Championship, and this year I won the Dutch Barista Championship 2023.“

NEW ZEALAND

HANNA TERAMOTO
COFFEE TECH LTD

Hanna Teramoto holds a turquoise ceramic coffee cup in both hands as she stands next to a coffee plant inside of a cafe.
Hanna Teramoto is excited to compete at the World Barista Championship for the second time in Athens.

“Hi everyone, my name is Hanna from NZ. 🙂 I have been competing on and off since 2009. This is my second time at the WBC and am super excited to meet coffee friends from all over the world! I compete because I like being under pressure to learn and love expressing myself through coffee.“

Stay tuned to Barista Magazine Online in the coming weeks as we introduce all 48 National Barista Champions set to take the stage at the 2023 World Barista Championship in Athens, Greece, June 21–24!

The cover of the June + July 2023 issue of Barista Magazine featuring Martin Shabaya of Kenya.

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