Meet the 2017 World Barista Championship Competitors, Part Two (Hungary–Poland)

Photos, profiles, Instagram handles, and more for every National Barista Champion competing in the World Barista Championship this week in Seoul.


Every year, we at Barista Magazine are lucky enough to have an exclusive sneak peek at photos and information about all the competitors headed to the World Barista Championship. Why? Because Barista Magazine has produced the Official World Barista Championship Event Program for World Coffee Events for the past 10 years. We’ll give away thousands of copies of the event program in Seoul, South Korea, this week at the 2017 World Barista Championship. But for those of you who want an early look at who will be competing, we’re publishing profiles and photos this week of all 58 National Barista Champions.

Monday, November 6: Champions from Australia, Austria, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, and Hong Kong. Read the profiles here.

TODAY, November 7: Champions from Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Philippines, and Poland

Wednesday, November 8: Champions from Portugal, Puerto Rico, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, and Vietnam

Stay tuned right here to Barista Magazine Online all this week for the complete WBC schedule, breaking news, semifinalist and finalist announcements, and additional information every single day of the competition!

HUNGARY—Attila Ferenczi
Representing Goosebumps Coffee Lab
Instagram: @feca919
About you: I’m 28 years old. I live in Budapest and work at the Goosebumps Coffee Lab. I love my job because I meet new people every day. The main thing in my life is continuous learning. I have a wonderful bride, and a little boy will be born soon. My wish is to give my best to my country and to all my supporters and make them proud.
Anyone you’d like to thank? Gréta Hegedus, Ádám Huszár, Anita Tóth, Béla Csiszér, Anita-Nagy Bertok, Tibor Hajcsunk, Eniko Gyorffy, János Szongoth, Péter Hajdu.


INDIA—Paras Bindra
Representing Travel Food Services
Instagram: @parasbindra
About you: This is going to be my second chance to represent India and my company on the international stage. The WBC in Dublin was one of the best events, and I had a great learning experience. I have worked as training manager with Travel Food Services in New Delhi, India, since February 2013. High-quality coffee service to guests is my priority, and training new baristas is my passion.


Representing Common Grounds/St. Ali
Instagram: @ystanu
About you: This will be my third time competing in the WBC and I am honored to be able to represent my country again this year in Seoul, Korea. Me and my partners own a few brands of specialty-coffee stores in Indonesia: Common Grounds, St. Ali, and Sensory Lab. I have been in the industry for almost seven years now, and it’s hard to slow down because of how exciting it is!


IRAN—Javad Akbari
Instagram: @barista_jvd
About you: I have been a barista for over 11 years. Specialty-coffee service has been my approach to my customers throughout my career. It was a long road until what I have worked for finally can be achieved in my country—a national championship. Grace is all I have at the end.
Anyone you’d like to thank? My team has done it all: Nima, Alexandru, Jamison, Mehran, Ghazal, Ali Bagherian, Farzad, Amirparsa, Amirhossein, Ali Yousefi. And all the other people that made it possible: Mohammad Khani and Shokooh Razi, and my dear friend, Safa Salehi.


IRELAND—Niall Wynn
Representing Proper Order Coffee Co.
Instagram: @niall_barista
About you: I am the 2017 Irish Barista Champion, an Urnex ambassador, and the owner of Proper Order Coffee Co. in Dublin.
Anyone you’d like to thank? I’ve been working closely with Patrik from April Coffee Roasters on the coffee, but my wife has really pushed me to do better and better.

ITALY—Francesco Masciullo
ditta Artigianale
Instagram: @masciullofra
About you: I started to get involved in the coffee community when I was 19, and from there I started to work in a normal coffee bar in Italy. After three years, I moved to London to learn more about specialty coffee. I was there for a year, and then I went back to Italy and ditta Artigianale is trying to help expand the specialty-coffee market.
Anyone you’d like to thank? Let’s start with the coaches: Hidenori Izaki and Francesco Sanapo. And, of course, my girlfriend who was always next to me and supporting me. My family, my friends, and all the team that we have at ditta Artigianale.


JAPAN—Miki Suzuki
Maruyama Coffee
Instagram: @mkszk57
About you: I’ve been working at Maruyama Coffee since 2008. I’m so delighted to be a barista. The coffee industry has been life-changing for me. I have forged many important relationships with coffee producers, trainers, my teammates, and my customers. These experiences made me grow as a professional barista, and help me to truly appreciate coffee.
Anyone you’d like to thank? I would like to thank Kentaro Maruyama, Hidenori Izaki, my teammates, my family, and my friends, who help and encourage me. I deeply appreciate their effort and dedication.


KENYA—Martin Shabaya
ArtCaffe Coffee & Bakery Ltd.
Instagram: @shabayamartin
About you: I have been in the coffee industry for five years now, and I am really enjoying it. I currently work as the head barista of ArtCaffe.
Anyone you’d like to thank? Absolutely. I want to thank ArtCaffe and the Dormans family for all the support they have given me.


LATVIA—Raimonds Zadvornovs
Representing Kalve Coffee
Instagram: @baristaraimis
About you: I’ve been in coffee for about four years. I started as a salesman for coffee machines and then fell in love with the product itself. Ever since then, I’ve tried competing where I can and developed my skills in all ways possible, both competitions and SCA education. Currently, I am a roaster and barista trainer at my own roaster, Kalve Coffee, and it is the most exciting time so far!
Anyone you’d like to thank? My coach, Gatis Zemanis. He’s a very good friend of mine, a strict trainer, and this combination brings very good results. My wife, Santa: Without her I’d be a mess at the competition. My sponsors: Clockwork Espresso and Espresso Gear—they have provided me with the best tools for this competition.


LITHUANIA—Laurynas Arlauskas
Coffee Hill
Instagram: @arlauris
About you: I started my career in coffee three years ago; now I am a two-time Lithuanian Barista Champion. I am very passionate about competition. I love tasting new coffee and giving different sensations to every customer or friend that I share my passion with.
Anyone you’d like to thank? My coach, friends, roaster, and the Lithuanian community. They supported me in every way.


Yellow Brick Road Café
Instagram: @jasonloo315
About you: I have been a barista for five years, and also the café owner of Yellow Brick Road Café. I really enjoy drinking coffee. Ever since I stepped into specialty coffee, I knew that this is what I love most.
Anyone you’d like to thank? My roaster and coach, Joey Mah. My assistant, Keith Koey. My business partner, Kheong, Lin, Ryan, and Shaun. My family members and friends.

MEXICO—Luis Leria
Representing Mas Café
Instagram: @feria.l
About you: I have been a coffee lover for 15 years, and thanks to coffee, I met my wife in Colombia. We started a little business in Puebla, Mexico. We roast coffee from the best coffee plantations of the southern part of Mexico. The main idea is to share our passion for the coffee, and our goal is for people to fall in love with this wonderful seed.
Anyone you’d like to thank? My wife and my son because they are my life. I would also like to thank my coach for many years, Blanca Bernal from Colombia, and Azahar Coffee from the same country, and my great team in Mexico: Fabrizio Sención, Jorge Sotomayor, Enrique Lopez, and to all the community of coffee in the whole of Mexico.


NETHERLANDS—Merijn Gijsbers
Alpro & Het Koffiegenootschap
Instagram: @pippigrillo
About you : I’m 31 years old and live in the Netherlands, close to Eindhoven. I work as a barista, trainer, and consultant for my company, Het Koffiegenootschap, and as Alpro’s in-house barista. I’ve been working with coffee for about 10 years now, meeting new, inspirational people every day.
Anyone you’d like to thank? Ben Morrow and Esther Maasdam of Manhattan Coffee. Uschi Zimmermann of Panama Varietals. Ron de Wit of Rons Coffee. Andrew Taylor for making me a better presenter. Henk Langkemper of Espresso Service West. Gijs van den Berg of Mocca d’Or. Willem Huisman of Brita, and Ronny Billemon of Pentair Everpure. My family and friends, the Dutch coffee community, national judges, and national SCA chapter. And John, my partner. I always thank him last, although he’s my number-one support, and has been for the last 12 years!


Grey St. Kitchen
Instagram: @dove_dc
About you: I have been working in the coffee industry for 10 years. I am a father, friend, lover, café owner, and barista.
Anyone you’d like to thank? My coaches: David Huang and Sam Low. Roaster: Scott Pepler. Coffee producers: Jose & Aileen Gallardo from Finca Nuguo. Equipment supplier: Coffee Supreme. My wife, Amy, my assistants, Takashi and Alex. Emma Webster and the New Zealand specialty-coffee industry.

NICARAGUA—Jorge Luis Paramo
Instagram: @jorgeparamobarista
About you: In 2009, I started in the world of coffee. I realized that I was born to be a barista. I think that as a barista, I am an architect of the coffee. I am in charge of creating the experience of flavors for each person. I want to convert the ordinary into the extraordinary. I want to be part of the history of Nicaraguan baristas.
Anyone you’d like to thank? First, I thank God for giving me the talent, the attitude, and the discipline to be an excellent barista, besides having given me much health and life during this journey. I am very grateful to my mother, Haydee Paramo, for always supporting me in my career as a barista in all the pillars of my life; today she rests in the peace of our God. I thank my wife Heydi Reyes, my father, Bayardo Saballos, and my son, Jorge Luis Paramo.


NORWAY—Rory Rosenberg
Kaffa and Oslo Cold Brew
Instagram: @recreaterory
About you: I have been working with specialty coffee for seven years now, and have recently started my own cold-brew business in Oslo. We are on a mission to do cold brew better and get specialty coffee into more people’s hands in a format they are familiar with. I have been living and working in Oslo for four years now, but I am originally from Durban, South Africa.
Anyone you’d like to thank? Ben Carlson and the whole Bukeye washing station team from the Long Miles Coffee Project. Collaborative coffee source Kaffa Roastery. The other small sponsors. My sister, Lauren, and my girlfriend, Milda.

PANAMA—Cesar Eduardo Bermejo
Leto Coffee Brew Bar
Instagram: @thecoffeebeard
About you: I was born in Venezuela and currently reside in Panama City, Panama. I am the owner, manager, and barista at Leto Coffee Brew Bar, a local coffee shop that serves some of the finest coffees in Panama.
Anyone you’d like to thank? My brother, Cesar Andres Bermejo; Jamison Savage of Finca Deborah; Sasa Sestic and his team; and Wilford Lamastus, president of SCAP.

Silvester Dan Samonte
El Union
About you: I like tasty things and I’m always trying to find a way to make it tastier. Usually I’m at our beachside coffee bar or our new roastery/training lab pumping people up about specialty coffee. When I’m not in coffee, I am finding inspiration in food. I surf, bike, swim, hike, and enjoy live music experiences.
Anyone you’d like to thank? To my family, my El Union family, my coach and past coaches, the judges I’ve had the pleasure to serve, and everyone on this journey with me to make my Philippine specialty coffee better everyday.

Natalia Piotrowska
Bless Coffee Roasters
Instagram: @natalia_piotrowska_coffee
About you: I had the opportunity to represent Ireland at the World Barista Championships in 2015 in Seattle and in 2016 in Dublin. In September 2016, I moved back home to Poland and in January 2017, I opened Bless Coffee Roasters, a coffee roastery located in the beautiful Warmia-Masuria district in Olsztyn. I love it.
Anyone you’d like to thank? Mostly my local community in Olsztyn in Poland for being so open to tasting specialty coffee, and for being eager to learn about specialty coffee, considering the coffee culture here has been quite remote from the rest of world. Also, words and thoughts of appreciation are also going toward Sasa Sestic and Sam Corra.


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