Meet the New Urnex Ambassadors

Urnex announces its new slate of Ambassadors—a group of coffee professionals, champions, and influencers from around the world.


This week, Urnex announced its slate of Ambassadors for 2018-2019: The group of 11 coffee professionals—many of them national barista and Brewers Cup champions—will help Urnex spread the importance of proper espresso and coffee machine use, maintenance, and cleaning.

“Urnex is a longtime supporter of coffee competitions around the world and recognizes the hard work, perseverance, skill, and passion embodied by the coffee professionals who participate and excel in these events,” said Isaac Cohen, vice president of marketing at Urnex. “We’re proud to work with the individuals in the Ambassador program who are role models within the international specialty-coffee community and are committed to pushing the industry forward.”

2018 World Barista Champion Agnieszka Rojewska is one of 11 Urnex ambassadors. Photo courtesy of World Coffee Events.

Isaac continues, “Urnex Ambassadors represent a broad range of specialty-coffee professionals, all who share a common background as national coffee competition champions. Our Ambassadors are leaders in their local and in the international specialty-coffee communities, have a passion for learning, teaching and training, and share Urnex’s entrepreneurial spirit. All of these traits are critical in helping to drive advocacy worldwide for the importance of clean coffee equipment and for Urnex as the industry leader in coffee equipment cleaning.” Isaac adds that Urnex also uses the deep knowledge base and expertise of each Ambassador to develop articles that cover a variety of specialty-coffee topics relevant to Urnex’s customers, end users, and partners, which Urnex delivers through its blog and monthly newsletter.

Alejandro Escobar is the 2012 Mexican Barista Champion and the 2014 Mexican Brewers Cup champion. Photo courtesy of Urnex.

The 11 Ambassadors, including the 2018 World Barista Champion, Agnieszka Rojewska, will take on a number of different projects and initiatives across the globe. “As part of their participation, the Ambassadors will collaborate with Urnex and its global distributors to train and educate coffee professionals and enthusiasts on the importance of equipment cleaning and maintenance,” a press release states.

“I love being a part of the Urnex Ambassadors,” shares Ben Put, owner of Monogram Coffee in Calgary, Alberta, and the four-time Canadian barista champion. “They supported me really early on in coffee and made a huge difference in my ability to compete. … To me, one of the most interesting things is that because the common denominator between all of us is simply a desire and appreciation for clean coffee equipment, it has allowed the team to have a broad range of opinions and interests related to coffee. The team at Urnex truly seemed interested in fostering coffee communities, and I am proud to be part of that.” Along with the Ambassadors program, Urnex has recently announced a sponsorship agreement with Glitter Cat Barista Bootcamp, the barista training boot camp aimed at delivering competition coaching to members of marginalized communities.

Ben Put is proud to be an Urnex Ambassador: “The team at Urnex truly seemed interested in fostering coffee communities, and I am proud to be part of that,” he says. Photo courtesy of Urnex.

Here’s the list of 2018-19 Urnex Ambassadors, including a biography of each, from the press release:

Maciej Duszak, Poland

Maciej is the 2017 Polish Brewers Cup Champion and a trainer and educator at Coffeedesk, the Polish coffee website, wholesale and retail outlet. In addition to his coffee expertise, Maciej also holds a master’s degree in law, which he earned while working as a barista in Wroclaw, Poland.

Alejandro Escobar, Mexico

Alejandro is the head barista trainer at Café Etrusca, the leading Mexican coffee shop equipment and supply retailer, distributor and roaster. He won the Mexico Barista Championship in 2012 as well as the Mexican Brewers Cup Championship in 2014.

Merijn Gijsbers, The Netherlands

Merijn is a freelance barista, consultant, and authorized SCA trainer, as well as the 2017 Barista Champion of the Netherlands. Merijn is also the owner of Het Koffiegenootschap (The Coffee Company), a specialty-coffee consultancy and barista training center.

Francesco Masciullo, Italy

Francesco is the head barista at Ditta Artigianale, the Italian roastery and café, as well as the 2017 Barista Champion of Italy.

Winston Thomas is a multiple national barista champion from South Africa, along with being a freelance barista and an engineer by training. Photo courtesy of Urnex.

Cole McBride, United States

Cole is the 2018 U.S. Barista Champion, a title he has competed for since 2011. He has held numerous roles within the U.S. specialty-coffee industry over the past 15 years.

Ben Put, Canada

A four-time Barista Champion of Canada and three-time World Barista Champion finalist, Ben is the owner of Monogram Coffee in Calgary, Alberta.

Agnieszka Rojewska, Poland

Agnieszka is the 2018 World Barista Champion, the first female and first Polish competitor to earn that distinction. She had previously won the Polish Barista Championship in 2015 and 2016 and is a four-time Polish Latte Art Champion.

Mathieu Theis, Switzerland

In addition to being a two-time Barista Champion of Switzerland and WBC finalist—Mathieu finished third this year—he owns and manages MAME Coffee Shop in Zurich with his partner and current Swiss Brewers Cup Champion, Emi Fukahori.

Winston Thomas, South Africa

A civil engineer by training, Winston is a freelance barista, trainer, and consultant. He has represented South Africa in the past two years at the WBC and is also the 2016 South African AeroPress Champion.

Lex Wenneker, Netherlands

A three-time Barista Champion of the Netherlands, Lex finished in second place this year at the WBC in front of his hometown supporters in Amsterdam. In 2016, Lex co-founded Friedhats Coffee, a micro-roastery, and is set to open Friedhats’ first café in the coming weeks.

Jeremy Zhang, China

Jeremy is one of the most widely respected and influential members of the growing specialty-coffee community in China. He has twice been crowned Barista Champion of China (in 2014 and 2016) and owns UniUni Coffee and M2M roasters in Nanjing.

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