WBC Countdown: Barista Champion of Argentina Daniel Andres Cifuentes Diaz

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Barista Mag:  Before coffee, did you work in a different job or industry, or what did you study in school?

Daniel:  I studied Marketing in Russia, and when my wife and I arrived to Buenos Aires, we started a company with my sister and her husband. We provide furniture for opticians, and P.O.P material in general.  But then we had the chance to re-invest and we started a coffee shop two years ago, and it is great! Best job ever!

BMag:  How did you get started in coffee?

Daniel:  While I was studying I needed to find a job, so I started first as a waiter, then after 2 months, they taught me how to make coffee using an espresso machine. I found something I liked and I was good at. Then time flies and being a barista is my passion now.


BMag:  What was your first amazing experience with coffee?

Daniel:  I think the gratitude of our customers, every time I see them trying to get the last drop of coffee with their spoon after they have enjoyed a great cup. That makes my day every time.

BMag:  What would you like to see change about the coffee industry/community?

Daniel:  The way coffee industry pays the farmers is really unfair, so I think if every one of us could give away a little bit of our profit to improve the life of the farmers in the coffee growing countries, that would make a significant change.

BMag:  Name a barista you admire, and why:

Daniel:  I think that knowing another barista is always exciting, and you can always learn from them. But I would like to thank Agustin now Quiroga, because he could have won this competition, but instead, he trained me and helped me to get here. I think he’s a barista to admire and meet.

BMag:  Do you have a favorite customer? If so, tell us about him or her.

Daniel:  Our coffee shop is visited by a large number of foreigners. Some are just passing through and others stay longer. I have had several very special guests who are now friends. I could name several, but they know who they are.

BMag:  Besides your own cafe, what cafe do you think everyone should visit?

Daniel:  In Argentina being a barista is a very young art, but I think it would be worthwhile to visit:  Full City Coffee House, CoCo Espresso, and Coffee Town.

BMag:  Which coffee producing country you would like to visit, and why?

Daniel:  Ethiopia or Kenya, for the history and living conditions of their farmers, and the way the use everything. And they make such a good coffee.

BMag:  What are your interests outside of coffee?

Daniel:  I like to eat, cook, sleep, be with friends, and do nothing.

BMag:  Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Daniel:  My wife and I are planing to open an eco-hotel in Lombok, Indonesia. It will be a hotel with 5 or 6 cabins, a good seafood restaurant and a nice coffee machine. All made of wood, and really simple. A peaceful place.

BMag:  Is there anyone you would like to thank or who helped you prepare for the WBC?

Daniel:  I would like thank my family for all the support, to my wife for being always by my side believing in me, to my friends and to my customers. To PUERTO BLEST and to ASACAFE.

About Sarah 934 Articles
Sarah Allen (she/her) is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.