WBC Countdown: Barista Champion of Kenya Rhoda Kamau


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

Rhoda:  Yes, I worked as a waitress for six months, then trained as a barista. Then I joined Nairobi Serena Hotel as a barista.

BMag:  How did you get started in coffee?

Rhoda:  I was brought up in a coffee family. That’s where my carreer in coffee started.

BMag:  What was your first amazing experience with coffee?

Rhoda:  Being the barista champion of Kenya in 2012.


BMag:  Who has been your greatest influence in coffee? Why?

Rhoda:  John Muli. He has been a champion [of Kenya] three times and he always has passion for coffee.

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

Rhoda:  To have high consumption of Kenyan coffee within the country.

BMag:  Name a coffee luminary (famous person) you would like to meet, and why:

Rhoda:  Michael Phillips. He was my National head judge in 2011.

BMag:  Name a barista you admire, and why:

Rhoda:  Peter Owiti. He opened the first barista coffee shop in Kenya.

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

Rhoda: Brazil because it has the highest coffee volume and the producers do both washed and natural coffee.

BMag:  What are your interests outside of coffee?

Rhoda:  Dancing.

BMag:  Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Rhoda:  Managing my own coffee business and training other baristas.

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

Rhoda:  Yes, my coach John Muli.


About Sarah 933 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.