WBC Countdown: Barista Champion of Singapore Ryan Tan





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

Ryan:  I obtained my undergraduate degree in Economics and Finance at The University of Melbourne.

BMag:  How did you get started in coffee?

Ryan:  About four years ago, my parents decided they wanted to open a cafe and roastery. I was studying in Melbourne at that time and they seized the opportunity to enroll me into a barista course. The funny thing was, I didn’t drink coffee four years ago!


BMag:  What was your first amazing experience with coffee?

Ryan:  It was about four years ago when I first learned about coffee and saw how it was made. I loved the whole experience, from the aroma to the taste and even the visual presentation of the latte art. What I loved too was the interaction that coffee brought, between the customers and the baristas.

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

Ryan:  David Makin! He taught me so much about coffee, and is so willing to share his knowledge with everyone around him. He has been an inspiration to me and many around me.

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

Ryan:  I would like to see more Asian countries recognized for their green coffee as I believe there is a lot of potential in Asia for coffee production. I would also like to see the coffee community working to help improve the standards of coffee throughout the world.

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

Ryan:  Aida Batlle, I love the coffees she produces and I would love to spend some time on her farm learning from her.

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

Ryan:  No I don’t have a favorite customer. I love them all the same!

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

Ryan:  Axil coffee roasters, Melbourne.

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

Ryan:  El Salvador, they produce such amazing coffees!

BMag:  What are your interests outside of coffee?

Ryan:  Aeromodelling, fishing, sailing, freshwater and saltwater aquariums, cooking, and sleeping.

BMag:  Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Ryan:  Still in the coffee industry of course! I hope that in 5 years, I would have traveled the world to establish contacts with farmers so that my roastery would have direct access to amazing coffees, and also to learn more about coffees through working with them.

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

Ryan:  There are too many people to thank! My very supportive family, my awesome staff at Strangers’ Reunion, the guys from Axil coffee roasters, and all my friends who have been supporting me over the past three years, both from Singapore and Melbourne.



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.