WBC Countdown: Barista Champion of Slovakia Marian Plajdicko



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

Marian:  I studied Theory of Interactive Media on the Faculty of Arts in Brno, Czech Republic. It was a mix of cinematography, music, theatre, sociology, robotics, and more. Super interesting but very theoretical and pretty useless in real life. So I started working part time at the reception of a hostel. I had to make coffees for guests and I wanted to do it properly, so I took a basic barista training by Petra Vesela. And I fell in love with coffee straight away!

BMag:  How did you get started in coffee?

Marian:  After i finished working as a receptionist, there was an opportunity to help open a new small coffee shop. So I became a manager and a main barista straight away. And it has been an incredible journey for me since then.


BMag:  What was your first amazing experience with coffee?

Marian:  When I first tried filtered Kenyan coffee on V60. I could not believe that this was actually a coffee. Coffee never tasted like this before!

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

Marian:  People from the Czech speciality coffee roastery Doubleshot. These guys introduced me to the coffee world, all the brewing techniques, and a lot of amazing coffees, and they helped me a lot with basically anything I need help with.

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

Marian:  I would like to see customers really appreciating the coffee. I wish they could see and understand all the hard work of farmers that grow this amazing product for them.

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

Marian:  Maybe James Hoffmann. I would like to meet a person who is behind one of my favorite roasteries

BMag:  Name a barista you admire, and why:

Marian:  My friend and colleague Alastair. [He is an] incredibly passionate barista, also a very good server and most of all a great man and friend. I would love to work with him for the rest of my life.

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

Marian:  I like all my custumers.

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

Marian:  Muj Salek Kavy in Prague, Czech Republic. One of my favorite places for coffee!

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

Marian:  I would love to visit one of the farms owned by Graciano Cruz in Panama. I met him a few times and he is a great guy!

BMag:  What are your interests outside of coffee?

Marian:  I love movies. Also like going to live concerts, taking pictures and making short videos. And I love to travel ”I just wish I had more time for that.

BMag:  Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Marian:  I would like to have my own small coffee shop. But that is just a dream right now.

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

Marian:  I would like to thank Ralf, the owner of the Barn for helping me and supporting me so much in this! Also the whole crew at the Barn for cheering me up when I felt down.  My friends Juraj, Hana and Michal for being the best support team in at the Slovakian Championship, I couldn’t win without them.  Also Nora, Adam and Petra for being my training judges and giving me a lot of feedback

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.