Great Coffee in Common: Jacob Ibarra

Posted by Sarah Rouse on

Jacob Ibarra

Director of Coffee for Five Senses Australia


Who influenced/inspired you on your coffee journey?

There have been lots of people, but if I am to lump them into two groups then I would say the 5’s team and those I meet while traveling at origin. Our 5’s team is constantly curious, constantly trying to progress. They sit somewhere between being a professional and a student. We learn quite a lot together and I am constantly pushed. Switching gears, I am very influenced by those I meet while traveling. Producing countries operate in a different headspace, as you could imagine. It is a different way of being and it is a different segment of the coffee business altogether.

Best coffee ever?

Hard one. If I were to pick one it was probably 2014 and at the Kotowa farm. I had a lot of their Duncan Farm geisha, which tasted like blueberry pie. No lie. Like it had just come out of the oven and they had somehow melted it into a coffee.

Describe the perfect setting to enjoy a coffee?

In the morning as I prepare for the day. I am usually by myself, journaling, praying and sipping my way into the person I want to be for the day.

What has coffee taught you?

So much. Hard to put in words. My family and I have been blessed by coffee. So perhaps, gratefulness.

What opportunities has coffee given you?

So much. I have seen the world, experienced many cultures, enjoyed great design, met great people, lived into my own creativity...

At what point did you know that you were meant to pursue coffee for a living?

Pretty early on, I was 22ish and living in Costa Rica. I knew from that point that I was intended to work and live coffee.

What are some of the trends have you observed in coffee roasting over the years?

There is a lot of intention to the ‘development’ of the coffee. Meaning post first crack and thinking of it as a percentage of the entire roast.

What would you like to see happen in the coffee industry over the next ten years?

I’d love to see us continue to bring the supply chain together. Origin to consumer.

What advice would you give new industry folk who are just starting out their careers?

Carve out your own coffee path based on your own interest. In that you will carve out a unique position that will allow you to leverage at later point.


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