It happened by chance actually. I was working as a waiter in my first F&B job but they were shorthanded, so I went behind the machine and picked up coffee making on my own.
What/Who inspired you on your coffee journey?
I can't deny, latte art was the first thing that made me interested in coffee. However as I learn more about coffee making, I realise latte art is only secondary. There are endless things to learn about coffee and that inspires me to want to improve on both my knowledge and skills as a barista.
How does it feel competing in the world stage?
It's definitely nerve-wrecking, but at the same time it's a huge eye-opener for myself. The pressure is much more compared to the local competition, now that you are the national representative and you have certain responsibilities to bear.
What is the most memorable experience you had with coffee?
So far I would say it has to be the recent WLAC 2017. The sense of satisfaction is incredible knowing that I have made my little nation proud by getting into the finals and clinching 4th place in the competition. The whole journey has been tough, yet so fulfilling.
How did you start learning latte art?
I picked up coffee making on my own without proper guidance. I turned to Youtube, which was the greatest teacher for me. There was a lot of trial and error an when I finally know how to extract a proper espresso, I started to explore latte art. It took me 3 months just to get my first latte art design - a heart.
What are the trends/culture in coffee you picked from travelling that you wished Singapore had?
I love the coffee culture in Melbourne, where specialty coffee is a norm. I think Singaporeans are doing very well by opening up and accepting specialty coffee. We're doing just fine.
What is your favourite coffee bean and where did you have it?
I love coffee beans from Ethiopia. I couldn't remember where I had my first Ethiopian coffee but when I had it, it totally blew my mind. I never knew coffee could taste so smooth and juicy with so much fruity flavours.
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
I run a mobile coffee business and in 5 years time I hope we will become the biggest specialty coffee caterer in Singapore
If you have an advice for any aspiring baristas out there who wished to compete too, what would that be?
Dream big. Dreams do come true!