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We reached out to each of the 2015 World Barista Championship competitors prior to their routines, to learn a bit more about them as competitors and coffee pros. We hope you enjoy these interviews!
Name: Jong Hoon Lee
Company: Coffee Graffiti
Country: South Korea
Number of years as a barista: 13
Number of competitions competed in: 3
World Barista Championship: 24th (2004), 5th (2009)
World Coffee & Good Spirits Competition: 2nd (2008)
Competition Coffee: A Costa Rican coffee roasted using a Loring.
Competition Milk: I don’t know the brand yet, but I am going to use an organic whole milk.
Signature Beverage: My signature drink consists of espresso, sugar syrup, and dried fruit tea. It’s a simple composition but I am going to be utilizing really interesting glasses.
Secret Weapon: Signature drink glasses. I designed these glasses myself.
1. Daft Punk
2. SeoTaiji (my favorite Korean singer)
Routine Theme: The position of the barista in specialty coffee market.
Total Practice Hours: I don’t know how may hours. I just practice.
Coach/Coaches: My coach is a young barista. He is very skilled and has a lot of potential. Maybe in a few years you will see him on the WBC stage.
Fashion: Um… Just barista wear? haha.
Additional Notes: You have no idea how much I’ve missed this competition. The WBC is very meaningful to me, because I love specialty coffee and roasting.
Why do you think you’d make a great World Barista Champion?
Very interesting question. Like specialty coffee, the role of the barista has diversified as the industry has grown. Suggesting proper roasting processes, introducing new espresso machines and grinders, and most of all, proposing various ways to enjoy coffee are all the duties of the barista, and this is my job.