Thursday 30 May 2024
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Barista & Farmer: nine participants in the 2018 edition of the talent show

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RIMINI – Nicole Battefeld (29 years old, from Germany), Diego Campos (27 yo, from Colombia), Iuliia Dziadevych (25 yo, Ukraine), Cong Yuan (23 yo, China), Matija Matijaško(26 yo, Croatia), Daniel Munari (32 yo, dal Brazil), Sara Ricci (28 yo Italy), Vala Stefansdottir(30 yo, Iceland), Victoria Rovenskaya (26 yo, dalla Russia).

These are the the nine baristas, selected among more than 250 applications who, along with the tenth participant (who will be revealed at Melbourne International Coffee Expo (Mice) in march 2018), will be committed in a complete training course, from the picking in the plantation, through all the steps of the coffee production, using different technologies, up to the tasting experience and the multiple consumption opportunities.

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Work and learning will be interspersed with opportunities for fun and relaxation, with themed games and competitions.

And here are the profiles of the participants:


Nicole Battefeld, 29 years old, Germany

Nicole Battefeld

If this isn’t love…! Nicole has in fact stated that she has had a relationship with coffee since she was 11 years old, i.e. since – immediately after school – she started working  in the world of coffee and became fascinated by it. Not a simple relationship hers and in fact, to get where she is today – head barista at the Röststätte Berlin (Berlin coffee roasting), she had to go “through the kitchens ” to become a chef. But the appeal of coffee was too strong; so strong that it prompted Nicole to hang up her apron and pans. About Barista & Farmer she says:”I think the experience of harvesting coffee beans and actually seeing how they are processed will help me to better and more fully understand the production process. Meeting the farmers and seeing the true origin of coffee will give me new memories and emotions that I can share and take home, before conveying them to my customers.

Diego Campos, 27 years old, Colombia

Diego Campos

For the Colombian participant, the journey into coffee began with his elder sister, who introduced him to the career of coffee roaster when he was only 18 years old. From a summer job to pay for his holidays, coffee quickly became a passion for Diego, thus transforming necessity into possibility. Of what? Everything. A profession, the future, a dream. Since 2009, he has competed every year in the Colombia National Competition where, in 2016, he took first prize and made it to the top of the podium. For Diego, Barista & Farmer is a great opportunity. He says:”I expect to meet people from different cultures and thus encounter many different approaches to coffee, I would also like to know even more about Colombian coffee, because Colombia is my country of origin. Diego’s dream is to one day have a farm of his own and grow and harvest his own coffee; hence, for him Barista & Farmer will be a unique experience.

Iuliia Dziadevych, 25 years old, Ukraine

Iuliia Dziadevych

For Iuliia, coffee is a love story that started when she was a child. A love which was initially transmitted to her by her father, who would prepare her a cup every morning, as a sort of ritual, using a cezve, a traditional copper and brass coffee pot. When the time for fairy tales came to a end, Iuliia soon realized that finding quality coffee in her part of the world was an arduous task. Hence the idea: to build a sort of mobile cart to be able to grind fresh coffee anywhere and thus go and conquer the Balkans! Not bad eh? In order to further implement the idea, she has already made a tour of plantations, both in Kenya and Ethiopia, just so as not to be unprepared for Colombia.

“I have always been fascinated by the entire coffee production process from the beans to the cup. I had planned to visit the plantations for some time and see it all with my own eyes. So, when I saw the Barista & Farmer announcement, I said to myself: it’s exactly what I need!”.

Matija Matijaško, 26 years old, Croatia

Matija Matijaško

He sleeps with an espresso machine in his bedroom. Need we add more? Well, not satisfied with sharing a room with an espresso machine, in 2012 he decided to lay it all on the line and open his own coffee shop, the Mirisi Kave in his hometown. Zero compromise: only specialty coffee here. It is a pity that Croatia was not yet ready, and a few months later he had to close down. From Barista & Farmer he expects to learn more about coffee beans and see how they are processed from close up. “I’ve always wanted to see the entire coffee production process”, he declares, “and I believe that farmers are doing the most difficult part of the job, a very important role but often not given enough consideration”.

Daniel Munari, 32 years old, Brazil

Daniel Munari

Always looking for new interests, Daniel has a real passion for coffee, and its sociality element. “Coffee is more than just a drink, it is a social construction, a true experience! It is synonymous with people who come together to share ideas and thoughts, or to give themselves a boost for the rest of the day. Today he is a member of the Baristas League movement, which aims to spread the special-coffee culture and the profession of barista in Brazil. He works for a Brazilian company focused on business consulting and is about to stop off at one of the world’s most prestigious cafes, Ditta Artigianale in Italy. About his participation in Barista & Farmer he says:”Ever since I saw the first edition, I thought it would be great to visit a farm outside my country and experience the life of the farmer barista myself. I hope to see ways of producing coffee other than those I already know, as well as familiarize with baristas from all over the world”.

Sara Ricci, 28 years old, Pozzuoli – Italy

Sara Ricci

Sara’s family has been working in the coffee industry for four generations. It was therefore inevitable that she too should end up in it. Her passion for coffee is so deeply rooted in her own DNA  that it is literally printed on her body, a small coffee bean-shaped tattoo on her wrist. She is the author of a documentary film entitled “A Journey through coffee”, where she recounts how coffee is experienced in Italy. She is a graduate in Economics and has written a thesis on coffee and the difficulties of small and medium-sized enterprises. She has a small roasting company in Naples called “Partenope Caffè”, where she makes the coffee for Italian espresso. She supports sustainable capitalism and wants to be part of this change. “I want to participate in Barista & Farmer – says Sara – to try and find out what life is like on a real farm. I once visited Brazil and a number of plantations, but I have never had the opportunity to experience life on a farm and I look forward to talking to great coffee experts!”

Victoria Rovenskaya, 26 years old, Russia

Victoria Rovenskaya

For Victoria as well, coffee has always been a predominant element in her life since she was a child. Today, after specializing on the subject and having witnessed the big success of specialty coffee in her country, she decided to take part in Barista & Farmer, to discover how coffee is grown. Her dream is to plant a tree, see it grow, and then harvest the beans to make her own coffee. Everything done at home, like that of her father. “I decided to take part in the project because I wanted to see how coffee is harvested and processed. I have read a lot of books on the subject but I think that experiencing it directly will have a totally different taste”. She then goes on to say that she wants to find out how many and which factors in the coffee bean harvesting process influence the final flavour of the coffee.

Vala Stefansdottir, 30 years old, Iceland

Vala Stefansdottir

In 2011 she took part in the “Nordic Barista Cup in Copenhagen”, where she had the chance to meet many talented people and enjoy coffee she had never tasted before. After that experience she decided to work to improve and expand the coffee industry in Iceland and  transformed her employment in the coffee industry from part time into a full-time job, Vala works for a large wholesale company that supplies important coffee brands such as Illy and Gevalia. Her strongest desire is to set up shop on her own with a successful coffee roasting company.

For her, Barista & Farmer is a unique opportunity to approach coffee differently. “In books and on blogs you learn a lot of things – says Vala – but this event will allow me to better understand and see for myself how coffee is grown and processed.

Cong Yuan, 23 years old, China

Cong Yuan

Sometimes fate takes on unexpected forms. In the case of the young Chinese barista, Cong Yuan, it took the shape of a gaffe. Years ago he inadvertently  found himself the protagonist of an unpleasant episode. He refused a cup of coffee because it was too acidic. The barista pointed out that it was AA Kenya, a single origin, acidic by nature. Thus his journey into coffee began. Today he dreams of opening four coffee factories and of conquering China with specialty beans and followers on the social networks, his other great passion. Will he manage it? For him, taking part in Barista & Farmer

represents a chance to see how coffee beans are selected and observe the entire production process. “I’m very curious to experience life on a coffee plantation – he says – and have the opportunity to learn about the lifestyle of those who work there.


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