The Road to the World Barista Championships: Craig Simon
Our latest short interview, in our series with the World Barista Championship competitors, is with Craig Simon, the Australian Barista Champion. You can follow his journey on Instagram: @craig_simon
The WBC competition will take place at the Amsterdam World of Coffee on 21st to 23rd June this year.
When did you fall in love with coffee?
It has been a slow, slippery slope from function to love, but I started drinking coffee on a school art camp in 1991.
What was your first coffee job?
Washing dishes in a café and getting the occasional call up to the espresso machine when the boss wanted a break.
If you didn't work in coffee, what would you do?
I'd be an engineer for a motorsport team, preferably F1, but any motorsport would do. I like designing things and problem solving. I studied Mechanical Engineering for a while, part-time, whilst working as a barista. I wasn't particularly good at school and didn't get a high enough score to study it after school and life got in the way as a mature age student.
What exceptional coffee will you be using in the WBCs in Amsterdam? Tell us about the coffee and what it tastes like.
I have two coffees for the WBCs; one from La Palma y El Toucan in Colombia, and one from Gesha Village Ethiopia. They are both natural processed gesha coffees. Flavour notes of yellow grapefruit, pineapple, apricot, peach, and mango. Pretty sexy coffee.
Who would you most like to make coffee for and why?
I like making coffee for anyone, I liked the chats that ensure over a cuppa. But, who would I like to have a chat with? I think James May of Top Gear fame; I think he'd have some great yarns to tell.
Who would play you in the story of your life?
I'd cast Christian Bale. He's dark, moody, and enigmatic; just like me in the morning.
If you opened a café today, what would be on your first day playlist?
Miles Davis, Phil Collins, Muddy Waters, and Jimmy Hendrix.
What's your favourite way to make coffee?
What are you most excited about in coffee?
Sharing what I know with people who are keen to learn.