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The Road to the World Barista Championships: Zenn Soon

The Road to the World Barista Championships: Zenn Soon

Singapore's Barista Champion, Zenn Soon, tells us how she hasn't always been a coffee lover, and how she would have loved to have made coffee for her father. Zenn will soon - see what we did there - be competing in as a competitor in the World Barista Championship at World of Coffee in Amsterdam. You can follow her journey on Instagram: @raelska

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 wasn't love at first sip - it was more a friendship that developed into something deeper. I started drinking mochas in college, fell in love with Australia's coffee culture when I studied in Melbourne, then graduated and met my husband, who loves coffee. We started hunting for specialty coffee places everywhere we went. It was then that I realised that I wanted to take my relationship with coffee to the next level.


What was your first coffee job?

My husband and his partners had a little café that specialised in shisha/hookah, and I was roped in to set up the food and beverage side of things. That was when I first got to work with an espresso machine and learnt a bit more about coffee.


If you didn’t work in coffee, what would you do?

Probably in journalism, PR or events planning.


What exceptional coffee will you be using in the WBCs in Amsterdam? Tell us about the coffee and what it tastes like.

I'm still not 100% decided on what coffee I will be using, but it will be something with a unique taste profile!


Who would you most like to make coffee for and why?

My father. He loved coffee, but I never got to make coffee for him as he passed away a while before I started on my coffee journey.


Who would play you in the story of your life?

Me, of course! Nobody would play me better than me.


If you opened a café today, what would be on your first day playlist?

A whole bunch of vocal trance tracks - Saving Light (Gareth Emery, Haliene), Northern Soul (Above & Beyond, Richard Bedford), Tonight (Cosmic Gate, Emma Hewitt) etc. Probably inappropriate, but I'll be dancing away happily and that's what first days are about, right?


What’s your favourite way to make coffee?

Any way that will make the coffee taste amazing.


What are you most excited about in coffee?

That it constantly challenges me, and I keep discovering, learning, and falling in love with it.

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