The Road to the World Barista Championships: Joshua Tarlo

Our latest World Barista Championship competitor interview is with Joshua Tarlo, the UK Barista Champion. You can follow his journey on Instagram: @joshuatarlo

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?

Seven years ago, a barista handed me an espresso of Hacienda Esmeralda geisha at Three Bags Full in Melbourne. They said what it would taste like, I took a sip, and every note was there. In that moment, coffee became more than a drink to share with friends, it became an experience to connect with people.

What was your first coffee job?

A little shop in my home town called Espresso Post. Syrups, domed cappuccinos, but the kind of place that shows you how people connect over a coffee. 

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

Probably trying some sort of urban development type thing.

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 looking for the right coffee! I want to share one that has crystal clear clarity and is immensely vibrant!

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

I don’t get to see them since we live in different countries, so I have got to say my parents, my brother, and my sisters. 

Who would play you in the story of your life?

Tommy Wiseau

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

Morning of Kendrick, afternoon of Solange, and close it to F***ed Up

What’s your favourite way to make coffee?

Mid-morning on a sunny day at home on a day off. Any way to brew tastes best on those days.

What are you most excited about in coffee?

With the growing challenges of origin climate change, labour automation, growing income inequality in the cities that make it difficult for baristas to live where they work and so many more challenges. I’m interested in how we’re all going to respond to these pressures. Looking back, the time of great challenge has a way of bringing the most inventive ideas out of people.

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