The Road to the World Barista Championships: Winston Thomas

In our first in a new series of short interviews with the World Barista Championship competitors, we ask our questions to Winston Thomas, the South African Barista Champion. You can follow his journey on Instagram: @winston_douglas

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?

I can't remember the exact day. I didn't have the epiphany moment that many people do. To be honest, it began during my engineering studies; coffee kept me going throughout the late-night studies and it developed into a bit of a romance from there.

What was your first coffee job?

My first coffee job was working at a small market in Woodstock, Cape Town. The owner agreed to train me as a form of payment. I can't even remember what coffee we were serving!

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

Honestly, I probably would've still been in engineering and construction. My family own a construction business, so I would most likely have joined them.

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

Unfortunately, I can't reveal this just yet! Perhaps I can give you some to taste in Amsterdam :)

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

My grandparents on my mom’s side. Mainly because my gran was known for making the best stove-top coffee around. I'm assuming she would have been the most critical judge of my coffee.

Who would play you in the story of your life?

Tough one! Emile Hirsch? I'm a very big fan of the movie Into the Wild.

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

80's funk and soul!

What’s your favourite way to make coffee?

At the moment I am really enjoying my AeroPress. I haven't worked behind a bar in a while, so I've been drinking a lot more filter coffee.

What are you most excited about in coffee?

The unknown. The industry is ever changing which really excites me.


 

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