May 2, 2016

Why Choose Coffee? Baristas of The 2016 London Coffee Festival


We may be united by coffee, but we all take different paths into finding it. So we spoke with baristas at the 2016 London Coffee Festival to find out what led them to this beautiful brew – and why they continue to dedicate their lives to it.

SEE ALSO: 5 Things Nobody Tells You About Being a High-Volume Barista

What did we discover? Well, some of them fell into coffee by accident.

James Wise:

“Coffee was to tide me over, and cover tattooing expenses. I fell in love and kept putting off leaving; it didn’t make any sense to leave something I enjoy so much.”

James Wise

John Gordon:

“I worked in security for seven years, I was bored, and offered a job as a barista with better hours. I have done everything from being a barista to roasting to developing machinery, but there is always something new to learn.”

John Gordon

Some were just curious.

Tom from The Roastery Department:

“The concept of speciality coffee is similar to composition music; people only see the final product but that is just the tip of the iceberg. I wanted to see what went into that tiny cup.”

Anson Goodge:

“I used to be a chef and drank coffee to stay up. Being naturally inquisitive, the more you learn the more you realise you don’t know, which is quite enjoyable.”

An-spoon Goodge

Some felt a calling.

Zsuzsa Zicho:

“I completed a barista course in Hungary six year ago and being in the coffee industry is my fate.”

Zsuzsa Zicho

Nick Mabey:

“I moved to London four years ago and bought a brand to life – a forward-thinking concept and a more transparent approach to coffee.”

Nick Abey

Some love their craft.

Dhan Tamang:

“A multi-rosetta: a great warm up to steady the hands for competitions.’’

Dhan Tamang

And some just really love the culture of coffee.

Violet Pons-Trenor:

“I love the coffee culture; working in a coffee house helped me to become more outgoing.”

London Coffee festival barista

Sonali Tailor:

“I love the community vibe in coffee; I can go anywhere in the world and know at least one person through coffee. Common grounds.”

Sonali Taylor

What led you to coffee?

All photos courtesy of @smedleyshots.

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