Introducing the 2023 World Barista Championship Competitors: Part 7

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In advance of the WBC event on June 21–24, we introduce the champions from Uganda, Ukraine, UAE, UK, USA, and Vietnam.

FROM STAFF REPORTS
ALL PHOTOS COURTESY WORLD COFFEE EVENTS

The ancient city of Athens, Greece, will be the backdrop for the 2023 World Barista Championship on June 21–24, at the World of Coffee event. Forty-eight national champions from around the world will take the stage to compete for the ultimate coffee championship title.

In the run-up to the World Barista Championship, we are showcasing these champions here at Barista Magazine Online in the alphabetical order of their countries. (Here are parts one, two, three, four, five, and six of this series.) Today, in the last installment of this series, we will meet the champions of Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, and Vietnam.

UGANDA

WOKORACH MICHEAL
UGANDA COFFEE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

Wokorach Micheal leans forward on a bar with his hands clasped in front of him. Behind him is an espresso machine and grinder with other coffee equipment.
Ugandan barista champion Wokorach Micheal has been competing for eight years.

“I work with Kawacom Uganda Limited as an assistant quality manager. One reason for competing is because I love coffee and have been competing since 2015. For the coffee industry, I joined in 2013 at the university.“

UKRAINE

RUSLAN DEMONENKO
KOLO COFFEE

Ruslan Demonenko wears a black t-shirt and hoodie while standing in front on a body of water with some trees under a blue sky.
Ukrainian barista champion Ruslan Demonenko looks forward to meeting fellow coffee professionals at the World Barista Championship.

“I work (in a) specialty-coffee shop, Buddy, and at a roastery, Kolo Coffee. I’m new in coffee but so excited to take a part in (the) world stage!“

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

MARIAM ERIN
COSMIC GARDEN COFFEE ROASTERY

Mariam Erin poses in front of a table with an espresso machine on it. Behind her are paintings of a lion and a tiger.
Mariam Erin represented the UAE in Milan at the World Brewers Championship in 2021.

“I’m living in United Arab Emirates for over six years, which gave me a perfect environment and opportunity to establish my career and fall in love more (deeply) with the coffee quality and coffee community. Currently I’m working at Cosmic Garden Coffee Roastery as head of coffee quality and training based in Dubai. I represented the United Arab Emirates in 2021 for the World Brewers Cup championship at World of Coffee Milan, and that experience made me more passionate to share my message and responsibility to represent the whole coffee community of United Arab Emirates on the world stage. Competition allows us to have that opportunity to contribute something special and give impact to this beautiful community that we are all in. I’m a food technologist by profession, and I did a switch from food laboratory to coffee industry back (in) 2015. Working in the coffee industry made me feel like I’m still working in (the) food manufacturing industry, but in a more fun way and more people-oriented environment. For me learning, exploring, and sharing coffee is another form of art that’s worth sharing.“

UNITED KINGDOM

IAN KISSICK
FORMATIVE

Ian Kissick wears a blue knit pullover and smiles a the camera.
Ian Kissick left the corporate world to work in specialty coffee and now owns his own coffee company.

“I’m the owner of Formative Coffee in Central London, and I’ve been competing for five years. I’m from rural Northern Ireland, but I moved to London in 2011 to study Computer Science. My studies have continued to influence me, and have continued into my time in coffee, helping me foster a strong interest in the impact of technology on the coffee industry. My love of coffee began, really, as an escape from a dull corporate job. I’d take 10-15 minutes every day to escape my desk and walk over to my local specialty-coffee shop, chat to the baristas, and enjoy a coffee. Once I’d quit the corporate job, it was that very same shop that I went to work in.“

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

ISAIAH SHEESE
ARCHETYPE COFFEE

Isaiah Sheese pours milk from a steaming pitcher into a white ceramic cup during a barista competition. He is wearing a plaid shirt and canvas apron.
United States Barista Champion Isaiah Sheese competed for nine years before winning the national championship.

“I own Archetype Coffee. I have been competing for nine years. One of my first bosses signed me up for a barista comp in 2009 as a surprise. Little did I know it would become a big passion of mine. Fun facts … I’m an avid rock climber. I used to play a lot of rock ’n’ roll. I kind of fell into coffee. I had a friend opening up a shop and she asked if I wanted to help. That was in 2004. And … I’m still in love with it.“

VIETNAM

HAN TRAN
BOSGAURUS COFFEE ROASTERS

Han Tran holds a steaming kettle as she prepares to create a pourover in a dramatically lit cafe space.
Han Tran, the barista champion of Vietnam, loves the challenge of competition.

“My name is Han and people love to call me Hana. I’ve been working at Bosgaurus Coffee Roasters since 2015. I love the way we connect people, serve a quality coffee, and deliver stories. Competing is challenging, but it helps me set a higher standard. I believe each competitor has a message to deliver, so here I am, waiting for this chance to tell my story.“

Good luck to all 48 National Barista Champions set to take the stage at the 2023 World Barista Championship in Athens, Greece, June 21–24!

The cover of the June + July 2023 issue of Barista Magazine featuring Martin Shabaya of Kenya.

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Source: Barista Magazine

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