Being a World Barista Champion requires a lot of hard work and a clear vision for the future. Jooyeon Jeon from Momos Coffee in South Korea is a seasoned competitor and performance and coffee during this year's Championships in Boston were nothing short of spectacular. Despite her demanding schedule, Jooyeon was very kind to share her thoughts about her competition routine and her plans for the future.
You have been competing for many years now. How was your approach this year different from the previous years?
Jooyeon: I performed under the theme of "Fat" in 2018 and "Carbohydrate" in 2019. However, the approach was the same, only with different topics.
There is something completely different. It was my conditioning and mind. I think that's why I did the best demonstration.
My first WBC last year was 'the endless tension'. At that time, I wanted to show everything I have, because it would be the chance of a lifetime. That made me so much burden. In fact, I didn't enjoy preparing WBC at all.
But this year was different. I have changed my mind, didn't care other's attention, but focused on what I can do now. This mindset made me more comfortable and enjoying preparation everyday. Instead, I hung out with friends and spend good time with family.
In your routine, you managed to share a complicated subject about carbohydrates in a very simple manner. How did you communicate this effectively to the judges?
Jooyeon: The demonstration of the subject of carbohydrates was scientific, so we had to tell difficult contents. More data collection and study were needed to explain this easily.
I also received help from a university's food engineering department to gain professional knowledge. The most time spent on preparing for the competition was studying time because I thought I should understand it perfectly so that I could explain it.
But the completed demonstration was actually not easy, so I wanted to make the judges feel as comfortable as possible during the demonstration. I thought of a layout that would get as close to the judges as possible. I was able to come to the conclusion that the table should be used as a chair.
It's been 6 months now since you have been the World Barista Champion. What are your goals now that you are the ambassador for the Specialty Coffee industry?
Jooyeon: It may be ideal, but I have a lot of interest in the sustainability of the Specialty Coffee. I want to introduce the world of specialty coffee the people not only professional but also the people who don't know this field. I want to broaden the public's concept of Specialty Coffee.
If consumers start to appreciate the value of Specialty Coffee, they will naturally think about it at that price. This will be passed on to the coffee farmers. And it will help farmers produce better coffee.
I want to inspire farmers to continue to produce special coffee. So I will visit the farms in origins and I want to participate the research and development for improving coffee quality, and the life of the people in the Specialty Coffee farms.
We recently saw your collaboration with Sergio Gonzalez from Ecuador. How important do you think are collaborations for Specialty Coffee professionals?
Jooyeon: It's the same as I talked before.
The way to raise the value of the Specialty Coffee as a barista is to make sure that consumers can enjoy the coffee properly. I think this is the first step in the sustainability of Specialty Coffee. For example, a cup of Specialty Coffee they drink now is not unfamiliar, friendly, and professional delivery.
What is your favourite part of being a barista?
Jooyeon: Of course I like to brew coffee and serve it to customers the most. When customers drinks the coffee, it feels like the cup of coffee I made is energy for them.
If you had a chance to have a delicious filter coffee with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
Jooyeon: I'll think about where (origin and farm) the filter coffee was produced first. And I want to drink coffee with the coffee producer (grower) who worked hard for a year to make that cup.
Lastly, tell us about your ideal breakfast?
Jooyeon: A cup of delicious brewed coffee!
Photo Credit: World Coffee Events
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