A cup of El Salvador

I have tried coffee from El Salvador a few times before but hardly had any memorable moment with it. Most of the time, it tasted ordinary, especially when Ethiopian and Kenyan coffee were always there to steal the spotlight. Furthermore, Panama Geisha has done such a great job that it's the first and only name …

A Gift From My Favorite Roaster

Today, I received a package from Tuan-Anh, a very good friend of mine who is also my favorite roaster. I was surprised and, of course, really happy. He sent me 3 samples of his latest roasts so that I can try them with my barista friends and let him know our thoughts. We have done …

Quick note: The World’s Largest Cupping

If you’re a big fan of James Hoffmann (World Barista Champion 2007, the author of “The World Atlas of Coffee” and co-founder of Square Mile Coffee Roasters), this is a can’t-miss event.  For those who are curious about what’s going on, the idea behind is to let everyone from all over the world cup the …

VNBC 2019: A breath of Cool-air

She was no-doubt a one of very rare risk-takers that I’ve ever seen. It doesn’t matter how doubtful I was then, Uyen was finally announced to be Top 5 of VNBC 2019. Speaking with Uyen after the competition about her journey to VNBC, I can be sure that Uyen is the kind of girl who doesn’t mind burning the candle at both ends and she actually earned this prize.

VNBC 2019: What should a barista look like?

I guess each of us already had an answer which reflects our own role model.  Having an ideal image to look up to is not something bad. In fact, if someone is a role model of yourself, your way of life appears more specific of where to go and what to do. My role model …

VNBC 2019: Bubble Tea Boy

Seeing Thinh again in Vietnam National Barista Championship (VNBC) 2019 gave me so much joy and expectation. Firstly, we are much of homies so there is always a bunch of jokes and sarcasm when we see each other again. Secondly, I have watched him competing at VNBC every year for the past 3 years and …

VNBC 2019: Mai

Top 3 of Vietnam Barista Championship 2019 is Pham Ngoc Mai – the only finalist works and lives in Hanoi but travelled almost 1,800km to Saigon for competing. When I first met Mai at VNBC Orientation Session, I was impressed immediately by her soft pleasant voice – which I believe a great advantage for good …

VNBC 2019: The Champion

 “And the Vietnam Barista Championship 2019 goes to Nguyen Hoang Minh Luan !” If you find this name familiar, you’re right. Luan Nguyen - aka Bill - was Top 4 VNBC last year (click here to read more) with lots of potential but not much preparation. This year, he came back with more confidence and …

VNBC 2018: The Soldier

Meeting Enma the first time in Vietnam Aeropress Championship (VNAC) 2016, I never thought that, some day in the future, this barista would be one of the bravest soldiers in our coffee industry. As a competitor in VNAC 2016, she stood out of the crowd with a lovely face, soft and clear voice and adorable …

VNBC 2018: A New Face

I love competitions for many reason, one of which is that it’s full of surprise. Vietnam National Barista Championship (VNBC) 2018 witnessed a number of newbies coming on stage and showing what they’ve got for the first time ever. While other barista peers gained their first hard lessons of competing professionally, Bill made his way …