This year has been spectacular for the Coffee Industry across the globe. To see women winning all the major Coffee Competitions speaks so much of their passion and hard work towards the Industry.
Barista Carolina Ibarra of the United States won the 2018 WAC in Sydney, Australia. We asked Carolina to share some her journey, passions, and dreams with us.
How does it feel to be a Champion right now?
What can I say, feels great! I have received the most positive energy from people around the world, and I never thought that winning was going to have such a great impact! Here in LA, it has been great and from my country Colombia I keep receiving a lot of encouragement from Colombian baristas.
What made you connect so deeply with coffee?
I could not pinpoint at one single thing! coffee gave me a purpose, in a moment of my life where I felt pretty lost and just not knowing what to do with my life, I found coffee and since then it has been what drives me to be a better version of myself, not only in coffee but also as a human. Coffee is my life.
How much time did you put in each day to practice on this?
I would say I practiced 2 hours a day but not every day. I was a café manager and management certainly requires a lot of time from you, I had a lot of work to do during those days, so found myself pretty tired at the end of the day to get home a practice. However, I dedicated some hours to it on Sundays and some nights of the week after work.
How do you keep yourself motivated to keep practicing?
What motivates me is to try different coffees from different roasters, also to experiment with my recipes and ratios and see what comes out of it! I love just pursuing really good tasting cups of coffee and being able to extract the beautiful flavor notes from the coffees I get.
What was the winning recipe?
My recipe was: Inverted position, 35gr of coffee, ground at 9.1 on the EK43S, 100 gr of water at 85 Celsius pour into the Aeropress to the coffee grounds for 30 secs, 25 secs of stirring, put the filter on, swirl to release some gas and flip, press for 30 secs, add 50gr water at 85 Celsius and 50gr at room temperature.
For you, What is the most exciting thing about coffee?
The stories! Behind coffee, there are millions of stories! The story of the origin, the farm, the farmers, the pickers, the green buyer, the roaster, the baristas! The stories behind each cup of coffee tell us a little bit about each human involved in the making of that cup of coffee.
What’s your dream coffee project?
Building a lab space where I can get women to come and train for competition! Any type of competition! But would love to have space where we can all help each other and learn from each other. Offer a training team that will help us to get where we want to get in coffee.
Other passions besides coffee?
Mmmm, I love running and swimming! I also love going on hikes and exploring nature along with my dogs.
You have Inspired many women in this Industry. Any tip of advice for them?
To keep encouraging each other to grow in the industry. To be supportive and see in each other a sister and a human being that has overcome obstacles to get where they are, and to never be afraid to tell their ideas and speak up for themselves.
Besides Coffee, any other beverage you enjoy the most?
mmmm I certainly love Matcha lattes! A well-prepared matcha latte can be incredibly nourishing for the body.
One coffee related trend that you wish would die already?
Rainbow colors latte art.
What’s the one aspect of this industry that you love & hate, respectively?
Love: the opportunities to explore different coffees and varieties and to learn to differentiate and appreciate each of them.
Hate: how as women I had to prove myself to be good at this for men to start acknowledging me as a part of the industry, especially here in Los Angeles.
One piece of advice for young people entering the Coffee industry?
Do what you do with love and respect for the profession, or don’t do it at all.
Your favorite cup of Coffee?
Filter coffee, probably chemex.
Best way to win Barista’s heart is___?
Giving us coffee related tools or equipment gifts 😀 (like for example I’m asking Santa to give me a Marzocco GS3 for Christmas LOL)