Saturday, June 3, 2023

Latest Posts

Emcees in Espresso Competitions: Juan Suárez

Venezuelan espresso skilled Juan Suárez tells us all about his experiences as a espresso competitors emcee.


Featured picture courtesy of The Barista League

If you happen to’ve ever watched a espresso competitors, that the emcee is a vital part of the occasion. From timekeeping to introducing opponents to offering commentary on their performances, these people are essential for maintaining issues operating easily. After all, in addition they add power and pleasure to the proceedings with their vigorous internet hosting fashion! 

However how does one change into an emcee, and what abilities do they want? On this three-part collection, I shall be interviewing skilled espresso competitors emcees to get a greater understanding of their position and what it takes to change into one. My first interviewee is Juan Suárez

I met Juan final February when he hosted The Barista League’s La Rumba competitors in Bogotá. Initially from Venezuela, he has been working as a inexperienced espresso purchaser for Tropiq within the Latin America area since November of 2020. Previous to that, he was a barista in Colombia and Dubai. Juan has additionally accomplished an internship in Inexperienced Espresso with Nordic Strategy in Oslo. 

Juan slurps coffee from a cupping spoon at Nordic Approach. He wears a black tee shirt and backwards black ballcap.
Throughout his internship with Nordic Strategy, Juan labored to enhance his capability to cup espresso. Photograph courtesy of Tropiq.

What impressed you to participate as an emcee in espresso competitions?

A part of my inspiration is simply my character. My buddies describe me as a “Golden Retriever,” filled with power and intensely social. I wish to be the middle of the celebration and make everybody leap and dance. However I have to say that my primary inspiration, or second once I stated “I need to host this occasion,” was again in 2020 once I attended The Barista League’s occasion in Oslo throughout my internship. Sierra Yeo did an incredible job internet hosting the occasion and making everybody celebration. I needed to convey this similar vibe to Latin America and to the barista group in Colombia.

What are you able to inform us about your expertise as an emcee in La Rumba? 

I’ve been speaking with The Barista League staff to convey the occasion to Latin America since 2020, however the pandemic occurred and delayed issues for fairly a while. Once I discovered that they have been planning to come back to Colombia, I used to be simply immeasurably joyful. Being chosen to host this occasion was an honor. To see all of the pleasant faces of the Colombian barista group, and flip “La Rumba” into an actual celebration, was simply very good. I needed them to really feel the identical method I felt again once I attended The Barista League occasion in Oslo.

Jan poses with the three winning baristas from the la Rumba competition. Two wear bright yellow hawaiian shirts, and one wears orange wide leg pants.
Juan with La Rumba winners Lorena Villanueva, Carolina Pinilla, and Ivette Vera Loor. Photograph courtesy of The Barista League.

Have you ever participated as an emcee in different competitions as properly? 

I had the chance to host an occasion by Acaia and Seven Fortunes in Dubai again in 2019. The aim of the competitors was to make use of their Pearl scale to brew espresso completely. I’ve additionally hosted a number of latte artwork throwdowns in Colombia and Peru, the newest being with Milimetrica Espresso in Lima.

In your opinion, how does having an emcee improve the general expertise of competitors for opponents and viewers members? 

The emcee is the bridge between the viewers and the occasion. They need to make the individuals conscious of what’s taking place within the competitors, together with understanding the main points of the competitors and being able to reply any questions associated to it. The emcee must be, because the title says, the “grasp of the ceremony.”

In your opinion, what are the distinctive abilities required to be a profitable emcee in espresso competitions?

To begin with, power. I believe power is without doubt one of the key elements of a profitable emcee. In case you have that easiness to make individuals leap, dance, and get within the occasion, you’re very prone to succeed as an emcee. Then you need to know the foundations; no person within the venue ought to know the foundations higher than you, even if you happen to’re not a espresso skilled.

Juan pours a swan with outstretched wings into a latte.
A talented latte artist, Juan has educated Nipendra Maharjan and Anton Soederman, the 2020 Latte Artwork Champions of UAE and Norway, respectively. Photograph courtesy of Juan Suárez.

Lastly, understanding what to say, however most significantly, understanding what to NOT say. There are plenty of totally different spiritual, political, and cultural backgrounds in the entire occasions world wide. It’s good to have your individual notion on issues, however as an emcee it is best to handle to maintain your self as impartial as potential.

Since you’ve hosted a couple of competitions, I’m questioning what you assume have been essentially the most vital developments within the espresso business because of them?

Competitions convey out one of the best of what the nationwide and worldwide business can provide. In recent times, we’ve seen a rise within the information of the group in numerous elements of the espresso business, corresponding to post-harvesting processes like carbonic maceration, espresso genetics just like the Eugenioides and Laurina coffees, new brewing strategies, and plenty of extra.

However competitions are additionally a option to combine the espresso group and create bonds between professionals. These connections can result in collaborations, job alternatives, and even friendships. Moreover, they supply a platform for baristas and occasional professionals to showcase their abilities and creativity. 

A group of people  make silly poses for the camera at a Barista League event. Juan is in the middle, on his knees and making devil horns with his hands.
Juan turned La Rumba right into a vigorous occasion for everybody who attended and took half within the competitors. Photograph courtesy of The Barista League.

Lastly, competitions are a option to educate most of the people about espresso. They supply a possibility for individuals to be taught concerning the intricacies of espresso and the laborious work that goes into producing an incredible cup. This may result in a larger appreciation and understanding of espresso and the business as an entire.

Total, I’m grateful for the alternatives that competitions have given me and the expansion they’ve dropped at the espresso business. I sit up for persevering with to be part of the espresso group and seeing the developments and discoveries that may come from future competitions.


Vasileia Fanarioti (she/her) is a senior on-line correspondent for Barista Journal and a contract copywriter and editor with a main focus on the espresso area of interest. She has additionally been a volunteer copywriter for the I’M NOT A BARISTA NPO, offering content material to assist educate individuals about baristas and their work. You may observe her adventures at thewanderingbean.internet.


Latest Posts

Don't Miss

Stay in touch

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.