Unexpected Perks: How COVID-19 Benefitted the Independent Coffee Industry in the UK
The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly brought numerous challenges and disruptions to the global economy. However,…
Over Christmas, we were lucky enough to catch up with Matteo – expert Barista at Watchhouse Coffee, content creator & Brewers Cup Champion, about his passion for coffee & top tips for making the most of your coffee experiences.
Congratulations on becoming the Brewers Cup Champion in 2020! Can you tell us more about what the Brewers Cup is, and your experience in the competition?
Thank you very much! The Brewers Cup is one of the coffee competitions annually organised by the Specialty Coffee Association which highlights the craft of filter coffee brewed by hand and service excellence. My experience in the competition has been great and also very intense. I’m very happy I took part in it not only because of the success but also because I have learned so many things about coffee brewing during my journey, improved my skills and got to know amazing people in the coffee industry.
Furthermore, a very important point is that I could have never done anything without the WatchHouse Competition Team. I’m proud to be part of such an amazing group of coffee professionals driven to achieve amazing things in the coffee industry.
What started your passion for coffee?
My passion for coffee started when I was a child. I’m from Italy and, for my family, coffee is a tradition and a ritual. I grew up with the smell of coffee coming from our Moka Pot out of the kitchen every morning. I started working as a Barista when I was a teenager and that passion never left me. I did a lot of different jobs during my life but coffee always comes back to cross my path.
If you had to pick one brewing method, what would it be?
I’m in love with Kalita 155. It’s amazing what you can achieve with this flat-bed dripper and the pour over method is fascinating.
The result in the cup depends a lot on your pouring technique and can be very personal, it’s you creating your unique version of that result every time you pour water over the coffee bed.
What’s your number one tip for people brewing coffee at home?
There are so many tips to share with people but to me the most important one is using the coffee tools you own with confidence – you don’t need the most expensive ones to achieve a good cup of coffee. Another major tip is to enjoy the brewing ritual because coffee at home tastes better when you have fun brewing it.
What do you look for when buying a coffee from a shop? Do you have a favourite origin / flavour?
I like to try coffee from different coffee roasters. I’m always happy to discover a new one, perhaps a less popular one especially. You can feel the passion and the effort they put in each bag. I don’t have a favourite origin to be honest. I like to have different ones with different profiles at home and decide which one to brew and drink depending on my mood, the moment of the day or what I fancy. I love washed coffee which I enjoy to drink on a daily basis but sometimes I also like to treat myself with something crazy.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learnt whilst working in coffee?
The most important lesson I have learnt is that you never finish to learn when it comes to coffee, especially with hand brewing. There are still so many things to be discovered and not necessary from a coffee manual, but also by listening to coffee professionals and passionate brewers. I believe that the coffee community is really important and that our knowledge must be shared. Together is the way to grow and make coffee better.
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