A barista is described as a person who makes and serves coffee to people. But it’s not just simply about making an espresso or latte, according to Christos Sotiros, our master barista at Nestlé Professional and 2021 winner of the Swiss Coffee Challenge, organized by the Switzerland chapter of the Specialty Coffee Association.
“There are many different levels to being a barista, and there is so much more to it than just brewing coffee,” he explained. “A big part of the job is learning about the coffee profession, equipping oneself with specific knowledge, like studying chemistry and physics and learning how to cultivate and brew coffee, connecting with coffee communities, competing in global competitions at high level, and following the trends. It’s a career that you need to continue learning to develop.
“The knowledge I learn and share with trainees and colleagues today, may be different next year. Things are always developing, adapting, and changing in the coffee industry.”
Coffee is one of the world’s favorite beverages – with about 1 out of 7 cups of coffee drink globally are Nescafé – and the growing thirst for this popular drink means that people are looking for great taste and a sensory experience.
“It’s very creative, and I would never serve or prepare something that I wouldn’t pay for or drink myself. I believe in offering a complete and personalized experience to each customer,” Christos added.
Exchanging coffee knowledge
Having worked in various food and beverage positions in his home country of Greece growing up, Christos’ interest for coffee started at the age of 18, when he received his first coffee training while working in a coffee shop.
Christos continued to gain more experience in the industry in Athens, while also working as a freelance consultant for new coffee businesses. He then joined Nestlé Professional Greece six years ago – which became the start of a journey that drove his passion for his favorite beverage.
Combining his psychology degree background with ‘in-the-field’ coffee experience, Christos helps to exchange knowledge and connect with experts in the coffee industry. Over the years, he has also trained thousands of baristas, commercial and sales teams worldwide as a qualified and authorized Specialty Coffee Association trainer.
Idea on paper to global roll out
Christos also helps to develop products and solutions for customers and was part of Nestlé Professional’s latest creation Roastelier by Nescafé. It offers both local baristas opportunity to freshly roast their coffee and offers consumers a unique trace and taste journey of coffee, from farm to cup.
“From the beginning, I worked with the Greek market, beverage manager and the global business team to co-develop an idea on paper to a worldwide roll out,” he said. “Bringing such innovations to the industry and a complete experience to customers are what I am most proud of.”
Since Roastelier’s launch in Greece and in Scandinavia, it also has been launched in Italy, Japan, Spain, Portugal and Brazil. With more markets across Europe and Latin America to be launching soon.
Find out more by joining The Coffee Journey Webinar on September 30.