World Barista Championship Interview - Bernard Muneri

April 15, 2011

http://www.roaste.com/files/teaser.png" title="Bernard Muneri" align="left" hspace="10" /> Meet Bernard Muneri. He hails from South Africa, has been in the coffee industry for 4 years, and has quickly climbed the ranks. He started his career in coffee at TriBeCa Coffee Roasters as an eager barista. Within a short time he was promoted and today he’s the Regional Manager for TriBeCa, and heads 8 different cafes. As part of his job, Bernard trains, motivates and coaches baristas, igniting his passion for coffee in others.


Given this admirable record, one has to wonder how Bernard entered the world of coffee. If you could believe it, it wasn’t until he was 21 that he actually discovered his affinity for it. Now, Bernard lives coffee, so it comes as no surprise that he doesn’t have a favorite time of day for his coffee fix. Asked which food he likes to accompany with his coffee, he answered, “just a plain simple chicken mayo toast o white goes well with my cappa…”

http://www.roaste.com/files/team.png" title="TriBeCa Coffee Roasters" align="right" />
When Bernard first started his career in coffee, he assumed that anyone could handle a coffee machine and that “anyone can make coffee.” Little did he know what really goes into it until he was shown the drill. As he states, “I was shocked, and since then, I challenged myself to know more about this wonderful industry.” Today he looks forward to learning even more techniques and developing more baristas in South Africa.


Although he’s never actually tried any flavors, he is interested in sampling chocolate flavored coffee, as he’s heard “it’s the bomb.” As for his knack in coffee art, Bernard specializes in the Rosetta, as “it is easy to pour and on good days, I can easily pull off a wave heart.” Asked what part of coffee he likes the most, Bernard answered that aroma is what makes coffee so unique for him – “ the sense of smell has a way of twisting the taste buds.”


It’s no wonder his love affair with coffee has led him to such high ranks in the competitions. When asked to describe his experience in previous competitions, Bernard stated that “taking part is awesome and nerve-wracking at the same time.” He learned a lot and had to adjust to different scenarios quickly, in order to show “that you are a true professional.” At the Regional competition that he participated in, there were 40-45 qualified baristas, of which only 6 made it to the top and 3 of those proceeded to compete at the National Level.

http://www.roaste.com/files/signature.png" title="Bernard's signature drink" />
In 2010, Bernard executed a Gwylim Davies inspired signature drink which won him the “Best Signature drink for the competition.” Today, Bernard has moved on to judging on the sensory level and coaching fellow baristas. He feels more “complete” now that he’s the “Top Sensory judge in the country.”

http://www.roaste.com/files/judge1.png" title="Sensory Judge Bernard Muneri" />
As for setting his own personal goals? Bernard would like to become a WBC Certified Judge in the 2012 competition. All he asks of you is to “watch the space as the SA team will be on fire in Bogota. Time to do Africa proud at the world stage.” Bernard, we’ll be crossing our fingers for you and wishing you the best of luck!
http://www.roaste.com/files/Travis.png" title="Bernard & Travis, reigning South Africa champion" />
http://www.roaste.com/files/heart.png" title="Heart of the Barista Award, 2010" />

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