Please provide a description of your role.
I am in charge of the Lobby Lounge at Kempinski Hotel Ajman, and besides my regular barista tasks, I am also responsible for educating our guests about our premium coffees and teas. We are currently the only hotel in the Northern Emirates that offers guests an authentic, handpicked Tchaba tea experience at our Tchaba Tea Boutique.
How long have you been a barista, and what first attracted you to the role?
I have been a barista for a year and a half now and I started as a waitress but I loved making different coffees and surprising the guests. Our F&B manager saw potential in me and sent me to do our Lobster Ink training programme which is tailored for the Kempinski brand. Under the F&B course which focused on the blends and methods I took practical assessments and qualified as a Barista.
What is the hardest part about being a barista?
There is always pressure to find a coffee-based beverage that has not been done before and to create something that everyone will enjoy which is tough. Timing is also crucial to brew the perfect cup and presentation is also important. You have to pay attention to every single detail, as there are a lot of people, besides the judges, who will spot even the smallest inaccuracy.
What do you love about the role?
I love that I can be very creative, as coffee is a very special beverage. You can make a limitless amount of different drinks with it. And coffee is an evergreen beverage! I believe that there will always be people who start their day with a cup of the finest brew.
Can you tell us about your signature coffee drink?
My signature coffee drink is called Jasmine. It is a cold beverage and consists of espresso, roasted-crushed nuts, brown sugar and ice cubes that are made of jasmine tea and basil leaves. I make this by brewing a cup of single espresso, add roasted-crushed nuts and brown sugar and cool the beverage down. Add ice cubes made of jasmine tea and basil leaves. Enjoy immediately.
What are some of the latest coffee trends being seen in the market?
Everyone can make a regular espresso and Americano, but if you are able to replace regular milk with natural strawberry milk, it creates a whole different experience, and instead of sugar, use flavoured sugar syrup with fruit, vanilla or coconut.
What coffee beans do you use and why?
We use Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee, mainly because it’s grown very high above sea level at 1,800-2,000 m (5905.5-6,561.7 ft) and its lasting aftertaste is slightly fermented with jasmine.
What coffee machines do you use at the hotel?
We are currently using three different types of machines: automatic from Delonghi; Automatic from Dallmary and Manual from Simonelli.
What is the secret to brewing the perfect cup of coffee?
First: the high-quality coffee beans; second: the grinder; and third: the dozing and tamping. These three steps might seem simple, but they have a crucial impact on the final result.