Clifton Coffee Roasters' Jimmy Dimitrov : 'I am not saying that a cup of coffee should cost a fortune'
Jimmy Dimitrov , head of education at Clifton Coffee Roasters, talks about the challenges facing baristas.
Why do you love the coffee industry – what made you want to become a coffee professional?
I love the coffee industry because of the wonderful coffee community. I always wanted to become a teacher one day, so becoming an AST has given me the opportunity to share both of my biggest passions - teaching and coffee. Meeting people every day and sharing delicious coffee with them is something truly special and I really enjoy it a lot. I love coffee and people.
What has been the proudest moment in your career so far?
My proudest moment in my coffee career so far was when I became a Q Grader last year. This was one of the toughest challenges I’ve ever faced and it felt like a massive relief once accomplished. Also recently coming second at the Coffee Masters in London where I scored the record highest score ever at the first round.
What are the key challenges facing baristas and coffee shops at the moment?
The low prices on specialty coffee drinks being served by competent Baristas in specialty coffee shops. I think specialty coffee shops should be able to charge more than commercial, simply because of the quality of the product and service. We need to become more aware that higher quality isn’t cheap and requires a lot of effort from growing to roasting to brewing to serving, therefore it has to be more expensive and more appreciated. Baristas and farmers are the ones who get paid the least, unfortunately, and they are the ones who are most passionate about coffee. Increasing prices on coffee drinks served in specialty coffee shops would allow baristas, along with farmers, to get paid more fairly and improve their lifestyles. I am not saying that a cup of coffee should cost a fortune, but a little increase would definitely benefit the whole coffee chain. Coffee isn’t as cheap as it used to be a few years ago and we should all recognise this.
You are showcasing at the Barista Masterclasses at European Coffee, Tea & Soft Drinks Expo. What made you want to become involved?
I think the Barista Masterclasses are a great platform for demonstrating skills and sharing knowledge. Also the line-up this year is unbelievable, so I am very excited to see what everyone else has to share with the audience.
I have always loved being involved in educational events and I am honoured to have been invited to this one. I will be doing a workshop focused on the fundamentals of grinding. I will demonstrate to the audience the importance of grinding coffee and how this impacts the percolation and extraction.
- VA Machinery is the coffee machine and grinder sponsor of the Barista Masterclasses.
- Brita is also exhibiting on stand A15 in addition to co-sponsoring the Barista Masterclass.
- Lavazza is the official coffee sponsor for the Barista Masterclasses and will be exhibiting on stand D22 at European Coffee, Tea & Soft Drinks Expo.
- Stephen Leighton, founder of Hasbean Coffee, will be co-hosting the Barista and Roastery Masterclasses.
- For more information on European Coffee, Tea & Soft Drinks Expo, contact Sukhvir Hayre on +44 (0) 203 668 9809 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and check out stand and sponsorship options.
- Visitor registration is now open for the European Coffee, Tea & Soft Drinks Expo. For FREE fast-track entry click here.
- The Barista Masterclasses will take place at European Coffee, Tea & Soft Drinks Expo held at London’s Olympia on 21 to 22 May 2019.