Welcome World Barista Champion Hidenori Izaki
Two weeks ago, we were very honoured to have the world barista champion of 2014 - Hidenori Izaki - visiting our humble town Kuching, Sarawak.
Hide is an awesome friend and a dedicated coffee consultant. He is full of passion about his work and knows exactly what his clients' goals and priorities are.
During our four-day interaction, we find him to be a walking-model not only representing specialty coffee, but the whole service industry. From his vast, updated knowledge about the industry, to his sophisticated mannerism and constant respect for others, he is dedicated and professional, but also playful and humorous.
He has offered us valuable references in espresso tasting; a sneak peek into what the judges are after on the world stage, the importance of in-depth water analysis; knowing your local water can really change the game as roughly 98% of your coffee is water, and insight to the current market trends in the coffee industry.
Lastly, some profound advice that we find very meaningful as a café owner is that no matter how much we'd like to focus on coffee quality, at the end of the day, we are still in the service line. Sometimes, baristas are too busy presenting to customers about specialty coffee, they forgot to observe what the customer really need at that point of time.
To provide good service, we need to inherit Hide's champion mentality, what he calls the ".5 differences" can go a long way, it's the devil in the detail that won him the champion title. We believe the same theory applies to anyone who wants to succeed in the service industry.
This is the beginning of a long-term bonding between us. We look forward to working with Hide, the passionate coffee samurai, again very soon.