In this interview, Bahrain-based barista Desire Nzabonimana outlines his journey in the industry. What started in Hospitality in 2016 in his home city of Kigali, Rwanda has now taken Desire to Oman and Bahrain - international settings where he continues to grow as a SCA-qualified barista.
When did you start your career in coffee and how did you come across the industry?
I started working in Hospitality in 2016 when I was a waiter in Kigali, Rwanda. But I came across coffee making (barista) on YouTube, videos showing latte art. This made me interested so when I was working the morning shift in a hotel one day, I just saw coffee machine with my workmate, then I realised that my dreams come true.
What's the status of specialty coffee in Bahrain?
The type of speciality coffee is Arabica 100%, but some coffee shops do their own blend due to cost of beans. Consumers are willing to know much more about coffee origin too.
What types of people are suited to working in coffee?
Any kind of worker can work in coffee, but roles are taken up mostly by the younger generation. People need to be suited to quick service to work in the industry.
If someone is new to coffee and looking to start out, what would you recommend they start with?
For newcomers in coffee industry, I would like recommending them to be passionate, willing to learn everyday and have curiosity of different coffee varieties and origins.
Are there some central blog posts or websites that you go to gain more knowledge, develop further skills?
Yes for sure there is some sites and blogs that I go to everyday for more skills - The Speciality Coffee Association (SCA) is one.
What's next for your career? What's on the horizon and what goals do you have for the coming three years?
Nowadays my goals are all concerning about how I can provide my own coffee farms so that I can provide coffee greens to consumers ( roasters ) , so that no more coffee scarce , or global crisis.
Find Desire on Instagram via @barista_roaster.desire