Originally from Kenya, Karamtin Bakari has spent better part of 10 years working in United Arab Emirates. He started working as a commercial barista before moving into specialty and graduating towards tutorial videos and a following through Facebook. With specialty coffee growing rapidly in Dubai, Karamtin plans to stay put and be part of the emerging industry.

When did you start your career in coffee and how did you come across the industry?
I started my career in 2015 at a commercial coffee shop here in Dubai, and later on moved into the speciality coffee. Working in both speciality and commercial coffee has really helped me distinguish between the two and be able to cater to different customers and clients I come across daily.

What's the status of specialty coffee in Dubai?
Speciality coffee in Dubai is growing very fast with more coffee shops opening and many people starting to understand what speciality coffee is really about - it’s the new trend in town.

What types of people are suited to working in coffee?
Anyone who has a passion for people and coffee is suited to work in coffee.

If someone is new to coffee and looking to start out, what would you recommend they start with?
Start by researching the basics and feed your curiosity, then move on to getting more knowledge by taking a speciality coffee course, attend coffee workshops and also use the social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook to get knowledge from people in the industry.

Are there some central blog posts or websites that you go to gain more knowledge, develop further skills?
Yes the Speciality Coffee Association - they have a website, YouTube and Facebook.

What's next for your career? What's on the horizon and what goals do you have for the coming three years?
For my career I want to get more certifications from the Speciality Coffee Association, grow my knowledge and always keep learning because it’s a never-ending cycle. My goal in three years is to unite as many baristas from different parts of the world on my Facebook Page which I started with my friends (other baristas from around the globe). On the horizon I see speciality coffee taking over in Dubai and finally people can really appreciate coffee for what it truly is.

Follow Karamtin on Instagram via @barista_karamtin