Notes on Kinyei’s Barista Train Up

This rainy season in Battambang the Cafe team has stayed plenty busy skilling up with a number of barista workshops, thanks to the expertise and generosity of two standout trainers. We are all thrilled after visits from Jasper Coffee resident experts Stacy and Evan with our new know-how and honed machine skills, bringing our espresso quality up a few notches, and helping us set new goals for the future of the Cafe.

Kinyei had a fantastic time hosting Stacey Irving in June. She brought her extensive wisdom of all things espresso making, as well as her passion for crafts and crocheting. Stacey taught the Cafe team to be proficient in self-critiquing their barista skills, and made additions to our work-in-progress Kinyei Barista Training Manual. She also delighted the crafty Cafe staff with a paper crafting session, thanks to materials donated from AWARE global, her craft-based NGO.

Evan Ong, celebrated espresso machine technician from Jasper bestowed heaps of knowledge on the newly appointed espresso machine technicians. The group learned everything from milk steaming tricks to the technical workings of the machine. We’re gearing up to offer our own machine technician services to other cafes in Battambang that run into snaffoos with their machines. Mel recounts,

Evan was really impressed with how the guys picked it all up and how well they worked together. He showed us a nifty trick to block two of the holes in our steam wand so now our milk is phenomenal!

Evan was awesome to have around to share his own stories of a start up business – a dive shop he helped to develop on an island in Fiji in order to provide job opportunities to young people that didn’t involve moving away.

One of the most impressive things about our Barista expert friends is their own investment in community projects. Stacey’s AWARE project, and Evan’s startup dive shop business are inspirations to us at Kinyei, and we’re psyched to connect with others that prioritize community based projects in their lives.

This August we had our fifth intake of aspiring baristas in the Cafe! Welcome to Vatha, Bopha, and Chhaiya. And it’s just in time for the Cambodian Restaurant association’s Barista competition in October. Stay tuned to see who takes the torch from Untac!