• Image of Jamie grinding coffee

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Coffee Competitors: Meet Jamie Patel

Jamie Patel, one of our coffee educators in Durham, is competing in the 2024 Barista Competition!

Jamie Patel, one of our coffee educators in Durham, is competing in the 2024 Barista Competition!

On January 18th, Jamie will go head-to-head against some of the best baristas in the country at the Qualifiers round in Houston, Texas. You can follow along on our YouTube channel as Jamie prepares for the stage, but first, you can get to know him here.

Photo of Jamie pouring latte art

Q&A with Jamie Patel

Why do you want to compete in the Barista Competition?

Jamie: TO WIN! But really, it's because I enjoy pushing my potential as a coffee professional, engaging with the wider specialty coffee community, and flexing my creative muscle.

What part of the competition do you like the most?

Jamie: I enjoy those moments of sharing something I’m proud of in front of very accomplished people in our industry, while getting the honor of representing producers who have put in so much to the seed of a tropical fruit.

Photo of Jamie and coffee producer Wilton Benitez Florez at the 2023 Coffee Expo

What part scares you the most?

Jamie: Something going wrong with equipment on stage, or spilling an ingredient. As long as things go to plan when it matters, that fear usually goes away quite quickly. Being prepared definitely helps.

Have you ever competed before?

Jamie: Yes, I’ve done Preliminaries and Qualifiers, and I made it to Nationals in Portland, Oregon last year!

Picture of Jamie competing at the 2023 Barista championships in Portland, Oregon.

What will you do if you win?

Jamie: I have no idea! I’d love to get down to Finca el Puente and share the success with the producers, but I’ve never been in the position of the champion. So I guess we’ll see what happens if I win!

How long have you worked in coffee?

Jamie: It’s been just over a decade that I’ve worked in this industry. I’ve held roles in cafes as a barista, barista trainer, coffee director, and manager. I’ve also worked in the roasting and production space as an apprentice roaster, production team member, and quality control specialist. Most recently, I worked on the importing side as Head of Green Coffee Sales at CoTrade Coffee.

Photo of Jamie making coffee

Now that you work on the education side of coffee, do you ever miss being behind bar?

Jamie: Absolutely. I wouldn’t say I would go back to being behind the bar full-time, but making drinks and connecting with people at a cafe is a really special feeling

What coffee are you drinking at home right now?

Jamie: Whatever is in the cabinet! Usually, I go for something that tastes great on its own or with milk for espresso at home. Sometimes I like to pick up an experimentally processed coffee. Colombia is the country of origin that I prefer the most, but variety-wise, I love having Pink Bourbon or Caturra on hand.

When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?

Jamie: I’m definitely a glutton for punishment, watching my beloved Manchester United every match day. I practice guitar and singing for a bit of peace and focus. I brush my teeth twice a day and try to keep up with the Blokecore trends of the month.

Photo of Jamie posing for the camera holding a coffee in London.

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