4 Mar 2016

2016 Dutch Barista Championship - The Finalists - Esther Maasdam

Esther Maasdam is a real competition barista. Next to competing in almost all competitions you can think of, she has represented the Netherlands multiple times in the Latte Art competitions. Will she get to do the same for the Barista Championship?

photo by Thari Parson

How did you prepare for the barista competition preliminary rounds?

I set up a Linea on the dining room table in the living room to recreate the Championship setup.

How did you choose a coffee bean?

I wanted to use a blend, so I cupped different coffees and then assessed the way they tasted together.

How did you develop your milk based drink?

I started with the milk. I went to a farmer in the area that has an amazing sweet milk, that tastes very natural.  Then went on the hunt for a smaller cup to really highlight the coffee.

How did you develop your signature drink?

By tasting the coffee and thinking what interesting flavours I could mix it with. I looked at it the same way you would when developing a cocktail.

How do you feel about the change from cappuccino to a milk based drink and did you use this change to your advantage?

I'm very happy with the change, as it gives the opportunity to showcase your own vision on a great milk beverage should be.

What is the hardest part about competing or preparing to compete?

For me personally it always seems to be the hardest to gather a team and a location to train. As I'm an independent and travel a lot, I always seem to get stuck on this part of preparation.

What is the easiest part?

Having ideas and concepts on what I want to do. Actually, I think I have too many ideas and have to downsize most times. Good coffees make me enthusiastic, so that's easy!

How are you going to make sure you win the national finals?

By being really passionate and showing that on stage through my concept, coffees and presentation.

Anything you would like to add?

Yes, some advice; competing is always a good way to improve yourself and push your boundaries.

Read the other interviews with the finalists of the Dutch Barista Competition.

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