Arnon Thitiprasert, the 2017 World Latte Art Champion and owner of Ristr8to -his own cafeteria with four locations in Thailand and Singapore-, came to Colombia for the first time to share his skills as one of the most famous baristas around the world.
World Latte Art Champion, Arnon Thitiprasert. / Photo: LatinAmerican Post
LatinAmerican Post | Carolina Rodríguez Monclou
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Arnon’s most recent achievement was getting place number 6 in the World Coffee in Good Spirits 2019, a championship that took place in Europe during the World of Coffee show in Berlin. His next competition will be the World Coffee Championships in June of 2020 in Poland: “I came here to get inspired for my next world championship” claimed the Thai barista.
LatinAmerican Post reunited with the Latte Art Champion during his stay in Bogota in order to know more about his thoughts of Colombia coffee culture.
LatinAmerican Post: Why did you come to Colombia?
Arnon Thitiprasert: I came here to do a master class to teach the barista art and share my experience and skills about latte art. Also, I wanted to come here to see the coffee farms because I have been using Colombian coffee in my coffee shop, also in the competition that I won in Thailand, I used Colombian coffee. I went to the farms here and saw the process.
LP: What drawings do you usually make for your latte art?
AT: I have been competing since 2011 making Tulips, Rosetta flowers, and swans. In 2017, I came up with the idea that maybe I could do something more realistic, so I implemented a new technique: using at least 20% of the milk to let space for details to create a realistic animal.
LP: How has been your experience here so far?
AT: I have visited different coffee shops and tried many varieties of Colombian coffee beans. I think Colombia got a lot of potential in its coffee because from here to the farm it is like 5-6 hours and along the way you can see clean colors, a lot of trees, a lot of nature which makes it easier to develop a very good coffee.
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LP: What do you think about Colombian coffee?
AT: I think there is a very high quality of coffee to sell in the coffee shops and it is typical to find even in famous cities such as Bangkok and Rome. This kind of coffee has a very high quality so I was expecting to go to the farm and seeing all the processes. This inspires me to bring the Colombian coffee beans experience to the Thai farmers, also to use it in world competitions.
LP: What did you know about Colombia before coming here?
AT: I knew the coffee from Norte de Santander and Huila since 7 years ago. My coffee shop has been opened for 8 years and Colombia's coffee was one of the very first beans that I had and used in my business. Colombian coffee has a very unique character: is very clean and has a nice intensity. I really love to explore Colombian coffee, that is why I came here.
LP: Could you share with us why it was so important for you meeting the 2007 World Latte Art Champion Jack Hanna?
AT: Jack Hana was the first barista I got inspired from. I was a kitchen hand at that time and he was a barista at the same place in Sidney, so while I was working behind the kitchen, he was behind the bar every morning. I had my first cup of coffee in my life from him. Seeing him work and making his art really inspired me. The dream of my life was becoming the World Latte Art champion as him so I worked hard to get there.
LP: Do you remember the first latte art you made?
AT: Yes, I still remember. I went to a school in Sidney in 2007 and there I made my first coffee, a beautiful heart. I was really happy at that time. That was actually the first time that I started to do latte art.
LP: Anything else you would like to say?
AT: I have the responsibility to share this knowledge with other baristas. I would love to go to the countries that have great potential but haven't had the chance to learn from the people who have experienced the world championship like me. I would love to be here as many times as I can. Not only Colombia, but I have also been to Brazil, Paraguay, Peru…. Next year I am planning to come here again and also to Panama to share these experiences and also to see the coffee farm, to see the process, to get inspired for the world competitions.