Cris John Benavente
United Arab Emirates
Please tell us a little about yourself:
Hola! I’m Cris John Benavente, an asian guy from Philippines. Making coffee is my passion and being a barista is my profession. 2017 UAE Latte Art Champion, and Head Barista of Joud Cafe in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
How did you get started in coffee?:
I started in coffee when my aunt asked me if i want to take a barista training course, and I said yes even though I didn’t know what it meant. In 2010 I went in a free barista training course provided by the Philippine Government, conducted by Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). During the training I was amazed about coffee, it’s history, and the different varieties.
Please list the coffee competitions you have participated in, what year they took place, and your results:
2014 UAE National Latte Art Championship – 2nd Place
2014 UAE Barista Community 1st Latte Art Throwdown – 2nd Place
2016 UAE National Latte Art Championship – 2nd Place
2017 UAE National Latte Art Champion
What are you excited to do while you are in Brazil?:
I’m really exited to go coffee hopping in Brazil—I want to get to know the coffee community in Brazil, and if I have the chance, a short coffee farm tour.
What is your secret to making great latte art?:
If I tell you, its no longer a secret. Just kidding! My secret to making latte art is well textured milk, a very nice shot of espresso, and also a wide imagination.
What are your interests outside of coffee?:
Outside coffee, I love playing basketball, and fishing.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?:
I see my self in 5 yrs as a Q-Grader, a Roaster, and a World Champion.
Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to prepare for the competition?:
I just want to thank God for giving me a such talent and skills, and thank my supportive family, my auntie Adora Aton, and auntie Nena. My very supportive boss Ahmed, and May, my Joud Family, and my team, Charlene, Ramona, Jeff, Mamang, Sairu, the middle-eastern Barista Community, Latte Art Philippines, and my very supportive fiancée April Rose Soriano.