Please tell us a little about yourself:
Hey! My name is Edwin and I will be proudly representing Puerto Rico in the WCIGS competition in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. I have had the honor to represent my country at the world stage in Nice 2013 and Gothenburg 2015. I own Barista Squared in Puerto Rico, and we are a specialty coffee shop dedicated to showing everyone in the Caribbean our love and passion for specialty coffee.
How did you get started in coffee?:
It all started when my wife took me to one of the first specialty coffee shops in Puerto Rico and as soon as I saw the craft the baristas had in preparing a coffee, I instantly knew I wanted to learn more about it.
Please list the coffee competitions you have participated in, what year they took place, and your results:
2013 World Coffee in Good Spirits Nice, France
2015 World Coffee in Good Spirits Gothenburg, Sweden
2017 World Barista Championship Seoul, South Korea
What are you excited to do while you are in Brazil?:
Being a Latino and never going anywhere in Latin America besides Puerto Rico, I am immensely interested in learning about the culture and of course tasting the local dishes.
What was your first amazing experience with coffee?:
One of the first amazing experience I had with coffee was travelling to the farm of my favorite coffee at the time and really learning the process, dedication and passion that goes into creating this beautiful fruit.
Besides your own competition drink, do you have a favorite cocktail?:
My favorite cocktail would be a mojito. It is a refreshing, sweet and balanced drink when properly made.
What coffee-producing country most interests or excites you?:
Puerto Rico is the coffee producing country that most interests me. This is not only because I am from Puerto Rico but because all the challenges that the coffee farmers face here. There is so much potential in Puerto Rico for coffee and it is really exciting and suspenseful to see what can be done to unlock this potential.
What are your interests outside of coffee?:
I love to go visit the rivers in Puerto Rico and travel.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?:
I see myself as a leader in the industry in Puerto Rico.
Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to prepare for the competition?:
Most importantly I would like to thank my coach and best friend, my wife Helena. I also would like to thank Lucemy Velazquez, for making this possible, and Alfredo Rodriguez, who is a mentor for me in the local coffee industry.