Project Description

Hoony Chae
New Zealand
Mojo Coffee

Please tell us a little about yourself: 

I was initially drawn to the industry by my desire to become a top barista. I have only been making coffee for 5 years and this is my third time competing at the national competition level. I have dedicated a lot of time and energy to improving my own skills through my love of latte art and the craft of coffee. I also love sharing my skills and knowledge with other people and helping them progress to the next level. I’m so excited to be part of this competition, to meet baristas from all over the world and to bring my experience back to New Zealand.

How did you get started in coffee?:

My first taste of speciality coffee was when I got a part-time job in a roastery back in Korea. I worked in dispatch, packing coffee and I’ve been addicted ever since. Once I moved back to New Zealand I found a job at Mojo Coffee and I have been able to grow and develop my skills at this company.

Please list the coffee competitions you have participated in, what year they took place, and your results:

2017 Third Place, New Zealand Latte Art Championships
2018 Fourth Place, New Zealand Latte Art Championships
2019 First Place, New Zealand Latte Art Championships

What are you excited to do in Berlin?:

It has always been my dream to visit Europe, and I can’t wait to see the sights of Berlin. Ive heard there’s some amazing speciality coffee stores and I cant wait to visit them.

What is the most unusual vessel you have poured latte art into?:

An avocado!

What is the secret to great latte art?:

A nicely curved cup is an important starting point but after that lots of practice!

What are your interests outside of coffee?:

Baseball, table tennis.

Where do you see yourself in five years?:

I would like to continue to be an ambassador for the specialty coffee industry and eventually open my own cafe where I can continue to impart my knowledge and experience with others.

Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to prepare for the WLAC?:

Mojo Coffee; Kim Boyd; Eddie Chae, my coach and good friend; Emma Markland Webster; Emma Mc Dougall; New Zealand Specialty Coffee Association; and Meadow Fresh Milk New Zealand — thank you!