Project Description

Josh Clarke
United Kingdom
Clifton Coffee Roasters

How did you get started in coffee?:

I went to University to study Sports Conditioning Rehabilitation, and Massage. Whilst there I spent a lot of time in coffee shops, reading journals and writing essays. It was during this time I went to the London Coffee Festival for the first time, and had the privilege to cup a Panama Geisha with some of my coffee heroes; Johannes Bayer, Anne Lunell, and Gwilym Davies. I got my first job as a barista in my local hangout which was in Cardiff called the College House, I also then became a barista in a specialty coffee & tea house called Waterloo Teas. I finished my final exams at university on a Wednesday, then started as a manager of Waterloo Tea’s 2nd site on a Friday. I worked for Waterloo Tea for just over 2 years and helped them open 2 more sites. I left to move to Bath to work at a shop called Colonna & Hunter, before moving to Clifton Coffee Roasters to work as a Wholesale & Business Development Manager in 2015. In 2017 I took over as Head of Coffee, and now oversea the entire coffee programme at Clifton Coffee Roasters in Bristol, UK.

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

1st Place – UK Cup Tasters Championship 2019
Semi Finals – UK Cup Tasters Championship 2018
2nd Place – UK Cup Tasters Championship 2015
Finalist – UK Brewers Cup 2014
South West Regionals – UK Barista Championships 2016
Finalist – UK Coffee in Good Spirits Championship 2015
Finalist – UK Coffee in Good Spirits Championship 2016

What are you excited to do in Berlin?:

Take part in a World Coffee Championship. It’s been a while since I was last in Berlin, so I’d like to visit some of the other roasters there, and understand the local coffee scene. Immerse myself in culture, particularly the food and drinks scene.

What is your favourite coffee to cup?:

Without sounding cliché, Panama holds some very special memories for me. During my first formal specialty cupping, I had the privilege to cup a Natural Geisha from Hacienda Esmerelda in Panama. Since then I’ve particularly enjoyed cupping Natural coffees. This year I got to travel to Panama for the first time to source coffee directly. Whilst there I visited Esmerelda and had the opportunity to cup and score their coffees with Rachel Peterson.

What are your interests outside of coffee?:

Football 😉, music, food, craft beer, natural wine, and history documentaries. I’m a Christian — love my church, and Jesus.

Where do you see yourself in five years?:

I’ll still be at Clifton Coffee Roasters as the Director of Coffee. I can see myself looking at how we can further develop our business, with a commitment to the ongoing development of the specialty coffee industry. I’d like to continue with the direct trade partnerships we have in place, whilst building on some of the research we’ve started with year.

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

The Founding Directors at Clifton Coffee: James Fisher & Edmund Buston

My Colleagues: Jimmy Dimitrov & Paul Griffiths for their support in preparing for the National Competition.

My wife – Sarah, who is always more than willing to put up with me dragging her to coffee shops and roasters around the world over the last 8 years.

The volunteers and staff at the SCA UK Chapter, for putting so much time and effort into making the national competitions happen!