Project Description

Mateusz Szuchnik
El Koktel

Please tell us a little about yourself:

Co-founder of the El Koktel bar in Warsaw—awarded the title of “The Best Cocktail Bar 2015” in the Bar of the Year in Poland poll. Also awarded the prestigious title of one of the 50 most creative businesses in 2016 by Brief magazine. From 2009 Mateusz has been working in the gastronomy industry and gaining experience by co-creating many Polish venues. Two time winner of the Poland Coffee In Good Spirits Championship, in 2017 & 2018. Winner of the World Class Cocktail Competition in Poland 2015. 3rd Place in 2017 World Coffee In Good Spirits Championship 2017. 3rd place in 2013 Bols Around the World.

How did you get started in coffee?:

In 2012 I met specialty coffee for the first time. One of my colleagues introduced me to syphon coffee. He served me coffee from Brazil Fazenda and from then I started to make coffee at home. After couple of years working as a bartender, and keeping up a home coffee brewing hobby, I decided to take part in the Poland Coffee in Good Spirits competition in 2017.

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

2017 Polish Coffee in Good Spirits Championship – 1st Place
2017 World Coffee in Good Spirits Championship – 3rd Place
2018 Polish Coffee in Good Spirits Championship – 1st Place

What are you excited to do while you are in Brazil?:

I hope to learn a little about Brazilian culture, cuisine, and to meet a lot of exciting new people—especially if they’re in the coffee industry. I’d love to try some regional coffee and learn some more about their coffee production while being in Brazil.

What was your first amazing experience with coffee?:

In 2016 I’ve had an amazing opportunity to try a real, proper Irish coffee made with Colombian coffee. It was great in many ways – it showed that speciality coffee might be as good or even better in cocktails and proved that it gives way more taste by using a speciality coffee instead of using simple and safe coffee options.

Besides your own competition drink, do you have a favorite cocktail?:

Lately, I’ve been a very dedicated fan of the Last Word cocktail. Made with gin, lime juice and green Chartreuse liqueur with a touch of Maraschino cherry.

What coffee-producing country most interests or excites you?:

I most admire Colombia. Of course Panama could be exciting and interesting but as a country, Colombia being fascinating as it is, with it’s culture and history makes a very strong case.

What are your interests outside of coffee?:

I’m very passionate about football and dogs, but I also try to make the most of my profession – learn everything there is about spirits, cocktails, and hospitality culture.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?:

I’d love to share awareness of speciality coffee. For bartenders it’s still a bit of a tabu to talk (and use) alternative brewing methods. I’d love to show them how cool and fulfilling it could be, and maybe one day open my own cafe.

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

I’d like to thank Konrad Oleksak, and Maciej Duszak, who showed me a great measure of patience and helped during preparations. Also my friends from WeBrew, Coffeedesk, Bero, my El Koktel team, and my girlfriend, Sara.

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