Project Description

Peter Michael Festin
United Arab Emirates
Gnad Cafe

Please tell us a little about yourself: 

I’m currently a manager/head barista in a specialty cafe hub, and have been a student of coffee since 2012. I’m happily married to my wonderful lady and a father to my 2 little kids. I love learning and at the same time sharing what I’ve acquired so far in the coffee industry. I am also part of the Coffee Event team here in UAE that organized a humble yet happy barista gathering, supporting them and especially those that wanted to enter the specialty coffee industry. I love coffee. And that’s me!

How did you get started in coffee?:

It all started with a simple sip of espresso, way back 2012 in a specialty café in Dubai. That first encounter with that small beverage immediately shook me, with it’s very complex flavors. I hadn’t experienced much than normal and low-graded quality coffee before, which I used to drink in other cafés. Coffee made me more curious and pushed me to open my eyes and see the beauty of it. So I started to study and attend some of the coffee gatherings that happen here.

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

Philippines Aeropress Championship 2014 – 4th Place
UAE National Latte Art Championship 2015 – Semis
Cup Tasters Championship 2018 & 2019
UAE Aeropress Competition 2017, 2018, 2019
UAE Barista Championship 2017 & 2019 – Top 6
UAE National Cezve/Ibrik Championship 2019 – 1st Place

What’s the secret to a great Cezve/ Ibrik beverage?:

Well, you should do a lot of research into water to coffee ratio, proper temperature, techniques, the apparatuses you use, and a lot more. You need a lot of time and dedication to practice. For me, there’s no secret at all—just pour your heart into your passion. Love what you’re doing and believe in yourself, then the result will positive enough. But if you’re gonna do it, you should do it with a team.

What are you excited to do in Berlin?:

I’d like to see all the mesmerizing hotspots that Berlin has to offer, meet new coffee professionals and learn from them, and meet new friends. But most of all, I’m looking forward to being engaged again at a large coffee event.

What was your first amazing experience with coffee?:

It’s not really that big of a moment, but the most amazing experience I’ve had so far has been when I get to travel to another country just for coffee.

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

For me, I’m interested in Kenya and Panama.

What are your interests outside of coffee?:

I use to be a chef and a bartender before. I also love outdoor activities.

Where do you see yourself in five years?:

Managing my own café/roastery, but not sure yet where that should be. 😊

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

Of course I’d firstly like to thank our God, for our gifts, skills and talents; my family, friends, and the barista Community who are always there to support me; my wife and kids, are a huge source of inspiration; and everyone who loves and appreciates what we are doing in the industry. Thank you all!