Rastislav “Rasty” Kasár
Please tell us a little about yourself:
My name is Rastislav “Rasty” Kasár. I am 22 years old, and I am come from Slovakia.
I developed a passion for hospitality in the early stages of my life as I observed people behind the bars wearing smart clothes working with spirits and coffee. I have realised it is something that people love, and that I would love to be in the position where I can make people happier. At the age of 16 I started hospitality school, where I learned the basics of coffee, spirits, wine, and beer, but also serving, cooking, etc.
I was offered different courses focused on coffee, cocktails, wine, beer, and I knew it had a lot to offer. Afterwards there were coffee competitions, and I saw my progress and I wanted to know more so I searched for more information. From there I started working at one of the first speciality cafés in the city I come from, Banská Bytrica.
After studying hospitality school for five years in Slovakia, and experiencing internships in France and the UK, I applied for a barback position at the iconic American Bar at the Savoy Hotel three months after I left the school. I moved to London less then two years ago and I have already experienced so many different working enviroments. At the Savoy, I started as a barback and later on I was promoted to the server position, which I left to begin working at the hotel’s coffee shop. When I left the Savoy I started working at the café & roastery. It is a speciality coffee shop in central London, which helped me to win Slovakian CIGS champion 2018.
I am person who loves hospitality, bartending and beverages; mainly coffee, tea, and spirits. I love enjoying sensory experiences, and training myself to able to recognise different flavours and aromas.
I love to work—I am perfectionist. I love spending time in nature, learning languages, and watching movies. I like meeting inspiring people, learning everyday, and growing to become a better professional.
How did you get started in coffee?:
At the school there was an opportunity to learn a little about coffee, and since then coffee has been around ever since. :)
Please list the coffee competitions you have participated in, what year they took place, and your results:
2013 – EUROAKADEMIK Junior – The best signature coffee cocktail
2013 Slovak Junior Barista Competition – 2nd Place
2014 Slovak Junior Barista Competition – 1st Place
2015 Slovak Junior Barista Championship – 4th Place
2015 Slovak Junior Barista Competition – 1st Place
2016 Coffee Fiesta Slovak Junior Barista Championship Sca – 4th Place
2017 SCA Latte Art – Last Place :)
2018 SCA Coffee in Good Spirits Slovakian Round – 1st Place
What are you excited to do while you are in Brazil?:
I will go and see a coffee farm for the first time in my life. I want to go to Rio and walk on Copacabana, see a friend in Sao Paulo, and just enjoy the sun and hot weather in November :)
What was your first amazing experience with coffee?:
When I tried Kenyan espresso many years ago for the first time and I was shocked how dense, juicy, and flavoursome it was—very sweet, remarkable, and very exciting to see what coffee could taste like. :)
Besides your own competition drink, do you have a favorite cocktail?:
– orange bitters
– fino dry sherry
– dry vermouth
Stirred over ice and served in frozen coupette, finished with peel of orange.
What coffee-producing country most interests or excites you?:
Every country excites me.
What are your interests outside of coffee?:
Tea, spirits, beverages in general, physical and mental wellbeing, traveling, music, books, sensory, etc.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?:
I want to own my café & bar, but until then I want to learn from the best and grow so whenever the time is right I am ready to go. :)
Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to prepare for the competition?:
I am very grateful to everyone’s who helped me to make to the WCIGS for their support. There are many people who helped me in a different ways, and they know they helped a lot.