Le café Alain Ducasse
Please tell us a little about yourself:
My name is Tom Balerin. I’m 23 years old and I’m French, working as a Green buyer at Le cafe Alain ducasse, located in Paris. I’ve spent a big part of my career in Australia.
I actually started in Canberra where I was a rugby player, but after some injuries I decided to stop my career in the rugby world. I used to spend my time at The Cupping Room (that belongs to Ona [Canberra’s speciality coffee roaster]), and drank my first speciality coffee cup there. I remember it was a Pacamara from El Salvador. After travelling around Australia, I got inspired by so many open-minded people, and also impressed how coffee can connect so many people through flavour. So I started watching YouTube videos to understand what speciality coffee actually meant. I found some videos about biodiversity, origin, taste, chemistry, science, and some barista competition videos, but also some on the human factor of the speciality coffee industry. I was completely surprised and fascinated by that, I didn’t expect to see how complex it could be to prepare a cup of coffee. This is how I realised I wanted to be part of this world and start building a career. A new challenge was born for me.
What are you excited to do in Boston?:
Competing and keep connecting people through flavour.
Please list the coffee competitions you have participated in, what year they took place, and your results:
French barista Championship 2019.
How do you see the coffee industry changing in the future?:
I hope we can introduce the specialty coffee to even more people.
Where do you see yourself in five years?:
In the coffee industry for sure, we just started a interested project in Paris with the cafe Alain ducasse, and as a coffee buyer for the company I will love to keep connecting people through flavour.
What are your interests outside of coffee?:
I’m interested in sports like rugby and CrossFit, and activities like fishing, and diving.
Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to prepare for the WBC?:
The list would be too long if I thanked everybody, but there are some special people that I would really love to thank. Isaac Kim, who introduced me to specialty coffee. Craig Simon, and Mathieu Theis for precious help and inspiration. Finally I would love to mention Alain Ducasse who inspired me every day with his vision and his passion.