Barista Guild of Europe (BGE) is an association of the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) dedicated to developing the role of the barista within Europe. Its primary goal is to foster community and professionalism among people whose income derives from making cups of specialty-grade coffee.
The BGE working group has committed to the following 3 goals as a focus:
- Spreading Education (beyond CDS)
- Career Support
These goals will be embedded in all our activities and projects for the coming year.
Barista Camp has an action-packed program of SCA education and social activities, focusing on encouraging varied dialogue and sparking discussion on sustainability which will be at the heart of our events throughout the year. Got ideas for topics and speakers? Get in touch.
Our BGE online Dialogue page will continue to flourish as we add to the content of talks from a wide range of event speakers from Camp and CoLabs. Career support has been identified as one of the key objectives in sustainability of baristas in the coffee industry so we are endeavouring to develop an online “Jobshub” of career advice, a space to offer recommendations on career paths, applying for jobs and how to negotiate as an employee.
Behind BGE is a group of enthusiastic volunteers, working towards achieving BGE's goals and objectives. These are the current working group members.
Agnieszka Rojewska (Poland)
Agnieszka has worked with coffee in Poland for 8 years where she is the only female AST. She co-owns a Star Wars themed coffee shop in Poznań and is two times polish barista and latte art champion. Agnieszka has also been in the final six of WLAC in Shanghai 2016.
In her spare time, she likes to read, play some sports and is completing a PhD degree in economics (the dissertation is about coffee of course).
Andrew Tolley (UK) - Chair
Andrew has been a barista for 7 years 2005-2012, is a founding member of the BGE, Co-Founder of Taylor St Baristas cafes and roastery where he has been working as Head of coffee since 2006.
Andrew has been involved as a judge in national and international competitions since 2011 alongside winning the UK cup tasters championship in 2015 & achieving 2nd place in the World Tea Brewer's championship 2016. He was also a trainer at the London School of coffee 2009-2011.
Davide Cobelli (Italy)
Davide Cobelli is 41 years old and started out his career in a hospitality school many many years ago (too many). On June 2016 Davide opened a Coffee Academy in Verona (Italy) and is also the owner of "StopBadCoffee Project".
Other credentials include - SCAE member since 2011; AST (Barista Skills, Brewing) since 2013; 2015-2016 Italy Education Coordinator; 2016 Board of Directors SCAE (Education Committee)
Jessie May Peters (France)
Jessie May is currently the Head of Coffee for Ten Belles in Paris. She is a designer at heart and loves the challenge of refining big ideas into manageable chunks of information. She has been volunteering with the BGE for the past two years and hopes she can continue to help the Guild grow this year as well.
Patrick O'Malley (USA)
Patrick has been in the coffee business since 1986, as a barista, technician, roaster, green buyer, Q grader, SCAE and SCAA trainer of green, sensory, brewing, barista, roasting. Patrick has a certified coffee lab, roastery, cafe and years of experience teaching all over the world.
Silvia Constantin (Romania)
In 2005 Silvia opened the first coffee magazine from the East of Europe called Coffee Break. In 2006 she organised the first barista competition in her country, to begin the Romanian chapter.
2010 was the first year that Silvia organised the first official Romanian Barista Championship and also launched the Romanian chapter.
Between 2010 - 2016 Silvia will organise all the championships and also regionals for Romania, doing everything to grow the quality of products and the quality of people working in the coffee industry.
In 2012 she opened the first Barista school in Romania and now in 2016, they have made almost 100 certifications for baristas.
Stuart Ritson (Germany)
Stuart is from the idyllic town of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. With the exception of a year spent in Beijing, China, he stayed in Cambridge right through until his early twenties when the lure of London drew him away.
Stuart began working in coffee during a time at University, where he started off as a barista. From there he fell in love with all food and drinks but particularly coffee; taking SCAA Barista Training courses, introduction roasting courses and diving into reading everything he could on coffee. After a short break period in the world of tea – also still a big passion - Stuart became a café manager and then the wholesale manager for Workshop Coffee. He worked with the team at Workshop Coffee in London for three years, helping open dozens of small cafes, restaurants and bars and training many more baristas in the basic skills needed to prepare coffee and convincing them that coffee was truly something special.
More recently, Stuart has joined the team at Café Imports in Berlin. Working to bring great green coffee to specialty coffee roasters around Europe, hanging out in Neukolln dive bars and getting to know the coffee scene here in Germany.
Stuart is at heart a traveler, a keen runner and if you follow the right Instagram accounts you'll know he has a strange obsession with doors.
Tibor Várady (Hungary) — Past Chair
Tibor is a barista at and the proprietor of Espresso Embassy In Budapest, one of the pioneers of the specialty coffee movement in Budapest. In 2013 he took 3rd place in the World Aeropress Championship, and 6th in the World Brewers Cup. Previous to his coffee life, Tibor was an environmental lawyer in a Hungarian NGO, as well as a community organiser and activist.
Isa Verschraegen (Belgium) — Guilds Director
Starting her career in specialty coffee in 2009, Isa has changed perspectives on coffee quite a bit. From a couple of years as barista and trainer, via short-term coffee shop owner and an even shorter stint as a roaster apprentice to shop manager and consultant. From Ghent over Antwerp to London and back again. From geeky obsession, through doubt and despair to love.
When not focusing on empowering baristas as BGE co-ordinator, Isa finds comfort in tasty food and drinks in good company, playing with her parents' dog, giving love to plants, a bike ride or a yoga session and excitement in wide landscapes, kayaking and exploring adventures.
Ioannis (Yannis) Apostolopoulos (Greece) — SCAE Board Liaison
Yannis is currently 2nd Vice-President at SCAE and Chairman of the membership committee. Together with Cosimo Libardo he spearheaded the foundation of Barista Guild of Europe and helped organise the first Barista Camp in Athens.
Yannis is a Harvard Business School Alumnus and has studied Chemical Engineering at National Technical University of Athens.
He loves coffee and is a Q-Grader and an Authorized SCAE Trainer.
Yannis has more than 20 years of experience in Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG). He is the Commercial Director at W.S. Karoulias and a member of the TedX Academy team.
Paul Stack (Ireland) — SCAE Board Liaison
With fifteen years of experience in R&D Management, Paul has been Operations Director with brewer manufacturer Marco Beverage Systems for the last 11 years.
Paul has a very active role within SCAE: he is currently Vice President, due to take up the role of President in June 2015, has been SCAE Education Committee member for eight years, is co-author of the CDS brewing curriculum and programme leader of SCAE's Gold Cup Research.
Paul is married with four daughters, and lives in Dublin, Ireland. He's a brewing nerd who likes drama, cooking, eating and roaring at football matches (while both playing and attending).