Hello, what is your name?
Hey! My name is Jason Hyndman, but Jason is cool.
Where are you from and where do you work?
I'm from Derry/Londonderry in Northern Ireland and I currently live in Belfast. Alongside completing an Electronic Engineering degree, I work as a barista in a coffee shop called 5A, just outside of the city centre.
What peaked your interest to be involved in the specialty coffee industry?
Before I became interested in specialty coffee, I worked within one of the Starbucks stores in the city as a way of student income. During my time working there, two speciality coffee shops opened within the city that were serving coffee in an entirely different way to what I was used to.
To choose one thing that peaked my interest, I would say it was a cupping I attended titled "Meet The Roaster" in which the head roaster of a local company talked about their position and the coffees they brought along. It was definitely one thing that changed my perspective to how good coffee could be, and why there are people that are so passionate about it (including me!)
How do you define community?
For me, community is the idea of a group of people that come together to work on a common goal, which in this case is providing great tasting coffee to the people of Northern Ireland. Here in Belfast and beyond, the coffee community has been constantly growing over the past few years. It's great to see such development at home.
What made you want to get involved with the BGE?
I attended a BGE event for the first time in 2017 as a sponsor volunteer at the CoLab Berlin event. Arriving, I had no idea what to expect but I knew that it would be a great opportunity to learn more about coffee and share ideas, along with meeting new friends and developing my own personal coffee community.
What did you take away from your experience at the BGE event you attended/volunteered at?
CoLab exceeded my expectations entirely. By attending as a sponsor, I made friends and connections I couldn't have made otherwise, along with hearing talks that only encouraged me to provide a service better than that I was already giving to my customers every day.
What is your most memorable coffee moment to date?
I will never forgot my initial reaction to the first time I tasted an espresso that was processed "naturally". At the time I really did not like it, but I love naturally processed coffee, both as espresso and filter.
Taking a gap year from University gave me an opportunity to move from Belfast to Berlin to work in a coffee roasters. Without that, I don't think coffee would have had the same appeal to me and so it's an experience I am very thankful for.
Connect with Jason on Instagram at @supernoodlesforbreakfast
About the Barista Spotlight Program: One of the goals of the BGE is to put the focus on the experiences of the baristas that make up the rich and diverse European coffee community. We have decided to reach out to our membership to learn more about their journeys so far. Learn more.