Coffee Masters News

Announcing…Coffee Masters Los Angeles 2019 Judges and MCs!


We recruited the best of the best to judge and MC the Coffee Masters competition. Comprising legendary names from the world of specialty coffee, we are delighted to announce…
 
ANNE LUNELL – HEAD JUDGE
 
Anne Lunell headshot..
 
Coffee Masters Head Judge Anne Lunell is a Swedish Barista Champion, Brewers Cup Champion and the visionary behind Koppi, an internationally respected and well-loved coffee roaster in the Swedish town of Helsingborg, which she founded in 2007 with Charles Nystrand. Having been Head Judge of Coffee Masters – New York and London since their inception, there’s no one more up to scratch on what it takes to be a Coffee Masters champion.
 
DAVID DONDE
 
David Donde headshot.
 
David’s Cape Town based cafe, Truth Coffee, has been named the best in the world by a prominent UK Newspaper or two. He believes in results, individuality, playing on people’s strengths and hates excuses.
 
MICHELLE JOHNSON
 
Michelle Johnson headshot.
(Photo: Americano Mondays @americanomondays)
 
Michelle Johnson, aka The Chocolate Barista, is not new to the competition world. She’s participated in regional barista competitions and eventually moved on to emceeing and judging world-level events, including the World Aeropress Champs and Coffee Masters last year at New York Coffee Festival. After living and traveling all over the place in the name of coffee for a period of time, Michelle is finally setting new roots in Los Angeles as the SoCal Regional Account Manager for Coffee Manufactory. She is very happy to be stationary and not living out of her suitcase, but knowing her, it probably won’t last for too much longer.
 
BRONWEN SERNA
 
Bronwen Serna headshot
 
Bronwen Serna loves coffee and people. She has been a practicing Coffee Professional since 2000, a Professional Barista, Roaster, and Barista Trainer, a Certified Instructor and Assessor with the Specialty Coffee Association. Her love of coffee precedes her experience, where she manages to frequent many coffeehouses all over the world and became a Barista after having drunk many cups of coffee and inspired by a trip to Italy. Currently working with Counter Culture Coffee in LA, she continues to build excitement and knowledge for clients and coffee professionals in the Specialty Coffee scene. She loves to travel and explore and is working toward combining her love of coffee with yoga.
 
BEN KAMINSKY
 
Ben Kaminsky headshot
 
Born and raised in San Francisco, Ben Kaminsky started working in coffee in 2006 in Cambridge, MA while attending university. Highly influenced by the coffee of George Howell and Mocca (later Kaffa, Oslo), at 23 he and his business partners started Barismo Coffee, a micro-roastery operating in the Boston area. After deciding to leave his active roll in the company in 2009, he took the newly created position of Director of Quality Control and Espresso at Ritual Coffee Roasters in San Francisco. Since leaving Ritual in 2012, he has been consulting full time on equipment and cafe design, barista training, roasting and sourcing, most notably with companies such as Market Lane and Sensory Lab in Melbourne AU, Saint Frank in San Francisco, Port of Mokha, Breville, and Tim Wendelboe in Oslo. He has lectured globally on coffee roasting and extraction theory and its greater implications to quality in the future of the coffee industry. Ben has coached competitors to success in the highest levels of barista competition, and as a competitor himself is the 2009, 2010, and 2011 United States Cup Tasters Champion.
 

AND THE MC’S…

 
LEM BUTLER
 
Lem Butler Headshot
 
The 2016 USBC Champion and co-owner of Back Alley and Black & White Coffee Roasters Lem Butler is joining the impressive line-up of MCs for the fifth time. A leading American barista in his own right, he’s won the Southeast Regional Barista Competition no fewer than five times.
 
ERIKA VONIE
 
Erika Vonie headshot.
 
Erika Vonie is a veteran of the specialty coffee industry and reigning Coffee Master – New York. Recently appointed Director of Coffee at Trade, her near decade-long experience will come in handy as she returns as MC.