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Kenyan to showcase coffee-making talent on global stage


06-16-2016 01:40 BJT

Kenya is known for its rich aromatic coffee, and for exporting it. In fact, the industry employs at least 6 million out of Kenya's 44 million population. But it's only recently that the country's coffee drinking culture has developed. Africa's representative at this year's world barista championships is Kenyan.

If you're in Nairobi, and looking for a perfectly brewed cup of coffee, Martin Shabaya is your best bet.

He's Africa's top barista. With a little bit of basic training, over the past 4 years, Martin has risen through the ranks, and emerged top at the recently concluded Africa Barista Championships.

"I was given the opportunity, and my passion for coffee grew by the day as I was working behind the counter serving coffee's everyday. I was impressed with the work, USE COVER the craftsmanship, the artwork, and tasting the coffee's. Knowing the flavours, because, I wasn't such a fan of coffee until I discovered what commodity coffee can be when given the attention it deserves," Shabaya said.

Martin will now be representing Africa at the world barista championships in Dublin later this month. During the competition; the barista's will have to present three coffees in 15 minutes. One espresso, one latte, and a creation of their own.

"I think my creativity and also how I connect it with the coffee that I'm using is very special. which has distinct flavours that are rare, so connecting this coffee with my signature drink, and also explaining how they should take it, and the glasses that I use are very attractive, this is something that earns me points above the others," Shabaya said.

Although majority of Kenyans would rather have tea over coffee, the interest is growing. That's mostly due to the rise in coffee houses around the country.

"I tend to go for creamier, milkier coffees so I love lattes cappuccinos, and then they've also got different variants as well, so I kind of like mixing it up, putting different fusions into it, but this was good, I've never actually had an espresso before, so this was really good," said Michelle Slater, managing director of Eatout Kenya.

Well, whether he wins the big prize in Dublin or not, Martin has big plans to start his own coffee shop and coffee school, and train more and more Kenyans on how to present, and enjoy, one of their country's biggest exports.

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