Chat with a champ… Hanna Teramoto, Huhtamaki NZ Barista Champion 2014

Congratulations to Hanna Teramoto, our Huhtamaki NZ Barista Champion 2014, who competed at the World Barista Championship 9-12 June 2014 in Rimini, Italy.
Hanna competed on day two of the first round of competition and was the second barista up. Many hard-core baristas, friends and family around the country stayed up to watch her on live-stream. Some Cafes even had ‘watch NZ at the worlds’ evening! Hanna did New Zealand proud with her world performance, yet missed out on a semi-final spot. Hanna placed 17th out of 54 nations.
View a full list on rankings here>
Chatting to Hanna after the event, she is still upbeat and eager to compete again but maybe not next year, the experience has sparked lots of ideas about what to bring to her next performance.
Did you enjoy your time in Rimini?
I sure did! The best thing was the food. I ate like 7 Margarita Pizzas in total during my stay but I never got fed up with it. Also, I didn’t know it till I arrived, but Rimini is an old city with a lot of Roman architecture which mesmerized me. Going over to a hot summer was another enjoyment. I ended up buying short-shorts as most days were sunny and over 30 degrees.
Did you feel prepared for what the competition would be like at the Worlds?
Not really.. I competed in the Nationals 5 times and experienced an international competition at Singapore, but the WBC is totally a different place. Judges coming from all over the world makes it difficult to predict what the expectations are, and you really have to experience it to understand what I’m talking about.
What was the most memorable thing that happened?
Going up on that Worlds stage would be it. WBC was my dream stage and I felt the adrenaline rush just thinking about it. I remember that 15 minutes, when I was up on the same stage as all those great baristas who became the world champion.
What was the best thing to come out of your experience in terms of professional development?
Connecting with the professionals from all over the world gives you more opportunity to learn and experience in the field you wish to expand your knowledge in. I always wanted to visit coffee farms but had no connection and no idea where to start from. But after the win, I had few people kindly inviting me over, and currently so excited, as there’s one planned up in a few months time.
What would you do differently next time?
I would not make my cappuccino in 45 degrees, haha! And maybe play a little more safe. Playing safe isn’t a bad option when you’re competing for such a competition like the Worlds.
Has the experience encouraged you to compete again?
Yes, definitely! I came 17th this year, but looking at the champion, Hidenori Izaki was 13th last year, and same with the runner up, Kapo Chiu with 15th. I’m not so far off, or should I say ‘I’m on the right track’?
The WBC is in Seattle USA next year, do you have any feedback on how we might work towards getting a kiwi World Champion?
Most importantly, don’t underestimate your possibilities. If you have decided to compete in the Nationals, your goal is not the national title. Winning the NZBC is only half way through the journey. Plan everything ahead with the mind set locked in for the Worlds.
You took some personal time around Italy & Europe – what was the coolest thing you did?
I stayed at a B&B in Arezzo, an hour away on train from Florence. The B&B was another 20 minutes drive from the railway station, and I was in a remote place with a population of 300 people, where the whole village was built in Roman architecture. Hardly anyone spoke English, but I made some really good friends living there. The time I spent there was like spending time with my family, and now I have a good reason to go back to that place again.