Hellenic Barista Champion 2018
"[Coffee packging] is the first impression your brand makes on a customer, so it has to be unforgettable."
Q&A with Michalis Katsiavos
What’s your experience/role in the coffee sector?
I’ve worked in the coffee industry for more than 11 years. I currently work as head of R&D and Quality Control for Samba Coffee Roasters.
In 2018, I became the Hellenic Barista Champion, and finished fourth place at the World Barista Championship in Amsterdam. I hold an SCA Coffee Diploma, and train baristas to work in cafes and compete in championships.
In 2019, we came up with the idea of the Farmers Camp Project. This involved visiting farms in Colombia and educating the workers on how to evaluate and roast the coffee they produce, as well as teaching them some basic barista skills. It had the full support of Samba Coffee Roasters, who understand that we must support and promote the farmers if we are to maintain a successful coffee industry.
Why did you decide to work with MTPak Coffee?
I’m delighted to be working with MTPak as I believe coffee packaging is a really important part of the industry. It’s the first impression your brand makes on a customer, so it has to be unforgettable. The highly customisable coffee bags, print rolls, and takeaway packaging offer your brand the opportunity to stand out from competitors.
What do you think the modern coffee sector needs to focus on?
In recent years, changing weather patterns, rising temperatures, new diseases, and rampant pests have made growing coffee more difficult than ever. We desperately need new varieties of coffee to meet these challenges.
Coffee trees must also become more productive if they are to cater to increasing global demand, as the land available to grow arabica coffee is shrinking.
Tell us more about how you view coffee packaging, and what you think the sector should be focusing on going forward.
I think it’s great to have coffee bags in a range of different sizes and materials, as it allows roasters to create a completely bespoke product. Customising the number of layers, sealing options, printing methods, and a variety of other features to create a truly unique coffee bag for any brand is really exciting!