Today’s coffee story is short but sweet, and recounts the experiences of Moses Ngomo, a Kenyan barista working in Dubai. His story is one that will melt your heart, as it is a tale of passion and positivity. Having worked in the coffee industry for the last fourteen years, Moses hopes to share the message that you can start your career in the coffee industry at any age, and that with perseverance you will succeed.
Moses’ father owned a coffee farm, catapulting him into the coffee world at a very young age. One of the fondest memories described by Moses when we spoke to him was getting up very early in the morning with his father to cherry-pick coffee beans from coffee plants. Essentially born at the farm, he spent most of his childhood surrounded by coffee and constantly learning about its flavours and textures – growing his passion. The first and most nostalgic cup of coffee Moses remembers is a cup of glass pour-over coffee made with a Chemex. Claiming to be able to taste the barista’s dedication in the brew, this invited more curiosities about coffee. He then became interested in the process of brewing coffee: the different steps and necessary environments for it to arrive perfectly poured in front of you. These discoveries led to an eventual love for the coffee industry and its different facets.
Currently, Moses lives in Dubai and works at Smith ST Café in Dubai Studio City. He has added that anyone who enjoys talking about coffee or who felt compelled by his story should feel welcome to visit him, as he loves to chat! Working as a head barista in as busy a city as Dubai has allowed him to share his passion with his customers. In fact, Moses says that there is no greater feeling than being able to share his coffee products with co-workers and customers, especially when they truly enjoy their brew but also feel that they have learned something.
Atypical for a barista, Moses Ngomo has had a relatively smooth ride in the world of coffee, facing very few obstacles in his professional life. He believes his success and this ease to his great attention to detail, and his thirst for learning, which he considers to be essential for anyone hoping to move up in the coffee world. When it comes to his personal life, he has stated that his positive attitude can help him overcome anything. In his own words,
“the key to a happy life is to always smile”.
Encouraging others to adopt this way of thinking, he makes it clear that success and compassion go hand in hand, and that sharing his knowledge with other hopeful learners and upcoming baristas make him feel like he has “won the world”.
So much of Moses’ inspiration and drive come from his love of the coffee industry and the nostalgia it evokes from his childhood. He only feels increasingly motivated when he sees a consistently growing community of coffee lovers, all eager to try different brews and specialty coffees! Coffee truly is about sharing for Moses, which is made abundantly clear in what he considers to be his greatest professional achievement. When he first moved to Dubai, he took further steps to learn more about the coffee industry and farming. He then went back home to Kenya, visiting different farmers across the country, as well as his father, and shared what he’d been taught. Moses’ passion for sustainable farming alternatives and coffee harvesting are completely aligned with his non-professional interests, such as nature and the philosophy of evolution. Noting the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin as his favourite book, he is an Evolutionist, and loves to study growth in all of its forms.
We hope you have enjoyed Moses’ story. Although it is a simple one, it serves as a reminder to be humble and try to be happy at all times. His advice to new coffee brewers and baristas is also simple – persevere. A firm believer in hard work, Moses claims that having an eye for detail in your professional life, and being positive in your personal life, can only make your life easier and clear up your path to success. If you want to see more of Moses’ work or learn about coffee culture in Dubai, make sure to take a look at his Instagram @001_ngomo.