We are excited to share Jesus Martinez’s coffee story this week, a Venezuelan barista living in Portugal. Having spent only two years in the coffee industry, Jesus is still technically a newbie, but continues to grow everyday. After starting his career in the midst of the pandemic, he hopes to be able to share the ins and outs of his experience today.
Jesus’ relationship with coffee started in Dublin two years ago. After working as a cook in the Irish city, he switched to a non-profit coffee shop run by a friend. Founded as an outreach of the Dublin Christian Mission, the cafe and honest work allowed for Jesus to find his passion and guided him towards the coffee world. Now working as a barista in Madeira, Jesus has been able to focus on specialty coffees. During our interview, he made it clear that his favourite part of the job is being creative and sharing with his customers. Whether it be latte art, discussing coffees, or conversing about the importance of farmers in the coffee industry, Jesus is always up for a chat.
Listing latte art as one of his passions, he shared his difficulty finding platforms and new forms of latte art to engage with in Portugal, where he currently resides. He hopes to travel to the Asian continent in the hopes of learning more and bringing back his newly refined skills. In his own words, “there are many champions in [the] latte art [world] who started in the same position as me, but if you practice and are hardworking, only good things can happen”. One of the ways Jesus hopes to surpass these difficulties is by being involved in the online barista community and competing in live events and challenges against other latte artists. By exchanging experience and sharing one’s knowledge and practice, everyone can benefit from these -primarily- online and in person tournaments.
When it comes to chatting about coffee, Jesus can talk for ages: he even considers persuading the average coffee drinker of the importance of their coffee experience as one of his greatest achievements. He is dedicated to shining a light on everyone responsible for producing a cup of coffee – kind of like us! In fact, his favourite place to get a cup of coffee was at Legs Eleven Coffee in Funchal, Madeira, which has unfortunately closed due to COVID. Hopefully, Jesus will be able to find a cup of coffee as good – and we invite our Portuguese readers to suggest any great coffee joints below!
With so many coffee joints like Legs Eleven Coffee closing, it has allowed us to more broadly consider the evolution of the coffee world (both due to the pandemic and in relation to the coffee crisis . According to Jesus, when he started working as a barista, he would buy whole coffee beans at the supermarket. After a while, he began sourcing local products and gradually learned the importance of supporting regional farmers. Two years later, he has become much more conscious of where his products come from, and hopes to emphasize the importance of shopping local to all of his clients. Jesus feels his best when he shares with his patrons – and defines success as being able to have fruitful conversations about sustainability and fresh coffee.
Jesus’ love for latte art and finding ways to express his creativity demonstrate just how happy he is to be a barista. Coming from so many places around the world, it appears that coffee appears to be at the centre of his life, guiding him and providing him with new opportunities.
We hope you feel as inspired by his story as we do, and recommend you get in touch or interact with this post if you want to know more about him or want to recommend some coffee places in Madeira!