Kurniawan Arif Maspul had his first sip of coffee from his father’s cup at the age of four. Ever since he was a little boy, he has been drinking Tubruk coffee—a type of coffee made in the traditional Indonesian form.
Although today, Kurniawan holds the title of Coffee Value Chain Manager at Bash Coffee in Saudi Arabia, he initially started as an education manager. As an education manager, he handled 500 people throughout the nineteen provinces in Indonesia. Eventually, he said,
“I shifted to working as a general manager in one of the coffee roasteries in Dubai for four years, at the same time handling Loring Falcon as a coffee roaster and working behind the bar.”
Before Kurniawan was deep in the coffee industry, he said what drew him to the industry was how unique coffee itself is and how it has been able to reach a global scale in a variety of forms, blends, and tastes. Coffee has always been ingrained in his life, so why not pursue it? From his family to people he has met all over the world to his future coffee-related projects, Kurniawan cannot seem to get enough. Now being in the coffee industry for six years, Kurniawan is
“working simultaneously as a coffee roaster, barista, and all-related coffee value chain manager in Buraidah, Saudi Arabia.”
Even when Kurniawan isn’t technically working, he still somehow makes time for work. Although Kurniawan finds pleasure in traveling, he takes his time abroad to meet coffee professionals in Africa, Asia, and South America in order to enrich and diversify his knowledge of the coffee industry.
It’s hard to believe Kurniawan needs to learn anything more about the industry considering he’s an authorized SCA Trainer for five modules in the Coffee Skills Program and one module in the Coffee Sustainability Program.
Yet his desire for education exceeded what he was looking for in the coffee industry. Kurniawan ended up graduating with an MBA from India, an MA from the Gambia, and an MBA from the United States. If that isn’t impressive enough, Kurniawan got his MSc degree in Public Health from the University of Suffolk in the UK while still making the time to get some articles he had written published.
Now at Bash Coffee, Kurniawan says,
“I’m thrilled that Bash Coffee enables me to deepen my professional and academic career. It makes me passionate about helping… the local community, allowing me to engage the locals in their knowledge of the coffee value chain in their language, especially in coffee skills and its sustainability.”
Because of Kurniawan’s passion and hard work, he has been featured in the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Consulate General of Indonesia in Dubai (Arif, Barista Berbakat dari Indonesia).
Although Kurniawan seems to have had a ton of success, it does not come without some difficulty. From dealing with frustrating customers to trying to defend his MA and MBA capstone projects to financing his education, Kurniawan can feel easily overwhelmed. Furthermore, not only is he supporting himself financially, but he is also supporting his wife and three kids. Despite financial difficulties, his family is his pride and joy.
When asked why Kurniawan wanted to share his story, he said he hoped his story would inspire the coffee community. His story tells people in the coffee industry to dream big and never settle for less. Kurniawan has been able to work, go to school, write articles, and still make time for his family. He never set his coffee-infused dreams aside, even when finances were tight or when he felt overwhelmed in his academic or work setting.
Kurniawan is an inspiration.
When asked who inspires Kurniawan to keep doing what he does, he said,
“Coffee farmers. Without them, we couldn’t drink our daily coffee. So…I [hope that] I’ll be spreading sustainability in the coffee value chain…it’s been my goal since I accomplished the SCA coffee sustainability professional level in 2020.”
On that note, Kurniawan has seen the push for sustainability within the coffee industry already. He is beginning to see a shift in the industry when it comes to making his profession a more eco-friendly one. Kurniawan believes that
“our roles in sustaining coffee are the best things we need to force into the coffee community.”
When Kurniawan is not focusing on his coffee career, he can be found traveling (for fun this time), meeting new people, trying new food, and embracing different cultures.