Dhan Tamang’s Mission Towards Accessible Coffee and Equipment
Dhan Tamang has been working in the coffee industry for 16 years and in that time, he has always strived to connect the barista and consumer. His mission remains to create a more accessible environment in the coffee industry. When the team at Loveramics UK / Brewed by Hand sat down with Dhan, we learned more about his start in coffee, and what equipment has become his favorite along the way.
Keep reading to shop his Barista Championship kit!
Does the coffee itself make a difference on the score sheet? Does the score sheet reward better coffee?
Yes, and I’ll tell you what– the better coffee has a bigger window. Let’s say my coffee was the, I put in 19.5 grams and around 28 to 30 seconds, with 36 grams out. To get the best out of it, it has to hit that point. But if your coffee is the top of the game, in my opinion, you don’t have to hit 28 or 29 seconds. You may hit 25 seconds, but what you’re trying to say is there. That’s called window. That window is bigger for the really high quality of coffee.
My idea was how to get the best out of very average coffee. First round, I got very lucky and got to go to the second round, then semifinal. For semifinals, I prepared even more. The coffee I used was from Colombia and was a hybrid of Caturra and Timor called Castillo. Timor is one of varieties of Robusta. It wasn’t from a specific place or Geisha or anything. I thought that was a great coffee and when I used that, I was probably the first barista in that Barista Championship semifinal using those calibers of coffee. I knew it was a risk. I could buy £200 a kilo, but no I wanted to change it.
The idea of what I wanted to achieve was different. My concept of wanting to reconnect barista and consumer doesn’t give you any points.
I didn’t compete to set the record or be number one or number two. We put the same effort into the competition, personally if I come in last, obviously I’ll be disappointed in the rank but am I a better barista than I was one month ago? Yes, obviously. The title to me doesn’t change who you are. I always wanted to change something and to add value to the industry rather than just myself. Hopefully my routine will go to the masses and people will see, “Oh that is actually good content” and that my coffee is actually available. On my judging table I put a QR code that you can scan to buy the coffee.
It has to have a reason. Not just the dreaming and thinking about titles and titles. Am I adding something to the industry? Am I doing something to change the industry? Rather than just me being the best. Anyone can be the best. If you want to be the best, you can win the competition. If you work really hard for two years, learn the best coffee, get everything right, take the box, you win that. Does it really matter to you? Is it going to change your life? That is the main thing to me. If you want to be champion, you have to add the value. There are a lot of people who look up to you. When you think about the barista, it’s not just someone who works in a coffee shop. You can be more than that. You can do anything.
What equipment do you use? What's your set up?
I used Loveramics Tumbler because it has two different textures and the feeling when you hold it. I also used the Felicita scale, the Parallel. I am always a big fan of those scales. I used only that scale because I had an ONA Stem Stand. Also, the Loveramics spoon and wooden tray. Those are the things I used: the tumbler, scales, tray, and spoon.
In terms of the scale, I really like the design. This is the second one Felicita produced. I like this model more. The display is bigger and brighter, and you can remove the top. It looks higher quality, and it matters to be able to remove the plate since coffee can be messy and it’s easy to clean. This is what you need in any equipment: easy to clean, easy to use.
What is your favorite Loveramics cup of all time: Egg or Tumbler?
One of the biggest things with Loveramics is quality. It’s very luxury, high-end, and good for cafés. They do not scratch; it will not scratch. Even in Coffee Lab, we have been using Loveramics since 2016, day one, and 5 years later they still look good. These are good cups.
Why did you use the Tumbler in competition instead of the Egg?
To me, you don’t drink coffee just because of the quality of coffee. You drink coffee because it’s an experience. You want to have it. It’s not just like “Oh, I love this coffee” or “Oh, I always wanted to go to this place”. It’s about the whole experience. That tumbler, there is two different textures on the outside when you touch it. I love that. Number two is the colour. I chose a very subtle colour, like a light sky blue. Let’s say you have a bright red or bright yellow versus that sky blue colour, I find when you drink the same coffee from that kind of cup, the mindset is different. That’s what I find!
Shop Dhan Tamang's UK Barista Championship Kit