Be open to trying new coffees from all around the world! I dare say, no two coffees are the same.
Clemence is passionate about connecting people with coffee. Clemence first tried coffee long ago in a local shop with his father - but he hated that black, bitter liquid then. When he was 17 years old, Clemence joined Starbucks but still disliked coffee. His side gig at Starbucks led him to become Head Barista at another company, but all of his training experience was internal, never public-facing. The social cause drew Clemence to Bettr Barista because he was interested to be part of something meaningful.
Becoming a trainer at Bettr Barista was Clemence’s coffee fix. As a very people-oriented person, he was energised by coffee’s magical ability to connect strangers. Clemence loves meeting new people in every class with whom he can share his coffee journey and motivate them to embark on the same adventure.
The more you learn the less you know, but that’s the joy in it.
Jean is a coffee geek, curious about the math and science of coffee.
Coffee is swirled with nostalgia for Jean. A distinct memory from her youth is coffee brewed by Jean’s aunt, which she drank but once a year. Local style coffee, brewed mighty strong, and taken black with sugar. It was rich, sweet, comforting and delicious!
Jean simply happened to be in the right place, at the right time, to witness the birth of Bettr Barista some 9 years ago. She has been in coffee ever since, and became a trainer because learning is one of Jean’s personal joys. Before, she used to lead some internal trainings in Excel and minute-taking (geek alert!). Jean is passionate about learning, and as with all passions, is happy to share it. Plus, the best way to learn is to train, and it’s a continual journey, an exciting journey. “Keep an open mind,” Jean advises. “You’re going to find out that the more you learn the less you know, but that’s the joy in it.”
At Bettr Barista we don’t look at how many times you may fall. We’re interested in how many times you’re going to pick yourself up.
Jo is involved in the social side of the academy, training the HT programme students.
Jo grew up with robusta beans, our local kopitiam coffee which is known to be strong and bitter. During her career as an interior designer, coffee was merely a tool to stay awake. When she first came to Bettr Barista as part of the 7th HT intake, Jo learned that coffee can be a whole range of tastes besides bitter and strong. The HT programme was an opportunity to challenge herself - even to conquer her fear of heights by rock climbing!
Jo became a trainer after finishing the HT programme to provide coffee expertise on the social side. Training was a step forward for Jo to combine her skills with her social path, as well as a chance to pay forward what she experienced. To prospective HT students, Jo says, “You’re bound to fall and want to give up, but at Bettr Barista we don’t look at how many times you may fall. We’re interested in how many times you’re going to pick yourself up. This is the step to do that, while learning something new.” Jo is passionate about using coffee as part of training and mentoring for everyday life.
Be open to tastes, and never be afraid to make mistakes.
Lydia is an SCA authorised trainer who enjoys meeting people and creating relationships over a cup of coffee.
When Lydia was just about 8 or 9 years old, her grandmother made her a small cup of local kopi, sweetened with condensed milk - thick and yummy! To this day, she still has vivid memories of her grandmother making kopi with a small sock filter and serving it in the quintessential, old-school kopi cups.
Education has always been Lydia’s calling - she went from lecturing in hospitality to lecturing in coffee!
Filter coffee, not people. Be true to yourself, as well as others. We should always be considerate of others' feelings.
Having spent half his life in the hospitality and service industry, it’s been almost 7 years since Oscar delved into the specialty coffee scene. He vividly remembers the first time he took a sip of blue mountain coffee that his father brought back home, how the taste lingered and he yearned for more. During the time that coffee chains and cafes were up and rising, he realised that each type of coffee had their own uniqueness, but many were unaware and unable to appreciate.
Joining Bettr, he found greater meaning in educating not only the general public, but also helping the marginalised community discover their potential through coffee training. “People and coffee keeps me going. There’s the 4Cs that are important to me - communication, connecting, culture and coffee. With communication, you’ll be able to impact, connect, and build strong relationships bound by coffee!”
A simple cup of coffee can bring people together, foster camaraderie, grow communities, and empower.
Pam is a trailblazing entrepreneur dedicated to changing lives through coffee.
"After spending part of her career in advertising and the digital world, Pam gravitated towards coffee for its ability to present a platform for business and society to interact. In 2012, she founded Bettr Barista and has led the company to become the first Certified B Corporation in Singapore. Pam is the first Singaporean on the Board of Directors of the global Specialty Coffee Association, and is a passionate problem-solver. Hence was born the Bettr Holistic Training Programme developed around coffee to train and empower communities at risk.
Getting into coffee can mean changing your life. Pam believes that “a simple cup of coffee can bring people together, foster camaraderie, grow communities, and empower.”"
Be the change that you wish to see in the world.
Rudel believes that coffee connects people, no matter who they are, where they are. He previously worked as the head of coffee in a company, competing across different platforms, putting his roasting, brewing and latte art skills to the test. 2015 was a year that held great memories for him, where he successfully clinched the Singapore National Brewers Cup championship. In his early days, he recalled how resources were scarce and inaccessible, needless to say acquiring mentorship and guidance. Understanding how valuable these were, he grabbed hold of opportunities to train baristas and found a great sense of fulfilment and satisfaction as he witnessed their progression. “Given that I’m blessed with such talent, I want to give back to the industry, and I figured it'd be teaching. Being in the industry for a long time has helped me become a better person, a better professional, so I’d like to return the favour.”
Back when he was a student at Bettr, he enjoyed learning and built great rapport with his trainers. Bettr felt like home. The motto ‘changing lives through coffee’ was deeply etched in his mind, and he wanted to impart this same belief that took effect on him. “I really love inspiring people in ways that I can, sharing what I love doing and what I’m good at. It’s something that I won’t get tired doing. It’s a part of who I am. ” He will certainly continue being a mentor for many years down the road, fully utilising his coffee knowledge as a valuable tool to educate aspiring baristas.
Always look on the sunny side, embrace the warm rays, and let it shine.
Be it rain or clear skies, Sanny will always choose to be walking on sunshine. His love for coffee stemmed from young - the countless times he stole coffee from a big pot off his kitchen stove behind his siblings’ backs, just for a taste of his mother’s sweet home brewed kopi. His affinity with coffee grew, starting out as a barista at Starbucks. In 2017, he joined Bettr as a designer on the Marketing Communications team, at the same time, assisting the Retail team. In his 4th year, he discovered that his passion to share about coffee spans beyond the digital screen and made the switch to become a trainer.
“You’ll naturally learn better when you’re having fun.” Being a trainer, this great sense of fulfilment is what he truly enjoys, he says. In the long run, we’ll certainly see Sanny’s passion for coffee shine bigger and brighter, as he continues to bring fun learning into coffee!
Enjoy the drink, enjoy the craft, enjoy the profession.
Traveling coffee representative and trainer, Shaun Ong, is the brick and mortar of Bettr Barista’s academy.
Shaun has been in the business of coffee for over two decades. His early career began with the behemoth of coffee: Starbucks. Shaun quickly branched out into all areas of coffee and now travels the world sharing his knowledge of coffee from the ground level of a coffee tree all the way down to training baristas with BB. Shaun’s passion for teaching has directly contributed to building a global community of coffee in places like Myanmar, Laos, and the Philippines through his trainings and field work.
Shaun says, "If you’re a casual coffee lover: Enjoy the drink, enjoy the craft, enjoy the profession - Don’t get too technical, no one likes a coffee snob."
Coffee is about more than making latte art. Always make it from your heart.
Shirley is a barista and trainer dedicated to helping people grow.
Shirley came into coffee as a Holistic Training programme participant in 2011 and has made coffee into her career ever since. She simultaneously discovered a fondness for coffee and a passion for teaching during a cafe internship with the HT programme. Shirley was put in charge of training part-timers, and quickly realised that she loved to teach and share her skills with people interested in coffee. It’s been 8 years now that she’s been with Bettr Barista.