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.
Keep tasting, keep learning, and keep exploring.
Gloria is an up and coming coffee geek with an ambition to become a coffee specialist!
Gloria crossed over to coffee from being a tea lover. Her first experience with coffee was her father’s Kopi O Siew Dai. It was so bitter that it made her wonder why people would even drink coffee! An Ethiopian coffee with strong strawberry notes finally opened her mind to explore coffee.
While hunting for a coffee course in 2011, Bettr Barista was the fan favorite, but she was still working with another company where she had the chance to train clients. Although Gloria told herself she would never be a teacher, coffee redirected her career path towards becoming an Authorised SCA Trainer - and the rest is history.
Gloria’s espresso shots of wisdom to the coffee enthusiast: You can choose to be serious for the long haul, or just do this for fun - but you can’t really have both. Keep tasting, keep learning, and keep exploring.
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.
Find out what your aim is in coffee.
Levina is a tea-addicted coffee trainer!
Although Levina lives and breathes teaching coffee now, her first experience with coffee was very bad. During her secondary school days, she wanted to know what all the hype was about and decided one day to try a cappuccino. It tasted horrible to her, and she left behind coffee after that for the time being.
Levina drifted quite naturally from her training role in F&B into the cafe side of the business because the company desperately needed baristas. As she started practicing latte art, she drank what she made as not to waste - and therein coffee grew into more than a duty.
After some experience with latte art competitions in her last job, Levina joined the Barista Skills Intermediate(add link) course at Bettr Barista, and then joined as a trainer to be closer to growing people, knowledge of the industry, and the whole community of coffee upstream as well.
“Find out what your aim is in coffee,” Levina says. She recommends considering Foundations for personal interest, baristas, and home-brewers. For those who want a deeper dive into coffee, Green Coffee and Sensory courses are good stepping stones.
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!
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.”"
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.
Be prepared to get your hands dirty.
Si Eu is one of Bettr Barista’s master roasters, and she is into green coffee training and loves to see the world and travel through coffee and discover new beans.
Si Eu first encountered coffee when she was very young, and she didn’t like it at all! Years later, she became interested in how diverse the flavours of coffee can be, and has been in the industry for 9 years now. For Si Eu, roasting is where you get to control profiles to make the best cup of coffee. Since training in coffee is still a small industry, Si Eu is interested in changing people’s mindset towards being a barista or roaster. “It’s a culture,” she shares. “It’s an experience, it’s our profession.” Don’t look at roasting as a glamorous thing, albeit rewarding, she says. “Be prepared to get your hands dirty!”