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Storytelling baristas appointed as Starbucks ambassadors

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2022 Starbucks Korea ambassadors Yang Jung-eun, left, and Seo U-ram hold cups of coffee at a Starbucks coffee shop in Seoul, on Tuesday. Courtesy of Starbucks Korea
2022 Starbucks Korea ambassadors Yang Jung-eun, left, and Seo U-ram hold cups of coffee at a Starbucks coffee shop in Seoul, on Tuesday. Courtesy of Starbucks Korea

By Kim Jae-heun

Starbucks Coffee Korea selected Seo U-ram and Yang Jung-eun as their new company ambassadors for this year, representing some 19,000 baristas working for the coffeehouse chain in the country, the company said Thursday.

This year, 240 Starbucks employees made it through the preliminary round to receive recognition as coffee masters. Among them, Seo and Yang won the final round to be appointed as ambassadors, based on their distinguished storytelling skills and lectures based on their coffee knowledge demonstrated during the contest.

Seo is currently working as the deputy manager of a Starbucks Reserve store on Yeouido in Seoul. He won the preliminary round of the 2019 Starbucks Barista Championship in the Asia-Pacific region with his skills for extracting espresso. In the meantime, he has been preparing for the final round of the barista championship, which had been postponed for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It feels great when I serve a perfect cup of espresso to my customers. I want to develop a variety of coffee stories to share with people who find having caffeinated drinks difficult," Seo said.

Yang was selected as the best exemplary partner of Starbucks last year for excellent work as deputy manager of a cafe in Guri, Gyeonggi Province. She is recognized for sharing her experience with customers based on her expertise in hand-drip coffee in particular.

During the competition, she talked about climate change and pest issues in the world's coffee bean production regions.

"I will share the 50-year history of Starbucks and its partners so that workers can be more proud of their job and provide the best quality service to customers as well," Yang said.

Starbucks operations in countries around the world pick their own ambassadors with deep knowledge and passion for coffee through similar contests every year.

Only baristas working for Starbucks Korea can apply for the Korean competition. The winner gets to spend one year participating in various education programs to learn and grow as a global coffee expert. They are also obliged to visit coffee shops around the country to share their experiences and knowledge.



Kim Jae-heun jhkim@koreatimes.co.kr


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