July 28, 2016

The Ultimate Coffee Man

Richard Tho, also known as Richard Macchia‘tho, is a barista judge of international competitions whose photographic work has featured in the Sydney Morning Herald. Here, he tells the tale behind his Mr Everywhere status in the industry.

I got into coffee in 2008 because the kitchen at work had two espresso machines. It looked serious and I was intrigued. As I found my new hobby, I also heard about Sydney’s The Rocks Aroma Festival and had planed to go. But I forgot about it on the day, and the thought to wait for an entire year drove me into an obsession.

After completing basic barista training, I knew there were more to learn about coffee. Searching the internet, I first learnt the ins and outs of barista competitions as well as coffee cupping. I also found King St’s Mecca, a specialty café conveniently located in the Sydney’s CBD on my morning commute. I also use Facebook as a tool to look out for coffee happenings in Sydney including Café Culture and Café Biz events as well as Breezy Masters competitions.
I met coffee aficionado Sharon Jan, who knew my interest in coffee and asked me to enter the Danes Home Barista Competition, which I won. After entering more competitions, I worked my way to become a barista judge in Australia and Hong Kong.

The best coffee I have ever tasted, and judged was by 2015 World Barista Champion, Sasa Sestic, and I have attended every Aroma Festival since 2009 and can’t wait to keep coming back.


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