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Sasa Sestic at ONA Coffee House in Fyshwick. Image: Rebecca Doyle.

Kickstarter campaign kicks off Sasa’s global coffee mission

HerCanberra Team

Coffee guru Sasa Sestic continues his mission to help the coffee growing farms and communities through his new book The Coffee Man: Journal of a World Barista Champion.

Since bursting onto the scene in 2015 when he won the World Barista Championship, the journey of Sasa, and his team from ONA Coffee has been nothing short of inspiring. Sasa is a man who’s love for quality coffee extends well beyond a morning craving, his mission begins at the root of all beans.

With the world champ title under his belt, Sasa took flight around the world, visiting coffee farms to ensure safe working conditions and to transcend current production techniques. His goals was to elevate the farmers’ beans to the top echelon so they could ultimately charge higher prices and use this increased income to improve the local community.

People have come to expect that when Sasa sets his mind to a goal, he will achieve it. And that is precisely how The Coffee Man came to be. Sasa says he worked on the book for two years and the story developed as he went on.

“I first wanted to write a book to share stories about what happens at origin, in coffee producing countries,” he explains. “There aren’t really any books that go into detail about these origins and don’t really discuss what we can do to improve the conditions in these countries.”

“It’s important that we help and support farms across the world, coffee is carefully grown, cultivated and harvested by hardworking farmers in coffee producing countries. Whether we are coffee professionals or simply people that enjoy a cup of coffee every day, we all depend on these farmers and the work they do.”

Sasa Sestic, officially the world's best barista. Image: Rebecca Doyle.

Sasa Sestic, officially the world’s best barista. Image: Rebecca Doyle.

The notion of raising awareness through Sasa’s tales quickly gained traction when he launched the book as a Kickstarter Campaign in early October. The campaign closed yesterday, raising an impressive $75,075; a figure which is a whopping $15,075 over the target amount of $60,000. The overwhelming response means the book is well on its way to the printing press.

Sasa says he’s humbled by both the kindness of people in the coffee industry and the public, and is eager to get started on improvements at the very bedrock of the coffee industry.

“In one month, people from all across the world came together and through their generosity, have enabled me to achieve the dream of publishing the book I have worked on for the past two years,” he says.

“Now that we know that our campaign is successfully funded, we can begin working with farmers in Nicaragua, Ethiopia, Colombia and more to improve facilities, build infrastructure and promote community well-being.”

The first communities that will be worked with are among the poorest in Central America, such as Nicaragua, who have the lowest scoring coffee from that part of the world. Sasa explans that they need support from communities like ours, and in return we end up with better coffee too.

“They have just as much potential as all the other countries in Central America, but lack the support, infrastructure and development to reach this potential,” he explains. “They need support so they can produce better coffees, receive better prices and have better lives.”

Sasa hopes his book will allow the producers to gain the same recognition and support he has been exposed to for the dedication and hard work they too have put in to growing the industry.

“Many lack the resources and funding to improve their infrastructure, equipment and community. This affects not only the workers on the farms, but also their families and wider community.”

The Coffee Man will be launch in Seoul, Korea on November 7 to celebrate the World Barista Championship 2017. Another launch event will be held in Canberra, Australia early next year. The Coffee Man: Journal of a World Barista Champion are available for a special pre-order price of $35.00 AUD at onacoffee.com.au/shop. Copies are expected to be delivered in mid-December 2017.

Feature image: Rebecca Doyle.

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