Carlo Graf Bülow
Please tell us a little about yourself:
My name is Carlo and I am 32 years old. I come from Bonn, which is the former capital of Germany and I work in Cologne for the oldest roastery in town. Being head roaster and barista for “Schamong Kaffee” is my passion and my profession. I am married to Nadine, my lovely wife and I have two kids (three years and half a year old).
How did you get started in coffee?:
I started as a law student who was searching for a job and found it at Vapiano (one of the big system gastronomies in Germany) where I then worked several years as a barista. And it didn’t take too long until I realized that coffee was what is my big passion. So I quit studying and did an apprenticeship in system gastronomy before single-mindedly searching for a job in specialty coffee.
Please list the coffee competitions you have participated in, what year they took place, and your results:
2015 SCAE German Barista Championship – 3rd Place
2016 SCAE German Barista Championship – 3rd Place
2017 INEI Espresso Italiano Champion Germany – 1st Place
2018 International & Tyrolean Latte Art Championship – 2nd Place
2018 Dallmayr Barista Jam – 2nd Place
2018 SCA German Latte Art Championship – 1st Place
What are you excited to do while you are in Brazil?:
As a coffee professional it is of course one of my dreams to visit a beautiful coffee plantation some day. I am not quite sure how much time I will finally have before and after the competition but if that were possible that would be great. Besides this I am always excited about meeting old and new friends from the coffee family and to experience the country I am going to.
What is the most unusual vessel you have poured latte art into?:
Probably the skin of a honeydew melon.
What is your secret to making great latte art?:
I wouldn’t call it a “secret”. I am a creative person in general. For example I am also writing and illustrating a childrens’ book for my kids. I look at the environment with my eyes wide open and let it inspire me. The rest is training. When someone asks me how I became that good in latte art I always tell them about the thousands and thousands of cups I poured in my life.
What are your interests outside of coffee?:
Having two children does not leave too much time and space for other things. Lucky me that coffee is my profession! But if I had to name one other thing it would be fishing. I love being outside, enjoying the silence of nature and always feeling that certain dose of adrenaline while waiting for any fish to bite.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?:
Hopefully I am able to live my dream as a coffee professional for many more years in a vibrant and progressive comunity. Probably there will be more competitions to come. Maybe not only in latte art. I am already super thankful for my wife and kids, and I hope to show them as much of the diversity of our planet as possible.
Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to prepare for the competition?:
First of all I would like to thank my wife and kids. Without their patience my coffee career wouldn’t have developed the way it did. I love you! Same to my mum and dad who always believed in what I did. Also I have to thank my team and bosses at “Schamong Kaffee” for their great support. Thank you to SCA Germany and the specialty coffee comunity in Germany for their spirit of supporting instead of fighting against each other; even when being competitors. And finally thank you to the sponsors who supported me on my way to Brazil this year: Stroebel, BWT, ProRista Tamperbell (and maybe also the ones I can’t mention because I didn’t know them when writing these lines. Sorry about that!)