Please tell us a little about yourself:
My full name is Cristian Rafael Ponce Mancilla. I was born in Mexico City, on 27th February 1990. I am passionate about coffee, food, cocktails, wine, mezcal, and craft beer. I work in Alquimia Cafe as a barista, manager, and roaster. I love playing music — I play the bass and I enjoy dancing.
How did you get started in coffee?:
I began in 2014 in a coffee shop chain called Cielito Querido Café, an enterprise where I worked for 2 years, only then beginning my career in specialty coffee.
Please list the coffee competitions you have participated in, what year they took place, and your results:
Mexican Latte Art Championship 2016, 23rd place
Mexican Latte Art Championship 2017, 2nd place
Opera Games Sanremo 2017, 2nd place.
Mexican Latte Art Championship 2018, first 12 places.
Mexican Barista Championship 2018, 3rd place.
Mexican Latte Art Championship 2019, 1st place.
What are you excited to do in Berlin?:
I’m looking forward to visiting the city and the remains of the Berlin wall.
What is the most unusual vessel you have poured latte art into?:
A traditional container for mezcal.
What is the secret to great latte art?:
A good espresso extraction and quality milk emulsion, combined with a lot of practice.
What are your interests outside of coffee?:
I love listening and playing music, I am a bass player, also I love dancing, playing chess and reading.
Where do you see yourself in five years?:
I see my growing my enterprise, travelling though Mexico and the whole world, spreading specialty coffee culture.
Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to prepare for the WLAC?:
I would like to thank the AMCCE (Asociación Mexicana de Cafés y Cafeterias de Especialidad who have given all their support. My coaches from the National Championship, Alejandra Juarez and Esaud Ayala; my partner, Rafael Hernández; and Grupo Oropeza, who supported me with the equipment for training.