Estelle Bright is no stranger to the many sides of the coffee industry.
Estelle on stage in the 2017 UKBC. Photo: @allthesinglelattes.
SUSIE KEALY SHINES A SPOTLIGHT ON ONe of the many volunteers who help make Expo possible. tODAY, IT’S ESTELLE BRIGHT, A FIXTURE OF THE COMPETITION BACK-STAGE.
Estelle, who lives in London, England, has worked in coffee for 13 years. Throughout her career, she has worked as a barista, trainer, quality control team member, and technician. She is an experienced competitor on the national barista competition circuit in the United Kingdom, delivering routines that have proven to be both original and innovative. While focusing on competition, Estelle has also taken time to volunteer at coffee events around the world over the last nine years. The Welsh native can be regularly found back stage at both national and international championships.
Before starting her current industry journey, Estelle studied interior design. Soon after, she discovered her passion for coffee in 2005, leading to the start of her involvement within the specialty coffee community. In 2009, she made the leap and moved her life to London, where she sought to further herself more within the industry. Around the same time as her move, her name began to appear on both latte art and barista competition scoresheets, and she has since made it to both national finals three times. Estelle’s favorite specialty coffee community memory is from around this time: she recalls Stephen Morrissey, the 2008 World Barista Champion, dropping by one of her shifts at 2009 World Barista Champion Gwilym Davies nameless coffee cart. “(He) came up to the Colombia Road coffee cart around the 2010 World Barista Championships while I was working there. He introduced himself and said he had watched my UK Barista Championship routine and enjoyed it!”
Estelle now works as the After Sales Coordinator of La Marzocco for the UK and Ireland market. Outside of work, Estelle sees volunteering as an element that played a significant part of her coffee journey: “Volunteering has had a huge impact on myself and my career. I have met so many amazing people and am very lucky to call a lot of them my friends. This where I see ‘community.’ It is open, welcoming and friendly.” Estelle has now returned to volunteer as much as she’s able, travelling across many countries to take part in events and championships: “I want to give back to the community that welcome me in and help me grow in the industry.”
For the many years that she has been part of the specialty coffee community, there have also been both many career and volunteering memories. She cites her involvement in the competition Coffee in Good Spirits as part of this. “Stage managing Coffee in Good Spirits (was a highlight). It feels like a newer competition and it’s great to see it grow in country numbers over the past five years.”
While not working or volunteering, you can find Estelle “checking out new cafes or restaurants, hanging out with friends and of course my two cats.” And in the future? “Keep on volunteering and growing in my current full time role at La Marzocco.”
SUSIE KEALY is a freelance communications and marketing professional based in Berlin.
The SCA was built by dedicated volunteers with a vision of an organization that promoted the values of specialty coffee and community. The contributions of SCA volunteers can be seen in the various leadership groups that support the mission of the association and in the thousands who give their time at SCA trade shows and community events every year. Please join us in thanking the many volunteers who make this year’s Expo possible!