Joshua D. Bonner (on right) with Anton Dimov (left) of Caffe Calabria who placed 2nd at Tuesday's SDTNT.

Joshua D. Bonner (on right) with Anton Dimov (left) of Caffe Calabria who placed 2nd at Tuesday's SDTNT.

Tuesday January 21st, kicked off Season 1 of TNTs at Caffe Calabria in San Diego's North Park community. Of thirty two Baristas that showed up to compete. Some from as far south as Tijuana; north as San Francisco and as far east as New York, only one could walk away the victor. In the end, Joshua D. Bonner won with a free-style pour of a tulip into a shot glass; a pour of great technical difficulty.

Going forward, the San Diego Coffee Network will be featuring one Barista a month that has set themselves apart from the rest in their skill and achievements either at a Thursday Night Throwdown, or by local reputation alone.

We asked a few questions of our latest TNT winner, Joshua D. Bonner. And here's what he had to say:

SDCN: Where did you grow up? If other than SD, what brought you here?

Bonner: I'm the weird kid who grew up abroad. I grew up as a missionary kid in Peru. Good times, bad coffee, great food, great people, great place...

Bonner: My family always came to San Diego when we would come stateside, so it only made sense. Before here, I was in the Bay Area because my majorly hot wife was studying at SFSU, and I was working at Blue Bottle Coffee and a multi-roaster called Stanza in the mission. We moved here 'cuase we're having a baby and want to be closer to family, and eventually open up our own shop here in San Diego...

SDCN: What is the most annoying/strange request you've received [as a Barista}?

Bonner: Iced cappuccino. They literally wanted a hot cappuccino poured over ice...they didn't get it.

SDCN: Favorite non-coffee adult beverage?

Bonner: Beer... particularly, Lambics...

SDCN: Any defining coffee moments?

Bonner: Probably training for Brewers Cup last year. A lot of it was just practicing, dialing in different brewed coffees, and learning what factors affect different flavors. Three out of six finalists were from my shop. Pretty awesome.

SDCN: First coffee memory?

Bonner: Growing up in Peru there wasn't very much good coffee, except for one place. I always went to coffee shop to do school work (home schooled...), so I eventually came across the only third wave shop in Peru called Cafe Verde. They completely changed the way I viewed coffee. That was kind of the tipping point for me to want to dive more into third wave stuffs.

SDCN: If you could only pick 3 albums to take whilst stranded on an island, what would they be?

Bonner: 1. Blind Pilot - 3 rounds & a sound; 2. Mewithoutyou - Brother, Sister; 3. Bryan John Appleby - Fire on the Vine.

SDCN: Why compete?

Bonner: As much as latte art is cool, I feel like latte art is not indicative of a good barista. Having said that, I feel like latte art is a place where good baristas, intermediate baristas, and new baristas can all meet and have fun. It's part of building a coffee culture and community within our industry.

Joshua Bonner literally just moved back to San Diego, and is not currently working with a roaster or cafe, but is very interested in becoming involved in the local coffee community. You can follow him on Twitter, or Instagram via the following handle: @joshuadbonner.

Until next time San Diego, happy coffee-ing!

 

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