Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Youth of the week




Youth of the week

Youth of the week

110824_lift10a

CHAN Chunleang, who works at the Mekong Food Group (Cambodia) Ltd, is a Lavazza Barista trainer. He’s responsible for teaching cafe staff how to make a great cup of coffee.

Before he became involved with Lavazza, a popular brand of Italian coffee, Chan Chunleang was just a normal guy who liked to drink coffee. He says it still seems a little strange that a person who never knew anything about coffee has become a coffee trainer.

Chan Chunleang began his working life as a volunteer at the People for Care and Learning organisation. While there, he was able to improve his English-language skills with help from his boss and got a lot of experience.

He gained his qualifications as an English teacher and later became a translator.

At the beginning of his fourth year at university, Chan Chunleang was selected to work at the Mekong Food Group. He had applied to work in the company’s marketing department, and soon became interested in the skills relating to coffee.

Chan Chunleang was trained by his boss for about two months, during which time he encountered a few difficulties. “I had never touched a coffee machine, and had no idea how to use one,” he says.

Because he knew nothing about coffee brands and other coffee-related topics, Chan Chunleang had to learn about it and master the technique of making a good cup of coffee.

After two months of training, during which his personality and his ability to teach became apparent, he was promoted from trainee to Lavazza Barista trainer. Since then, he has
enjoyed passing on his skills to the staff of many coffee shops that sell Lavazza products.

Because of his coffee-making skills and his ability as a trainer, Chan Chunleang  was sel-ected to be a member of the committee that organised the 2010 Cambodia Barista Championship, which was sponsored by Lavazza.

In this competition, coffee shops challenged one another with their styles and techniques for making the best cup of coffee. Chan Chunleang was one of those who tasted the coffee made by the competitors.

Apart from participating in the national competition, he received an invitation from the Indochina Food Group to be a judge of the Lavazza Barista Championship, an international competition that was held in Vietnam last year. As well, he got a chance to train staff at the Alila hotel in Laos.

During his three years as a Lavazza Barista trainer, Chan Chunleang has encountered a few challenges. The biggest one was training the staffs of new coffee shops.

“They had never used a coffee machine before, so I needed to teach them from basic principles,” he says.

Another tricky situation arose when he trained staffs who had learned a different style of making coffee from other trainers.

“I needed to ask permission from the owners of the shops to allow their staff to follow what I  taught,” Chan Chunleang says. He says his task became difficult if the shop owners and their staff did not follow his instructions.

As well as working as a barista trainer, Chan Chunleang is a marketing manager at the Mekong Food Group. He hasn’t thought about his future yet; he just wants to develop himself and try to train as many people as possible to serve great coffee.

MOST VIEWED

  • School reopening to be postponed until November

    Minister of Education Hang Chuon Naron on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Hun Sen requesting a delay of school reopening across the Kingdom until November, when the new academic year begins. In his letter, Chuon Naron said the postponement is warranted to avoid the new

  • Foreigners in Kingdom must now register in FPCS system

    The Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Immigration (GDI) announced that it would not grant visa extensions to foreigners staying in Cambodia if their names are not listed on the Foreigners Present in Cambodia System (FPCS) by July 1. Foreign nationals can register in the

  • Covid-19 at ‘alarming rate’, health ministry says

    The Covid-19 risk level for individual transmission is at an “alarming rate” in the Kingdom and its probability is “not low”, warned Health Ministry spokesperson Or Vandine. “Cambodia’s coronavirus scenario is classified as being at an early stage of the pandemic because of ongoing

  • Mandatory quarantine for 30,000 workers begins

    Some of the roughly 30,000 workers from factories and enterprises across the Kingdom who went on leave during Khmer New Year began their government-imposed 14-day quarantine on Monday. Speaking at a press conference while visiting workers at the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone on Monday, Ministry

  • Unemployed to get $40 per month

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has instructed enterprises, business owners and travel agencies in five provinces to prepare the proper forms for the suspension of employment contracts. This, it said, will make it easier for the ministry to transfer $40 a month to workers

  • Gov’t travel ban flouted

    While the majority of Cambodians have paid heed to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s order to stay put and not travel during the Khmer New Year – the holidays of which were also postponed – several hundred have left Phnom Penh nonetheless. They have allegedly breached provincial

  • G20 energy ministers struggle to finalise oil output cuts

    Top oil producers struggled to finalise production cuts during a virtual summit held by Group of 20 (G20) energy ministers on Friday, despite US President Donald Trump’s mediation efforts to end a standoff with Mexico. The final G20 communique appeared to gloss over simmering divisions

  • Kingdom revises travel restriction order

    The government on Friday eased the district and provincial border restrictions issued on Thursday. People are now allowed to cross districts within their provinces. Phnom Penh and Kandal province are to be treated as a single region where people are allowed to travel freely. In

  • Private schools struggling

    The Cambodian Higher Education Association has claimed that 113 private educational establishments are facing bankruptcy because of their inability to pay rent and staff salaries in light of nationwide school closures caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. It said the financial trouble started when the Ministry of

  • Khmer New Year holidays postponed

    In an effort to halt Covid-19 infections in the Kingdom, Prime Minister Hun Sen has postponed the Khmer New Year holidays scheduled from April 13 to 16. While the people will not have their usual break, nor will there be any public celebrations or gatherings at pagodas,