Crowned ‘King of Latte Art’ during the first Latte Art Barista Jam in Tel Aviv for his mad skills, Ilan Edri is one of the most knowledgeable baristas in the city. Ilan pours his passion into every cup he serves and his reward is to see people enjoy the coffee he makes. His open and friendly nature is one of his true strengths as a barista and why people respond to him so well. Although Ilan is humble about his skills and knowledge, the fire in his eyes when asked what he loves about coffee is unmistakable. His passion for coffee is infectious. He mainly makes coffee from home now on his beloved Rocket Cellini machine, as he is currently enrolled as a full-time medical student. He can also be found working at Loveat Habima Café on Saturdays. His favorite coffee to enjoy is a cortado.
Tomer Ben Or, the only barista from outside of Tel Aviv to compete in Tel Aviv’s recent Barista Jam, took home second place. His passion for coffee began while growing up around his father’s coffee shop, and for the last seven years he has been behind the espresso machine at Aroma Café in Ashdod. For Tomer, there is a perfect moment when he holds his coffee cup and the rest of the world disappears. Tomer understands that baristas have the power to make people’s day better with a cup of coffee, so it’s important to set the right tone for the customer’s experience. A good barista is there to create a show, and Tomer’s charisma easily casts him in the leading role during the performance. When Tomer isn’t behind the bar he is studying civil engineering and has future goals of opening the first Barista School in Israel. After living in Milan, his favorite coffee to drink became the famous affogato – a perfect treat for Israel’s hot Summer days.
A favorite coffee spot for locals in town, Nahat employs baristas who know all about creating a welcoming space and serving quality coffee to Tel Avivians. Ran Lampert has been a part of Nahat team for nine months and during this time he has found a passion for being a barista that he never felt working in his other hospitality roles. For Ran, a barista needs to forget about their ego, embrace the customer with a welcoming environment and be able to deliver great coffee within a reasonable time. Ran credits the team he works with as one of the main reasons he is so passionate about his work and also why he continually strives to be better. He sees Nahat as a thriving ecosystem, where everyone feels like they are creatively contributing and has something to offer individually. Ran’s favorite coffee is a double espresso.
Cafelix baristas are trained from the very beginning as professional baristas, often coming to the job with a passion for coffee already burning bright inside. Tal Rozilio is no different and began training in 2011 with Asaf Rauch in barista basics and latte art. Later, joining the Cafelix team, he began to understand how important the coffee bean is for making quality coffee and appreciates the café’s focus on roasting the best beans possible for customers to enjoy. One of the simple pleasures Tal reveals is being told by a customer how much they enjoyed drinking the coffee he recommended for them. As a barista, it’s important that he is accessible to the curious coffee lovers that come in. He wants people to ask questions about what they are drinking. Being able to share his knowledge, helping to expand the coffee culture in Tel Aviv, is part of why he enjoys his job so much. His favorite coffee to drink is espresso on ice or a hot filter with Ethiopian Harrar beans.
Cafelix, Sgula St 15, Tel Aviv-Yafo, +972 3-546-9890
The shy Itamar is starting to make a name for himself behind the bar at Mae Café on Ibn Gabirol. He enjoys working at Mae Café, whether it’s during the fast-paced mornings with a hushed crowd waiting in a long line stretching out the door or the lazy afternoon moments when people slowly sip their coffee and chat him up at the bar. The connections he has with those who come to enjoy Mae’s coffee are what make his job worthwhile. He loves having people so passionate about coffee come into the café and ask him questions about his work. He welcomes their curiosity and sometimes learns a thing or two from them as well. For him, being a good barista is all about reading each customer coming into the café and adjusting to their needs. Itamar might be shy and focused on his work, but he certainly makes the café warm and inviting during a visit. His favorite drink is black Turkish coffee, no sugar added.
Mae Café, Tuval St 16, Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv, +972 3-510-2266