Diana Johnston Ledezma
Diana Johnston Ledezma was the BTB Barista Bursary winner for 2016 and is currently the Head of Training for Taylor Street Baristas. She spends her day to day building and delivering curriculum for coffee professionals, to ensure a forward thinking and innovative quality focused approach in each of the shops and across all wholesale accounts. Her current role is part research, part instruction, part innovation: a cocktail of facets that focus on quality control from green to cup. Prior to Taylor St Baristas, she spent time as part of the production team at Workshop coffee, gaining a better understanding of green coffee, roasting and quality control. Her career began as a part-time job at a Starbucks in California in 2004, and has since brought her (via Scotland) to the vibrant speciality coffee scene in London.
Mat is the owner of Full Court Press – Speciality Coffee and has over a decade's experience working in the coffee industry. Starting off in Caffe Nero Mat has pretty much covered all roles on the roasted side of the business; barista, consumables sales, operations and finally a shop owner – landing him at his dream job. Two years ago Mat opened his specialist multi roaster coffee shop in the heart of Bristol's coffee scene where he can enjoy one of his favourite things the coffee industry brings; "The people you meet [are a favourite], every day brings something new"
James is the International Sales Manager for Beyond the Bean; looking after Asia and Australia. One of the main things that James likes about the coffee industry is the diversity in the product and the global connections it brings. Working in the coffee industry for the last 13 years, James started in a UK roaster in 2002, relocating to Dublin in 2006. James has also competed as a barista in the Scottish Barista Championships (1st) and UK finals twice, also judging the UKBC, Irish Barista Championships and the WBC since 2009. James also serves on the advisory board for World Coffee Events and SCAE.
Brian is the writer of the twice-weekly blog "Brian's Coffee Spot". He's slightly different to our other judges as he hasn't worked the coffee industry, and doesn't intend to, he's much happier enjoying and writing about coffee! Brian has been writing about coffee for three years and debuted his blog after a "light bulb" moment in the first Coffee Spot; Boston Tea Party on Park Street in Bristol. Devoting himself full-time to writing about coffee would be Brain's dream job, as the thing that interests him most about coffee is its almost infinite variety and how many different ways there are to make great coffee.