Peace Sakulclanuwat has been working in the coffee industry for a decade, changing roles from barista, to store manager and most recently, coffee educator. Around four years ago, she took part in the United States Brewers Cup Championship for the first time, and placed 2nd in the national competition in 2024 with a unique blend of coffees from Thailand and Colombia whilst using the Paragon brewer and extract chilling techniques.

The blend Peace used was a combination of Colombia Maragogype natural and Thai Java natural. The Colombia has a very unique tropical fruit notes with intense aroma and acidity, while the Thai Java had sweet flavors and silky mouthfeel. Combining these two coffees allowed them to highlight the best characteristics of both coffees, and to create a unique experience for the judging panel. 

We spoke to Peace briefly before the competition about their history in coffee, competitions and what it’s like to represent Asian-grown coffees on the stage.

 

Please tell us about how you started working in the coffee industry, and about your experience to date.

I have been working in coffee industry since 2014. This year marks 10 years of my career in coffee. It has been an eye opening and adventurous journey—from a brewer to a barista to a store manager, and most recently a coffee educator. I started out as a brewer with my first job because my employer thought it was the best position for me to learn everything about coffee from farm to cup. And they were right! I have been passionate for manual brewing since. It’s almost like a faith that I’m destined to be professionally trained to compete in brewers cup competitions later on.


What is your fondest memory so far as a coffee professional?

When I finally find the perfect recipe for new coffee to serve on a pourover menu. It’s that aha moment when you nail the dial and see the customers enjoy their cup as much as I do.


What made you want to compete in coffee competitions?

I want to challenge myself and take myself outside of my comfort zone. I also want to use competition stage as a platform to advocate for Asian coffees to be recognized at higher levels of coffee industry. Since first year I competed, I have been mainly using Asian coffees to compete. Every season, I made a progress in ranking higher with Asian coffees from Indonesia and Thailand respectively. It made me feel very proud of myself and my team’s efforts to fulfill my dreams to win with Thai coffee one day.

Please tell us about your previous competition experience(s):

I started my competition journey back in 2018-2019 in US Brewers Cup. It has been an eye opening experience for me. For someone who is competitive and very shy, to put myself out there, I was so brave. I learned a lot from my mistakes in first season. But, it didn’t stop me. I came back to competition scene in 2022 where I placed 3rd place in Qualifiers round and 13th place in nationals respectively.

 

"It made me feel very proud of myself and my team’s efforts to fulfill my dreams to win with Thai coffee one day."

How do you feel about the US Brewers Cup this year?

This year has been crazy for me because I completely go out of my comfort zone. I decided to challenge myself from choosing the coffees to my routine. However, I’m excited to present myself and my team’s efforts who have been helping me tirelessly through this competition time. I can’t wait to show our meticulously crafted routine on stage next weekend.

Tell us about your experience working with Nucleus Coffee Tools’ equipment, and how it benefitted your competition preparation and routine:

I came across Nucleus Coffee Tools’ Paragon filter set from my boss. They brewed coffee using the chilling rock and after I smelled the aroma and tasted the cup, I was surprised how intense the aroma shines through almsot like a bouquet of flowers. It elevated my coffee quality to higher lever of aroma, sweetness and flavor perceptions.


Is there anything special about your coffee, or barista approach that you’re passionate about sharing, which you may not have time to share in your competition routine?

I’m always proud to present my homeland coffee from Thailand on a competition stage. I’m beyond proud that this year, I get to compete with the Thai coffee from Maneepruek farm by Kaleb Jordan, a coffee producer who produced the first Gesha varietal in Thailand.

 

To watch Peace’s second place-winning competition routine with the Paragon, click here.

Photos: Shota Akiyoshi (@shota_new_york)

"I’m always proud to present my homeland coffee from Thailand on a competition stage."

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We spoke to Peace briefly before the competition about their history in coffee, competitions and what it’s like to represent Asian-grown coffees on the stage.