Barista: Mighail Prinsloo

Mighail Prinsloo is a young and upcoming barista working at Raw Espresso Bar in Cape Town. He is passionate about people and coffee and bringing these two together.

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Photo: Carla Correia

Who is Mighail?

Mighail was born and raised in Cape Town and was home-schooled. He finished school in 2015, one year ahead of his time. In 2016, he did the internship at Hillsong Church of South Africa where he was part of the Worship Team.  Other than coffee, he has a love for skating, music as well as people. When he’s not making coffee, he’s out and about in the city skating or playing guitar. He enjoys taking his coffee in the form of a Flat White and a pour over from time to time.

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Photo: Justin Coomber

How has Mighail’s love for coffee started?

Coffee has always been a part of Mighail’s life. He used to make a lot of coffee which involved a French Press when friends used to come over. It has never been the fact of being enthusiastic about making the coffee, but rather that it was how he grew up making coffee. Other than that, he loved drinking coffee and spending time with his friends.

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Photo: Carla Correia
Mighail moved to Johannesburg for 6 months this year (2017) with his parents where he had his first proper encounter with coffee and his passion got ignited. As he was in Cape Town a lot during his time in Johannesburg, he couldn’t commit to being part of the Worship Team at Hillsong Church. He had to find something to do which didn’t require a lot of commitment or time. A friend suggested to him that he should start volunteering and helping out on the coffee team at church. Having never done a barista course, he stepped into this challenge and one of the baristas on the team taught him how to master the skill of making coffee.

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Photo: Justin Coomber
The first time he made a cup of coffee and tasted it, he got so intrigued by it although it wasn’t the best cup. He was so intrigued with the whole process and everything that went into it to make that cup of coffee. This caused him to get so obsessed with it and fall in love with it at the same time that it became an “addiction” to want to master it over and over again.

What inspired Mighail to become a barista?

Since making his first cup, he got so obsessed about refining the skill and art of making a cup. The process and the amount of detail and love that goes into making the perfect cup was enough to inspire Mighail to want to become a full-time barista.

Mighail wants to be a travelling barista; where he can travel and teach people about coffee on his journey. He has always been passionate about people. By becoming a travelling barista it brings together his passion for people and his recent discovered passion for coffee. He would love to give opportunities to the less privileged people of Africa, by empowering and equipping them by teaching them about coffee.

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Photo: Justin Coomber
He “stumbled” upon the opportunity to complete his barista course at Raw Espresso Bar. Mighail completed his professional barista course with a few classes of roasting thrown into the mix.

Not long after completing his barista course, the owner of Raw Espresso Bar offered him a barista job. Since then he has not just fallen in love with the environment Raw Espresso Bar created for their customers, but the family he got to became a part of.

As a young and farely new at being a barista, his first week working as one was an intimidating experience. Having customers judge his skills and judgement, he was even more determined to prove them wrong. Not long and the customers started warming up to him, and he could start investing into the customer’s lives not with just coffee but with good conversations. This has been the highlight so far in his new journey as a barista.

What’s the “weirdest” order Mighail received thus far?

Mighail had a customer that was visiting from France ordering a decaf Americano with some honey. As the customer had an accent, it made it difficult to understand him. Mighail started preparing the double decaf espresso shots. He poured it into the cup and wanted to fill the rest of the cup with hot milk, when the customer started showing aggression and anger. The customer was not satisfied with the fact that he only gets a half a cup of coffee and that Mighail wants to fill it now with water. The customer insisted Mighail fill it up with more espresso shots and not water, as he paid for a “full” cup of coffee.

Advice for young people wanting to step into the coffee industry?

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Photo: Carla Correia
As he hasn’t had much experience in the coffee industry yet, he gives some advice that he has gotten that’s worked for him:

  • Read up and do as much research you can about coffee. This is from watching videos, to reading online or any source you can get a hold of. There’s so many platforms one can make use of.
  • If you are looking into becoming a barista, don’t spend your money on doing a course yet. Find a place where you can volunteer to make coffee, and let someone teach you how to do it. Spend time doing it and then decide if you still want to do the barista course. It’s not worth spending a lot of money if you are not certain this is what you’ll be doing.

What does the future hold for Mighail?

Mighail would love to open his own coffee space in Cape Town. One that brings forth his character as a person and passions for music and skating. A place where people can come and have coffee whilst feeling at home.

Now, he’s just focusing on gaining more experience in the industry and refining his skill. Mighail would love to compete in Barista Competitions in the future when he’s ready.

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Photo: Justin Coomber
It was such an honour to sit down with a fellow young, enthusiast of coffee. I hoped you enjoyed his story as much as I did. Do keep an eye out for Mighail as he’ll be making his way up in the coffee industry in Cape Town.

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Photo: Carla Correia

Follow his journey by following him on:

Instagram@mighailprinsloo or just pop him an Email – mighailsp@gmail.com

Till the next cup of coffee.

 

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