Origin Story


With TEDsters from around the globe about to descend on the Vancouver Convention Center next week, we thought it’d be fitting to share the journey of one our TED Baristas. And who more fitting than our furthest travelling barista, Ger O’Donohoe.

Handed the keys to a store with a Linea in 1999 in his then role of Operations Manager of a small chain of newsagents, Ger found himself in uncharted waters. 20 minutes later his induction to the world of coffee was complete. He was hooked and decided to venture down the route of specialty, not  escaping from behind the bar until he established First Draft Coffee, an independent barista training company.

Transitioning away from the bar and focussing on training, Ger wanted to experience the elevated service that is delivered as part of the tea & coffee program. ‘I was always so jealous of those who got to take part in Coffee Common, the interaction between barista and customer and that engagement we all talk about but rarely deliver is a reality here’. Beyond tasting delicious coffees and meeting the rest of the baristas, Ger is looking forward to learning the nuances of service in a different part of the world.

On his relationship with coffee at the minute, Ger equates it to a marriage. ‘There’s a love, respect and an unspoken bond. A true infatuation and unending fascination… But sometimes when you’ve been around each other long enough you want to strangle one another! You don’t, of course, you figure it out… but that’s the trick I guess.’





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