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Barista Stories: Osama Shammo of Elbgold, Hamburg

Meet Osama Shammo, an active coffee educator and professional based in Hamburg, Germany. At 35, Osama brings six years of industry expertise to his role as the Quality & Education Manager at Elbgold, a renowned roastery with a 20-year legacy and five quality-orientated cafés across Hamburg.

Osama’s journey from his birthplace in Aleppo, Syria, to his current position reflects a passion deeply rooted in the coffee culture. His achievements, including podium finishes at the German Barista Championships in 2023 and 2024 just prove his will to grow and share coffee knowledge.

At Elbgold, Osama not only oversees quality control but also mentors a team of baristas, blending hands-on experience with a fundamental understanding of the coffee craft. Whether behind the bar or advocating for sustainable practices at the bean’s origin, Osama’s dedication to elevating coffee experiences always resonates throughout his daily work.

Barista Stories are sponsored by PUQpress.

Osama, what is your first memory of coffee? 

The bedtime story of Kaldi and his goatherd that my father used to tell me in bed to prepare me for sleep. Also the stories about coffee farming in Yemen, since he worked there as a Chemistry teacher. I believed in everything he told me and I felt the connection so much. Then I remember the smell of ground coffee at the roastery & shop owned by my parents’ friend.

​​​​​What inspired you to pursue a career in the coffee industry, and how did you get started? What did you do before coffee?

I get inspired by people and our coffee community. I studied Business and worked in purchasing for a gourmet store for 6 years. When I came to Germany in 2016 I started to work in a specialty coffee shop because I love coffee and I wanted to practise every day my German language after 1,5 years studying at Goethe Institut. I loved baristing and I loved people who work with specialty coffee. I love our community.

Tell us a bit about the place you work at. What is your role there?

I’m a Quality and Education Manager at Elbgold Coffee. Elbgold is a specialty coffee roastery with 5 coffee shops in Hamburg and it already operates for 20 years. We create coffee experiences and try to make an impact at the origin. I train our team of baristas and regularly check the quality in the coffee shops. I’m working also as a barista, so you can often catch me behind the bar!

What is your favourite part of the day at work, and why?

The opening at the coffee shop… Greeting the first sleepy customers and making them coffee. I can feel the satisfaction immediately and this gives me good energy for the whole day.

How do you stay motivated and inspired to keep improving your coffee-making skills?

By keeping learning. I’m so obsessed with knowledge and with coffee, I always learn something new about coffee, people or myself.

What is the most significant change or evolution you’ve witnessed in the coffee industry since you began your career? Did it change the way you approach coffee training?

I guess many: the WDT tool and how important it is to prepare the espresso puck well for an even extraction of a balanced espresso. The Puqpress to have consistent espresso shots, the grind-by-weight function to help with workflow and the intensional coffee fermentations that elevate the taste and experience.

As a professional deeply involved in coffee education, what role do you see education playing in fostering a more inclusive and diverse coffee community?

I guess sharing knowledge is so important for elevating the skills of the baristas. Every small detail or bit of information makes a big impact at the end. Sharing knowledge improves the communication channels between us in the community and this elevates our industry.

If there would be one piece of knowledge about coffee you’d like everyone to know, what would that be?

That coffee is a fruit!

You have some nice achievements in championships. Can you tell us more about them? What are the next championships you’d like to compete in?

Yes, I placed 3rd place at the German Barista Championship 2 times in 2023 & 2024

In February I competed with Eugenioides Anaerobic from Finca Inmaculada and that was an amazing experience. I will compete in the Barista Championship again.

What is in your opinion the most important thing to have in mind when you start to compete in coffee championships?

To have a strong team and a coach. Championships are teamwork and the competitor is just the performer. It’s still the hardest role though. I’m so thankful for my team.

What coffee challenges are you looking forward to? Any new projects or collaborations?

I can’t wait to get an AST (Authorized Specialty Coffee Trainer) certification!

Quick Fire Questions for Osama Shammo:

Would you serve filter coffee with milk if asked for it?


Do you ever take sugar with your coffee?


Espresso or Filter coffee?


Milky or Black?

Flat whites in the morning, filter in the afternoon.

Slurp or spit?


Do you aim for Sweetness, Acidity, or Body?


Cake or Pastry with your coffee?


Favourite piece of barista equipment?