Who is Gwilym Davies?
A rugby player from the North of England who gave up a job (and rugby) that was making his mother proud to ‘live on a boat & make coffee in London’. After 10 years he entered a barista competition and won it, the title ‘world Barista champion’ meant he got to work as a barista in 35 countries, eventually arriving in Prague and loving it so much he stayed
Gwilym now focuses on training others and walking his sausage dog.
What’s your favorite childhood memory?
Prison and forests
I got brought up in a prison for young offenders. My parents worked there and we lived on the campus. I spent my childhood basically feral in the woodland that surrounded us, leaving the house in the morning and returning in time for evening meal.
If you could have a do-over in life, what would it be?
Life has at times been tough but to get anything worthwhile the mountain has to be climbed.
I do, however, wish I had not spent so much time in Newbury police station – it took me too long to realise that you did not have to be arrested to be an to be an effective activist.
If you could keep only 3 possessions, what would they be and why?
When I lived on a canal boat moving around the waterways of London, I had little room for many possessions and when a falling tree sunk the boat during a storm, everything else I had carried around with me for years got destroyed. Losing everything was upsetting but also liberating, I have got used to not getting attached to possessions.
What do you want your tombstone to say?
I will say all I want to say when I am alive, I have no wish for a tombstone, I simply want to be left in the woods for the wolves to eat.
What’s your passion project?
I am really enjoying passing on my knowledge in a training environment, with my wife we have created a lovely environment and well structured classes, I am proud of what we have achieved. The next step is to be part of a wider training platform that can reach more people giving credible, accessible training to baristas, coffee enthusiasts and cafe owners.
What’s your favorite coffee?
My favourite coffee is the one I will have the next morning, I think about what I will have when I go to bed and look forward to waking up. I usually have a few coffees to choose from as when we have a delicious coffee at the training centre I take some home and freeze it in individual portions ready for use. I brew the coffee as a hand poured filter but enjoy the ritual and time to myself before the day starts maybe more than the coffee.
In which coffee shops are we likely to bump into you?
When I am in London I of course spend a lot of time with customers and staff at my cafe Prufrock but I always find time to go to Bar Termini in Soho for an espresso stood at the bar then a cheeky aperitivo.
In Prague there are so many cafes I enjoy, I often go to the closest one but I often find myself fin Cafe Lounge for breakfast, Ema Espresso bar for a daytime coffee, then Cafe Letka or Kaverna Prazina as coffee time moves into wine and beer time.
What does a perfect day look like?
I struggle with this question: I have a great relationship with my wife, I appreciate the well equipped training centre we have together, Mrs Jenny Brown my mini sausage dog makes me smile every day and I live on the edge of Prague surrounded by Bohemian forest which is a 4 minute walk away from a delicious locally brewed IPA – I am pretty much content.
But a perfect day would have to start with coffee, involve unpasteurised cheese and doing something meaningful, ending up with wine and conversation with nice people before going to bed with a head full of ideas for the next day.