#KahawaDiaries: How I Take My Coffee With Martin Shabaya

written by Yummy Editorial 16th March 2016

Martin Shabaya is the head barista at Artcaffe Group. He recently won the Kenya National Barista Competition for the second year in a row and was also crowned top at the just concluded Africa Barista Championship in Tanzania. He will now be representing Africa at the International Barista Championship slated for June in Dublin, Ireland.

Martin Shabaya, Head Barista at Artcaffe Group

What makes a good barista?

Passion, determination and craftsmanship. One should have extensive knowledge of coffee and thereby be efficient in preparing the products.

What’s the best part about your job?

I actually enjoy the moments when I walk into a coffee bar and find it very clean and well organised, with my fellow baristas doing amazing espresso based products and slow brewed house coffee. I enjoy watching the process.

What’s the one tip all coffee lovers who brew their own coffee at home/in the office should know?

Don’t boil coffee with hot water or milk at the same time. Instead, gently pour hot water over ground coffee and give it a good stir. Let it brew slowly, for no less than four minutes, then sieve. You can then add in milk if preferred.

How do you take your morning coffee?

I prefer it black and slow brewed, which is not too strong because as a barista, I have to taste coffee throughout the day as part of my job.

What’s your favourite pastry?

I like the eggless savoury potato pastry on the Artcaffe menu.

Do you have any favourite quotes about coffee?

Coffee, like life, should be enjoyed one sip at a time by those who’ve got too much blood in their coffee stream.


Coffee Marinated Steak


  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 cup strong coffee, room temperature
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 chopped shallot
  • 1 kg steak cut into 4 pieces
  • Kosher salt

coffee marinated steak



  1. In a medium bowl, combine the shallot, garlic, vinegar, mustard, brown sugar, olive oil and ground black pepper into a marinade.
  2. Pour half the marinade into a resealable plastic bag, add the steak and let it sit for 1 hour at room temperature. Add the remaining marinade and set aside.
  3. Remove steak from marinade and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 8 – 10 minutes on medium to high heat, turning and basting with the marinade until medium rare.
  4. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve garnished with chopped cilantro.

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