Try Nicole's Favorite
"Grindz!!!! When I first used it it was a revelation for me! Ever since then, I started taking grinders apart and started understanding grinders better, so it actually was a gateway for more technological knowledge."
What is your current occupation and employer?
I work at Röststätte Berlin as a head barista, roaster, barista trainer, selling equipment, and taking part in national and international championships. I also work for VA Espresso machines in Germany giving machine demonstrations at conventions.
List all the national and world coffee competitions you have competed in.
- 2019 German Coffee in Good Spirits Championship, 1st place
- 2019 German Barista Championship, 3rd place
- 2018 German Barista Championship, 1st place
- 2017 Internationale Tiroler Kaffeemeisterschaft, 2nd place
- 2016 German Barista Championship, 2nd place
When and how did you decide to pursue a career in coffee?
I actively decided to work in specialty coffee five years ago, but I´ve worked with coffee since I was 18. It has always fascinated me.
How did you first decide to compete in a coffee competition?
I watched my first German championship in 2015 at work during service, and Erna Tosberg was competing. She is the role model for female German baristas and I was so fascinated how skilled, self-confident, well-spoken, clean and professional she was. From that moment on I just wanted to be like this as well so I decided to take part.
What’s the best piece of coffee-related advice you’ve received?
It´s not rocket science and we are not saving lives by operating on human hearts. We are just making coffee. Taking a step back from the tunnel helps me, because you sometimes get trapped in because coffee can be super scientific. But I need to get my focus back on the people that pay my rent, the customers.
What’s one piece of advice you could give that would help make an average barista become a great barista?
Stay stubborn and be self confident. Learn and read as much as you can. No one ever will appear in front of you and hand you knowledge or skills. You have to ask for it.
Can you tell us about your new coffee video blog? What was your inspiration to start it, and what kinds of videos will you produce?
The website and the blog capture my experiences as a barista in our community. I want to show what we do, that we work in a crazy but amazing industry and a lot of people have no clue, what being a barista actually means. It’ll show events as well as day to day coffee experiences.
I also feature a project which is called “female barista society” where I want to support and empower female baristas to become more professional by providing free trainings. This will be a community that shows that the coffee industry should be a role model when it comes to gender equality.
What is your favorite Urnex product and why?
Grindz!!!!! When I first used it it was a revelation for me! Ever since then, I started taking grinders apart and started understanding grinders better, so it actually was a gateway for more technological knowledge.
What is your favorite brew method at home?
There is no such thing…. I have to feel it. I have a small espresso machine which I named Stella and she´s a badass, but I also have many many filtering devices, some of them handmade and given to me by brewers cup champions. I am always super proud when I use them.
What is your favorite origin country, region or farm?
I have had so many surprises lately. The thing is through fermentation, processing, better technology and more knowledge, farms around the world really increase the quality of coffee. This can be in Ethiopia or Colombia. It´s simply too amazing what some farmers do to just say: all good coffee comes from just my favourite country.
What is unique about coffee culture in Berlin?
It is just so colorful. Berlin is it´s very own micro cosmos. Extremely international, very creative and also very high quality standards. Not a lot of shops look very pretty, a lot of them are actually. In kind words, it is very urban. But no matter how old the chairs or the sofas in a shop are, the quality and the passion of the people who brew you an amazing coffee and to give you a real experience are overwhelming.
Outside of coffee, what do you do for fun?
I paint and I boulder.