Our Barista Stories series has been long in the making. Since our first visits to cafes around Europe, we have met many amazing baristas who have had a number of interesting stories to share. We love the speciality coffee community exactly for the people building it and are thrilled to introduce some of those individuals to you.
Baristas truly are the ones who contribute to the atmosphere in the cafe massively and are the key reason why we’d revisit.
Read on to meet Aneta Wieczorek, brewing your daily cup of coffee at Drop Coffee Roasters in Stockholm.
Aneta is a 25-year-old barista who joined Drop Coffee Roasters team in Stockholm, moving to the city from Warsaw, Poland, where she is originally from. She works full time as a barista, but her career in coffee is relatively short, just about a year within the speciality coffee industry. Nevertheless, she has already competed for example in the Swedish AeroPress Championship.
A few questions for Aneta
What led you to coffee? Could you describe the moment or situation that made you decide to become a barista?
I guess that would be because I used to hang out a lot at coffee places back in Poland. I met a few amazing people who inspired me and introduced me to the speciality coffee wonderland. And when I moved to Stockholm, I figured I really wanted to try and become a barista myself.
What would you do if you were not working in coffee?
If I weren’t into coffee I would probably go back to studying.
What is an unusual habit or hobby that you love?
That would be my modest magnet collection. Seriously, at this point, I could open my own store. It started off innocently, with me buying a magnet whenever I was abroad, or just having my close friends getting me magnets now and then. In a couple of years, that hobby kicked off so badly that I started getting so many I’m sure it’s at least 300 now.
What qualities set a good and a great barista apart?
I honestly believe a good barista is the one who knows about coffee and serves it the best possible way. However, the difference between a good and a great barista would be that individual time you spend on every single customer, telling all about the origin of the coffee beans, the processing and the brewing method, and all of those details that lead to that perfect cup of coffee. That, I believe, makes a significant difference.
If you have a bad day at the cafe, what helps you to handle it and provide good customer service?
I think just taking it easy, everyone can have an off day. If you do have a bad day, just put on some groovy music, have a good laugh with your colleagues, even be honest with the customers, they are also humans. Grab some coffee and keep on going!
What is the one thing that you would miss the most if you could not work as a barista/in coffee anymore?
I guess that would be these lovely quiet mornings when you open up a cafe by yourself, prepare everything, set the first batch, put on some cosy music and just wait for your favourite regulars to drop in for a coffee.
Imagine the perfect day in your city. Perhaps you have an old friend visiting. What would be top 3 to 5 activities or places you would show them?
It was hard for me to decide what city to pick so I am gonna write a tiny bit of both. Starting with my beloved Stockholm. Since I both work and live at Södermalm I know that this beautiful island has so much to offer. I would start off from the view spot on the top of the Södermalm mountain called Apberget. From there I would head towards the heart of that wonderland, stopping by at Drop Coffee Roasters and then just keep on walking towards Slussen, swinging by another viewpoint called Katarinahissen. And then probably finishing at Pascal for a pastry and a cup of coffee.
When it comes to my favourite hometown, Warsaw, I would definitely walk around the old town, then stroll across beautiful streets packed with history towards Forum, a home of the Polish Aeropress and Brewers Cup Champions for some coffee and food. And for the final stop, my favourite JAVA Coffee Pop-Up at Hala Mirowska!
What do you consider some of the best experiences you have had in coffee so far?
That definitely would be taking part in the Swedish Aeropress Championship this September. I had never participated in any of the coffee-related competitions before, so, to be honest, I had no idea what to expect. The whole event turned out to be of such a nice and laid back vibe, packed with amazing people and loads of delicious coffee goodies to try out. Really, the whole event opened so many doors for me, gave me a lot of motivation to brew coffee more, not just at home. Taking a second place gave me a huge inspiration to fool around with coffee, not sticking only to one recipe but playing with the beans, temperature and time.
Quick Fire Question
Would you serve filter coffee with milk, if asked for it?
I always advise against it, but everyone is allowed to have it the way they want 🙂