I remember being sat down by the manager of the cafe where I had my first ever job as a barista being told “you’re really good at this, you should consider this as a potential career.” But at 19 years old and halfway through my first year doing a University degree a career in coffee was the last thing I was considering. For me, being a barista was a fun side gig to give me cash while I was studying.
Fast forward 7 years to the present day where I am now a coffee professional living on the other side of the world in Stockholm all I can say is it’s funny how quickly things change. I remember the first thing that had me absolutely hooked on making coffee was making latte art. I don’t see myself as an overly creative type, but there’s something so pleasing about pouring beautiful latte art and seeing the customers’ reaction.
I started working in cafes when I was 19, working busy weekends as an extra while I spent my weekdays studying a Mathematics degree in Melbourne. I did this for about 2 years, working in different cafes around Melbourne while getting more and more interested in coffee. But I never thought it could lead to a career.
That was until I was in my third year of University when I landed a job at a busy cafe in the outer suburbs of Melbourne. By this point I was pretty sick of my studies, and as fate would have it – it was here where I discovered that being a coffee pro could actually be a career. So I jumped on the opportunity to discover my passion and see where a career in coffee would take me! I dropped out of University and booked a one-way ticket to Europe!
The first stop was Paris, where I worked for 6 months. Though it was small, the barista community in Paris was tight knit and thirsty for knowledge. This suited me very well, and during my time in Paris I learnt more about the science of coffee than I had in the previous 3 years in Melbourne. Then after 6 months I was offered a job to help open a cafe in Geneva as the head barista. So I booked my next one way ticket and made my way to Switzerland! My time in Geneva was fun, and I grew a lot as a barista as this was my first time in charge of the coffee setup and I had no close contacts to reach out to when things got tight! After an intense 6 months I decided it was time to move on to my next adventure.
By this time I had some decent experience under my belt, and I knew I wanted to explore Scandinavia. I searched around a little and managed to land a job here in Stockholm as the Head Barista at the immensely popular Cafe Pascal.
Sometimes in life things just click, and for me moving to Stockholm was one of those moments. Very quickly I was able to establish a great professional network, as well as making great friends and really loving the way life as a Stockholmer. There was also a lot of opportunity. I noticed that for a city with such an international reputation for great coffee, it was weird that Stockholm didn’t have it’s own Coffee Festival, so I decided to be the one to change that.
In 2018 one year after arriving in Sweden, myself and a barista friend of mine launched the first ever edition of the Stockholm Coffee Festival, and the reception completely blew us away! Since we were independent and new, we had a shoestring budget and expected no more that 250/300 people to show up. However 30 minutes after opening the doors we had about 200 people in the Festival at the same time! By the end of the day we estimated that we had about 800 to 1000 people stop by for coffee. What a crazy experience.
Nowadays I own a small events company that provides baristas and coffee machines for hire in Stockholm. The team that hosts the Coffee Festival has now grown to 4 people, and we host the Festival once per year. Our goal is to become one of the biggest Coffee Festivals in the Nordics. Sproud has been our Headline Sponsor since 2019 and I hope that the relationship can continue to flourish into the future!
Latte art remains one of my favourite things to do when making coffee, but before I discovered Sproud I was always sad when people ordered Vegan Cappuccinos because the alternative milk available did not perform like cow milk did with latte art. Then along came Sproud. Not only did Sproud perform exceptionally well with latte art, but the fact that it is flavour neutral means that the flavour of the coffee is highlighted instead of masked. Now I get excited when I make vegan cappuccinos!
I’m proud to be Sproud ambassador!