Tell us about your career coffee and your current role at GB
I started working with coffee in 2011 while studying at Helsinki University, after I managed a get a job in a café where my sister used to work. The café sent me for coffee training in my second week and I believe I was pretty much hooked straight away. It took me a while to have the courage to pursue my dream of working in the coffee industry though and to “throw away” my studies. Since I have realised that I am actually incredibly lucky to work with something that I love.
I have worked as a barista in various places including Artisan Coffee and Nude Espresso before landing a role as production assistant at Workshop Coffee’s roastery in 2015.
From there I went working with Kiss the Hippo as their Head Roaster and I now working at The Gentlemen Baristas roastery as the Head of Production; managing everything to do with coffee and roasting. We have got a very small, but mighty team and I really like what I do.
What does a typical day look like for you?
It depends on the week how busy we are and what day it is, hahaha. The only thing that happens typically every day is that I have a cup of coffee first thing when arriving to the roastery.
We hear you’ve also competed on the coffee scene? What was that like?
I have been playing team sports since little and I also have 4 siblings, so competing comes pretty naturally to me. I first competed in 2016, and came 2nd in the Finnish Barista competition. To be honest, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but luckily I had someone more experienced guiding me through it all.
I then decided to compete again, and it was one of my career highlights to represent my country in the World Cup Tasting competition in Brazil in 2018. Since then, I have been coaching and giving my advice on competing for my close friends from the industry. I really enjoy competitions and I like to be part of the community they bring together.
What’s your favourite thing about where you come from?
I am originally from northern part of Finland, near Lapland! I love the close relationship we have with nature. I also like our coffee breaks while working; coffee and cake, I mean what’s not to like? In Sweden they call this FIKA.
Where would you head when you have time / a day off if we weren’t in a pandemic?
Here in London I love to explore new winebars, coffeeshops and restaurants.
Do you have any local tips? Maybe there’s a hidden gem you’d like to share?
My favourite places to drink wine are Terroirs Wine Bar in Central London or Quality Wines in Farringdon. If you’ve never been, make sure you go once the lockdown ends!
What have been the biggest learnings that you’ll be taking into 2021?
This is such a cliché, but if anything 2020 thought me is that take each day as it is and appreciate the things you have in life. Take care of your wellbeing!
What are you most looking forward to in 2021?
Getting vaccinated. No seriously, seeing people and hugging all of my friends. Workwise, hopefully we will have our new roastery up and running by the end of the year. Very Exciting!
What’s been keeping you grounded?
I think spending time in the nature and respecting what the nature is giving us is a great way to stay grounded. I also try to be fully present, owning the moments of life and practice positive vibes overall.
Are you reading anything you’d like to recommend?
I am reading a lot of cooking and baking books at the moment. Would totally recommend Ravneet Gill; The Pastry Chef’s Guide, epic recipes.
Do you have a mantra you live by?
Not that I live by, but I believe good things happen to good people and that positivity and happiness are choices. Hashtag #behappy.
How do you take your coffee?
What’s your favourite origin and why?
I think my favourite origin is Colombia. I believe the country has so much to offer and also one of my all-time favourite coffees comes from Granja La Esperanza. Their Sudan Rume is incredibly delicious!