How I turned my passion into profession

It’s been almost two months now, since I can say that I finally made it! I turned my passion into profession. I officially work as a barista in a specialty coffee shop. Where? At Milchhalle in Berlin Mitte. Doesn’t sound terribly exciting, I know, but for me it’s been a big step. I love this job and I’m very excited about what’s next to come. And I don’t regret anything about it. Maybe the salary isn’t very high, but you know what they say about being a barista? We might be poor, but sexy! ;)

But, let’s start with the very beginning. Three years ago, when I left my home country Luxembourg and came to Berlin for my studies, I used to drink sloppy coffee pads from brand, which isn´t even worth mentioning. So in one of our courses at University, we were discussing the social business model of Coffee Circle. And from that moment on, I really wanted to try their coffee. So, when I visited their page, I didn’t only buy some coffee, I immediately bought a Chemex, a Hario Skerton grinder and of course some beans. This was one of the key moments, cause from that moment on, I tasted for the first time, how good coffee, can actually be. My taste buds explored a coffee which was not bitter at all. It had these slightly fruity notes, which I had never found in my cup before. This experience got me very excited to find out more about “specialty coffee”, a word I haven’t heard about before.

So I was doing some research about what specialty coffee was and if there were any coffee shops or roasteries in Berlin, which would offer that product. After some visits to places like The Barn, Bonanza and Five Elephants I really fell in love. It fascinated me how much different a cup of coffee can taste and how much knowledge and love the baristas were putting into their job. They loved to talk about the product they were brewing, something I only knew from beer breweries before.

After some months, on a lazy day during my internship, I decided to create my own blog. A blog, on which I would post pictures of coffee places in Berlin I really love to go. So I created the Instagram account Kaffeegang. After some months, I had a couple hundred of followers, which made me very happy. I saw that there were many people interested in my new hobby and that they wanted to be part of my adventure. It made me so proud when someone wrote me for the first time , that she would always go and check my instagram account, before visiting a coffee place. In the first months, Kaffeegang wasn’t really a GANG... cause you know, there’s no gang with only one member. So lucky as I was at that time, good girl Antonia, told me that she really liked the idea of my blog and that she wanted to join me. That was the best that could happen to me, because since then, the gang was finally a real GANG. Antonia brought her photography expertise into our blog and taught me a lot about taking pictures from different angles and so much more. From that moment on, we started to create our own corporate identity, we got our own logo (props to Carla), we developed a visual concept for our Instagram feed and we could produce double as much content as before. Thanks to that, our journey together finally started and our blog evolved to a new level. We got many more followers, more positive feedback and more collaborations. We started doing video productions in collaboration with friends and partners. We started to learn from the coffee professionals and become friends with other bloggers, baristas, roasters and founders. Personally, this whole specialty coffee vibe caught me very intensely and I started to go to a lot cuppings, to visit events and to read books about coffee. I even wrote my bachelor thesis about specialty coffee.

After my studies, I started working as a community manager in a communication agency, but that didn’t fulfill me on a personal level. So after six months working there, I decided not to extend my contract and applied for a job as barista. I really wanted to get my hands on the craft and learn how to work in a specialty coffee shop, how to extract a proper espresso and how to do latte art. After two months, I can say that I really love what I am doing. I learn a lot every day, I have fun with my colleagues and it’s the job I really want to do. It’s the first step of many more in my career and I must say I’m really looking forward to explore more things and to work with the product I love. Coffee.

31.05.2019, Ken