– Can you please introduce yourself in a few words.
My name is Karo and I live and work in Berlin, Germany. I currently work as senior editor at European Coffee Trip, while still doing some shifts as a barista, too. I combine two professions, both of which are connected by coffee, but it has always been more about people and my interaction with them than the product itself.
– What’s your story in the coffee industry?
I have had some amazing times working in London and in Berlin. I moved to London in 2013, and it is where I had learnt the most about the speciality coffee world, where I fell in love with coffee and became more confident in my skills. In 2015, I moved to Berlin. Here, I got a better idea of what I wanted to do, and where my focus was. It shifted from being a barista towards writing.
– How and when did you get to specialize as a coffee journalist (is this the right word? feel free to change it if needed)?
I have always been into writing and working in hospitality. Those two led to me becoming first a barista, then senior editor at ECT. While working in London I started editing and writing for ECT. It evolved into a regular workload that has eventually become my priority.
– What’s your specialty and what makes you different?
I like to think I have an eye for detail.
– What was your first coffee experience?
Some yummy instant probably. My step-aunt used to drink it with instant cocoa and milk. Oh god.
– How/when have you discovered about specialty coffee?
My memories are always bound to people I shared those experiences with. I remember getting into the ‘proper’ coffee back in my hometown, thanks to Kristynka Smudova, who then roasted at Kafe Kodo. That was the first coffee that did not taste like ashtray back then. I don’t like it these days, but Kristynka has her own roastery, Kikafe, and does an amazing job there.
– What was your best coffee experience?
I really love the many cups of Biftu Gudina from Ethiopia that I had at Five Elephant. I ended up competing with that coffee, it was so versatile throughout time. I have always loved coffees from Guatemala as well.
But the best coffee is usually the one served with a smile and without anyone touching the rim of my cup. 😀
– Do you prepare coffee at home? If yes, what method do you use?
Yeah, can drink a full carafe of it. V60, Kalita, French Press,… I sort of have a shelf and all sorts of methods sit there, waiting for me and my housemates to brunch.
– How do you like your coffee? Black, sugar and milk, iced, vietnamese style,…?
Mostly black, filter, sometimes espresso, double.
– How would you qualify yourself as coffee drinker (occasional, heavy, addict…)?
Heavy, but can go days without it. I’d rather go without it than drink bad coffee.
– Have you always been into the coffee industry? If not, what was your previous job?
– Do you have another passion or a hobby besides coffee?
Music, travelling, should I mention writing?
– What other place would you recommend, anywhere in the world (coffee or not)?
A place to live, or visit? I loved Copenhagen. Need to go back there soon. Coffee is not bad there, either. 😉
– What is/are your favorite website(s) to get information about coffee?
James Hoffman, Counter Culture has got always great learning materials, World Coffee Research, and the usual media I try to keep updated on as part of my job: Sprudge, PDG, …
– What would you say to people who don’t know much about coffee?
It is easy to fall for a tasty coffee. The humans love anything tasty and sweet. It is like with wine, once you tried the good one, you won’t feel like drinking that cheap table one anymore.