– Can you please introduce yourself in a few words.
My name is Kelly Maltsaar, I work as a barista in Tallinn, Estonia and I try to use pretty much any chance I get to travel.
– What’s your story in the coffee industry?
I started working with coffee in my first year in uni. I think it was my first coffee training that got me hooked and made me think differently about it. I then started my second year in a university in Nottingham and managed to get a job in an independent coffee shop. This again made me realize the beauty behind specialty independent shops. I have now worked in Renard’s for 3 months and am absolutely loving it, even the most geekiest parts of the job, experimenting and meeting people who share the same values in the coffee industry.
– What’s your specialty and what makes you different?
I still feel like I’ve only just started in coffee and that I have an insane amount of information to learn and process. I like to think because I am still a beginner in the coffee industry I have the enthusiasm and simplicity to explain flavors and notes in coffee in a simple way- the first things that come to my mind when I taste something.
– What was your first coffee experience?
I think I genuinely can not remember the first time I had coffee. It is something that has always been around my childhood house, my grandparents house and pretty much everyone I know. I do remember it was something that grown ups were allowed to drink. So when I first started having coffee it was half filter coffee and half milk.
– How/when have you discovered about specialty coffee?
In the summer of 2014, when I started to work in England, that’s when I learned that coffee could taste really good without sugar. I remember going to down to London and randomly walked into a cafe and ordered a take-away cappuccino and it just blew my mind. It’s what I try to do now, I often think if the coffee I serve is up to that quality that made me fell in love with coffee and keep trying to improve constantly.
– What was your best coffee experience?
I think it’s the same place I described in the previous question. Sadly I can not remember which coffee shop it was that first offered me such an experience, but then again, I think I like the mystery of it… that I’ve had such a good coffee somewhere and who knows, maybe one day I’ll manage to find the place and hopefully have the same experience.
– Do you prepare coffee at home ? If yes, what method do you use?
I have a V60, Aeropress and a moka pot at home. I mostly use the V60, but some days I like to mix it up with either of the other two.
– How do you like your coffee? Black, sugar and milk, iced, vietnamese style,…?
I like my coffee black or I enjoy a good cappuccino or flat white- no sugar. If the coffee needs sugar, I won’t enjoy drinking it.
– How would you qualify yourself as coffee drinker (occasional, heavy, addict…)?
I do drink coffee every day, it’s really hard not to when I work in a place with so many amazing coffees around all the time.
– Have you always been into the coffee industry? If not, what was your previous job?
I used to work as a waitress and thought making coffee was a similar job as waitressing. However I never realized how much attention to detail the barista job needed and I think the coffee industry gets more exciting every day, with new things to always learn.
– Do you have another passion or a hobby besides coffee?
I love to travel and I used to be into photography and creative writing, but university sort of took over all my hobbies. But maybe now that I am working and have my evenings free I could once again pick them up.
– What other place would you recommend, anywhere in the world (coffee or not)?
I’d recommend a place in the nature where you could be in complete silence- no cars, no city noises! Now imagine that serenity with an amazing cup of coffee, perfect isn’t it?
– What is/are your favorite website(s) to get information about coffee?
I think the Perfect Daily Grind and Barista Magazine blog are my main sources, but I do get a lot of information just by looking around Instagram.
– What would you say to people who don’t know much about coffee?
I’d recommend to try as many different things as possible, you’ll never know when you stumble across something absolutely wonderful.