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Coffee Stories

Ewa Malicka

By 2nd July 2023No Comments7 min read

When most people think about touring different countries, they think of the landmarks, heritage sites, and tourist destinations deemed fit by people all over the world. Today’s coffee story introduces Ewa Malicka, who loves to tour countries, not for sightseeing but to experience coffee and coffee shops in place of landmarks and heritage sites.

Ewa Malicka

Ewa Malicka

Ewa hails from the beautiful home of Pierogi, Poland, and has lived in the United Kingdom for over five years. Since moving to Edinburgh, Scotland, in 2015 and starting work as a barista a year later, Ewa has found a way to satisfy her never-ending desire for knowledge of coffee and cupping techniques. In her first weeks in the lively city, she already had an interest in the coffee businesses in Edinburg. She looked for places to work and got a job as a floor staff. She made judicious use of her free time then, as every chance she had was another opportunity to research and speak with people about coffee, milk, and how the coffee machines, like grinders, worked.


“I was always interested in people and loved chatting with baristas in new places—coffee shops I was going to.”


Once she got home, she would dive deep into YouTube to watch videos and learn about the theory of espresso extractions and milk knowledge. Because Ewa’s workplace was relatively new, the business was open to experimentation and gave its baristas the leeway to try coffee from different places and different brands, collaborate with coffee suppliers and cafes, and also learn how small businesses worked.


The coffee beans could come from afar, like from The Barn in Germany, or close by from William and Johnson’s in Edinburgh, but this experience threw her deep into the business of coffee and curated her interest in visiting roasteries, improving her pallet while cupping, and attending coffee events like the Edinburgh Coffee Festival.


In 2020, she made the bold step of moving to South London, where she currently resides, to finish up her university degree and graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Acting and Dance a year later. Working at Caravan Coffee Roasters during that time was one of the things she did to keep her connected to the coffee industry, as she also worked as a part-time coffee trainer, teaching refresher courses and new employees in cafes on espressos or regular daily routines.

Ewa Malicka

Ewa Malicka


“It gave me flexibility, and I could still stay close to the coffee industry.”


London’s Borough Market was also where Ewa got to taste her most memorable coffee. It was a Monmouth Oat Flat, which she took after having an espresso. She recalls the sweet aroma and fruity berry taste of the Ethiopian beans because the drink was so good that she had to write it down. It was very creamy, and the milk was steamed so well to the right temperature for drinking. Meaning, when she visits a new place, she orders it, or a filter or pour over coffee. When she’s at home though, she prefers her V60 recipe of 15g, 250 ml, and 3.5 minutes of brew time. 


Ewa has found help and inspiration from the people around her, her co-workers, and her friends, who never fail to inform her of their favorite coffee spots, which she visits whenever she travels. Rather than remember tourist sites, she would rather remember coffee shops, “For example, I don’t remember New York from all this touristy stuff; I just remember Brooklyn’s SEY Coffee, Copenhagen’s Darcy’s Kaffe, or Iceland’s Reykjavik Roasters,” which makes her more willing to travel as she could taste different coffee.


“It became a tradition that whenever I travel, I make a list of my top ten best local coffee shops, allowing myself to experience the essence of each place authentically and feel like a local for a couple of days.”

Ewa Malicka

Ewa Malicka

Ewa knows what it means to have little skills and improve them over time through perseverance. This is one of the reasons why she loves gifting out coffee beans as gifts to friends and families because she sees the effort, the intent, and the artistry not just on the package but also what is inside the package-coffee beans, which are a representation of hard-working producers and farmers, whose valuable stories and roles need to be brought to the limelight.


The amount of time she has spent in the coffee industry has come with hurdles that she has had to overcome. Ewa notes a time when she had limited knowledge and resources, which slowed her growth. She overcame this by taking risks and leveraging opportunities, which got her to where she is now. Things might have felt repetitive at some point, but now that she is freelancing and working as a head barista, she has control over everything she does, and she is sure that she is on the path to success. Her definition of success is

“to be able to do what you love on your own terms. To act, create stuff, and have my own coffee place without compromising.”


For her, working as a freelancer in London has been an enormous thrill. She has time to gain other skills, one of which is roasting beans and coffee marketing. Outside of coffee, Ewa is interested in independent movies, theater, modern art, visual filmmakers, photographers, fashion, and design, as she gets inspiration from visual spectacles and doesn’t need much to be moved.


Her guiding principle, “stay true to yourself, remain open-minded, and embrace new opportunities,” has granted her an open view of life. She has seen the coffee industry grow from how the massive coffee markets, especially in Europe and in countries like the USA and the UK, greatly affect other coffee businesses, making it difficult for them to stand out, and even the changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.


“People are buying coffee machines and equipment for home and learning to brew from friends or YouTube. I love that because when they come to the coffee shop, they know what they want or like. They are more knowledgeable than before.”


Just like we at IMNAB are ready, Ewa Malicka is ready to welcome all the new advancements and improvements in this beautiful world of coffee. She is always open to visits in London or wherever she may be in Europe and her message to anyone finding their way through this industry is,


“talk to people, network on any stage you are in. Go to industry events and try bean practice; stay open-minded and positive.”

Oluwatobifunmi Olaniran

Take a bow! You got to this section! I'm an author at I'M NOT A BARISTA, a Creative Writer and Electrical Engineer from Nigeria. "I laugh in the face of danger." -Simba