Around the time of Josef’s first coffee venture, the industry was growing exponentially, and the emergence of independent shops was only just taking off.
Starting from scratch, Josef turned to various training courses as a way to educate himself on everything coffee.
Working 50 to 60 hours per week and training in his spare time, Josef was determined to learn from the bottom up, truly grasping what goes into the perfect cup of joe.
Learning the basics, he quickly gravitated towards the higher quality classes in London like those of Monmouth Coffee Company and soon realised the only way to immerse himself fully was to relocate. In London, Josef began working as a barista for an Australian coffee shop before becoming manager of Camden’s iconic Leyas café – now known as Saint Espresso – where he met his wife.
“The coffee industry turns into quite a small world, after a while. It’s amazing to see what different walks of life come together.”
Two years into being a manager, Josef was offered the opportunity, by a colleague of his, to take over an old pub in Falmouth, Cornwall and transform it into a high-end restaurant. Together, they worked by the sea for 6 months.
“The key to a lot of cool cafés is a couple of unique people meeting each other and bringing their own ideas together.”
Not long after, Josef and his then girlfriend moved to Melbourne to discover the bustling Australian coffee scene.
“In Australia, everything had to be of very high quality since there was such intense competitiveness between coffee shops. This raised everyone’s quality to a level you just don’t see in the rest of the world.”
Josef and his wife spent a year in Australia, nurturing their love and knowledge of beans and food, before moving to Berlin for a couple of years, where Josef trained as a professional roaster and his wife worked as a baker.
Working at The Barn, an industry leader in offering 100% single-origin beans, Josef’s coffee roasting education soar to new heights.
Starting off as a barista, he knew such a position would allow him to grow within a good company. And, he was right. Not long after, Josef became Head of Training for the whole corporation, taking on inexperienced people, full of personality and passion, and teaching them his coffee ways.
“It’s important to understand how coffee beans differ from each other and how many flavours can come from the same product. You must learn to control the flavours and understand that even the smallest of adjustments can bring out more or less acidity. In terms of flavour profiles, there’s always something new to learn because someone’s always trying something different.”
When asked what the future of the industry looks like, Josef was confident in the idea that the future of coffee is digital.
Seeing as the food and drink markets are only increasing in competitiveness, it seems there is little to no market gap for new independent coffee shops, which is why Josef is turning digital.
Over the last two months, Josef has been working as a blog writer for Perfect Daily Grind, interacting with many roasters and suppliers who are trying to move the industry online.
In the hope of one day qualifying as a Content Creator and Social Media Manager for coffee companies around the world, Josef is working as part of the Digital Marketing Team at I’M NOT A BARISTA, striving to find new and innovative ways to transmit our message to consumers worldwide.
Josef wants baristas and hospitality workers to be appreciated just that much more.
“There are so many layers that go into that one cup of coffee. People don’t appreciate the amount of work that goes into finding different beans, bringing the best out of them by roasting them and the skillset needed to understand how to make the best filter coffee or espresso.”
Josef also touched on barista health as an overlooked issue and the many repetitive stress injuries he himself has had to endure, as a barista.
“Being a barista is almost like a sport. Cuts, scrapes and burns – there are scars all over me now”.
If you’re starting out as a barista, Josef would advise you to save yourself some injuries and get into Yoga as soon as possible!