This is Łukasz Gałęcki, the owner of Barista Unfiltered, and we are so glad to share his coffee story.
How did you end up with coffee?
I reached a moment when I realized the jobs I did so far (marketing and corporate) just made my life utterly stressful, and I didn’t want to get a heart attack before 30. My buddies from student times from European Coffee Trip offered me to write an article about the coffee scene in Ankara, and that’s when I got hooked. I knew I want to understand the magic and craft behind excellent specialty coffee. So I did my best to learn on my own but ended up moving to a different city and working in a specialty cafe 🙂
What do the day-to-day responsibilities look like?
I’d love to give a straight forward answer, but it’s not so easy. I’m ahead barista, so I usually start with morning shifts in the cafe, make sure that everything runs smoothly, and make sure everyone around is happy. I also work on all the crazy, creative projects we do – breaking Guinness records in brewing, innovation on coffee festival and coffee competitions. I’m as well responsible for training new employees and co-train courses with my fellow AST friend.
What’s your favorite part of your daily work?
I love to see the smile – when my guests get their cup of coffee to tune into the day when they have a break to relax or when my colleagues taste some delicious brew. I can also say that there is no single day when I haven’t learned something new while working with coffee. There’s always something excited to try or taste.
Do you remember the first time you had a perfect cup of coffee? What was your emotional state like?
I think it was in the Rispetto cafe in Ankara. A beautiful brew from (now my friend) Nihan. For me, it was a magical moment when I understood how much knowledge and passion goes into a cup of coffee. It was a washed Ethiopian pour over as far as I remember. This really made me realize that while sipping a perfect cup of coffee, you can really disconnect from your problems and recharge not only physically but mentally.
What inspires you daily?
There is something amazingly inspiring and beautiful in the fact that female baristas become national and world champions. I love to observe and follow their performances; they represent pure charm, the true spirit of hospitality, and always a profound message that changes the industry.
If we don’t talk about coffee, who you are, your hobbies, your favorite book, music, what you like to do?
I’m a soft skills trainer, so I also love to grow my personal skills and challenge my personality. I love books by Brené Brown that inspire me to get out of my comfort zone, take challenges, and at the same time, have space to feel vulnerable and stay human.
What is the biggest problem you facing now under the covid19?
I would say the biggest problem while facing the pandemic state is adjusting and reacting quickly to the dynamic situation. We still try to keep our cafe “take-away open” for our guests and be the beacon of safe and sterile sanity in the sea of chaos around us.
What is your daily life like now?
It’s waking up every day with new thoughts and ideas on how to push forward with our cafe during the day. Surprisingly the conditions really stimulate our creativity and help us to work fast without procrastinating with solutions. However, we don’t forget that our core goal is to still brew excellent coffee for our guests 🙂
How do you brew coffee at home now?
I have a dozen of pour-over and immersion brewing devices, and I love to rotate between them every day. I think my still most chosen device is a 3-cup Chemex because I fell like it’s utterly underestimated. I love to prove that it actually makes delicious brews. I’m also fascinated with the stone cerafilter that I got from my friend from Arita in Japan. It just produces an otherworldly brew each time!
What do you think about our #brewathome campaign, will it help people? Any suggestions on how we can do it better?
I think it’s an amazing initiative uniting as all in the coffee business to reach a common goal. It will definitely help spread the specialty spirit and not only support roasters and small companies but also create a lot of education buzz around brewing quality coffee at home.