Happy International Women’s Day!
To celebrate the day we are looking back on some inspiring female baristas from all over the world by sharing their different stories! Including their journey to where they are now but also the adversities, they faced as women In the coffee industry.
Many countries deem female baristas as less capable but these women trusted their abilities and reached their goals. We have included stories from a wide range of women, in a wide range of locations, including Poland, Iran, India, China, the UK, the USA and Italy.
They all have inspiring and different stories we would like to share. Here as I’M NOT A BARISTA we will continue to empower and share the stories of inspirational women in the coffee industry but until then you can view more coffee stories through the website on our profile. As this is such an important day and we would like to shed light on female baristas around the globe and ensure all women can be part of the coffee community.
“No matter bigger or small or if people take notice in your achievements, what’s important is that you’ve fulfilled your dream and take pride in it”
- Currently works at Subko Coffee, a speciality coffee roastery
- Opening her coffee shop shortly
Regina is a barista from Mumbai who has made a life for herself in the coffee community using her determination and passion. Regina was raised in an orphanage and had very limited access to coffee. This only fuelled her to learn about coffee and she began her coffee journey when she joined a summer course, offered by the Girls Home. Regina travelled through Nepal and Tajikistan on a biblical course which helped her gain faith in people. After this Regina began working at Sukbo Coffee and dreams of opening her coffee shop when she has gained even more experience.
If you want to read more about Regina’s journey you can view her full story here: https://notabarista.org/regina-begum/
“I love doing things that are not girly. Being a barista is mostly considered to be a man’s job in Iran, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”
- First female coffee roaster in Iran
- Laboratory sciences background
- Overcoming gender stereotypes
Shayli was raised in Qazvin, a city near Tehran. Shayli lost her father at age 13 and this caused her mother to be very protective of Shayli and her sister, much to Shayli’s dismay due to her desire to be independent. Shayli was accepted into one of the finest schools in Tehran to study for a degree in Laboratory Sciences, unfortunately, two years into Shaylis studies she lost her aunt and two cousins to a boat accident. Shayli struggled with debilitating depression and at this time became a regular at SAM Café but drank tea instead of coffee as she watched the baristas work. Shayli would go on to secure a position at SAM Café as a barista intern, becoming a permanent barista afterwards. Shayli used her background in laboratory sciences to study coffee in a very detailed manner and continues her work with the highest amount of seriousness, passion and detail.
To learn more about Shayli’s journey you can view her full story here: https://notabarista.org/coffee-science-and-the-arts-inside-the-life-of-irans-first-female-coffee-roaster/
“My biggest challenge is to find my place as a female barista in my country and show my peers that a female barista can be successful in this profession with her creativity and feminine elegance”
- Talented latte artist
- Started barista and latte art courses, collaborating with prominent Iranian masters
Neda is a creative coffee artist from Iran who also creates Russian dolls and jewellery as well as being a graphic artist and photographer. The common practice in Iran is tea but Neda’s passion for coffee drove her to pursue a profession in latte art and studying coffee. Neda aims to educate other baristas about the ever-evolving world of coffee and in doing so she has created barista and latte art courses. Neda is continuing to positively influence the coffee community to this day.
To read more about Neda’s latte art and creativity you can view her full story here: https://notabarista.org/Neda-mirzadeh/
“For me, coffee is a matter of respect. It connects people. The coffee community inspires me every day.”
- Navigating her profession as a woman with tattoos
- Designed coffee company packages and sacks
Nükhet is from Turkey, a country that can be called conservative in multiple ways. Nükhet has many beautiful tattoos which can present an issue with securing work in her country. Coffee shops are a place that Nükhet found to be a relaxing space for her and started her coffee journey as a waitress. Nükhet quickly went from a waitress to a barista and assistant roaster due to her interest in learning about coffee. Nükhet is a creative who enjoys many hobbies but coffee has become her favourite hobby and she spends as much time as possible making recipes and brewing coffee. Nükhet organises activities and roasting visits for the coffee community and currently designs packages and sacks for coffee companies.
To learn more about Nükhet’s story and art you can view her full story here: https://notabarista.org/nukhet-cubukcular/
“The biggest enemy during competitions is always yourself. Just do it and see how it goes. The longer you wait the lower the chances you will compete.”
- Three-time Polish Barista Champion
- Four-time Polish Latte Art Champion
- First female to win the World Barista Championships in 2018.
At first, Agnjeszka wasn’t a fan of coffee until she tried a caramel macchiato and then got a temporary job as a barista alongside her studies. Six months later she entered her first latte art competition and continues to make latte art to this day. Agnjeszka has competed in latte art championships, brewers cup, coffee in good spirits and the cezve/ibrik championship. Agnjeszka was not attending the 2018 World Championships with an expectation to win, only to improve her ranking the year before which was 34th. Agnjeszka’s win in 2018 proves to baristas everywhere that doing your homework and having fun yields amazing results.
You can read Anjeszkas full story here: https://notabarista.org/agnieszka-rojewska/
“You should know how much you are worth and work for people who appreciate and respect you.”
- Navigating the coffee world whilst being lactose intolerant
- Talented at latte art
- YouTube channel with a lot of coffee content
Jessie had her first significant experience with coffee in 2016 whilst backpacking in Vietnam. She spent time in a local café and was enamoured with the setting as she sat with her Vietnamese coffee. Whilst studying for her undergraduate degree in the UK. Jessie enjoyed visiting Mokoko, a speciality coffee shop in Bath. Jessie found that Mokoko served a great cup of coffee containing soy milk, due to her being lactose intolerant. Jessie has handled the workload of a Head of Coffee, Coffee Trainer and Manager at the same time.
Read Jessie’s full story here: https://notabarista.org/jessie-gao/
“Success can be as simple as making myself a good coffee when I’m having a bad day”
- Making a name for herself in the coffee community
- Achieving her goals even when her Cystic Fibrosis may try and limit her
Cíaras memorable moment with coffee was when she was recovering from a large operation relating to her Cystic Fibrosis. Her physio arrived early in the morning and took her out to a coffee shop, where there was a shot of espresso and flat white waiting for them. This is a fond memory for Cíara and gave her determination and enabled her to tackle the rest of her day.
Read more about Cíaras life here: https://notabarista.org/ciara-hillyer/
“We hope that we’ve done something that has a positive impact, even for a few people.”
- Knowledge of coffee despite not being a barista
- Organises competitions for the coffee community
Tanty’s relationship with coffee began with mainly instant coffee when she was studying in Australia and she had little knowledge of brewing. The thing that started her on her coffee journey was latte art. This fascination grew into an appreciation for black coffee and the brewing process, she had finally discovered this was where her passions lay. Tanty has established an impressive network of contacts and established a project named “Home Barista Indonesia” where she hosts an array of virtual events for the coffee community. Tanty hopes to host a brewing competition in the future and sponsors individuals who otherwise could not afford online courses.
To learn more about Tanty and her community you can read her full story here: https://notabarista.org/tanty-hartono
“I learned that coffee connects people. And I’ve been striving to connect people through coffee ever since…”
- Pushing her brand and vision despite adversity
- Partnered with Onyx from Arkansas and hoping to make a music-themed box set.
Melissa began her coffee journey in the TV and Film industry where she learnt that coffee connects people and that people need it. The first time she remembers having a good cup of coffee was in 2015 at Anchor Coffee in Bed Stuy. Also in 2015, Melissa started doing pop-ups in 2015 and struggled with profit even though she had a strong brand and concept. Now Melissa has her coffee shop with her unique menu and monthly themes.
Click here to read Melissa’s story from her point of view: https://notabarista.org/Melissa-stinson
“I love to share coffee news, discover interesting cafeterias, new extraction methods, and most importantly, share important information and knowledge to raise the public awareness of the long-term economic, environmental, and social health of the coffee industry, not only to baristas but also to normal coffee consumers”
- Participated in the Cup Tasters Qualification
- Has a coffee blog where she helps raise awareness and increase knowledge of issues in the coffee industry
Valentina began with her job in a big coffee company and it was Ethiopian coffee that sparked her love of speciality coffee. Valentina became a barista due to her new interest in speciality coffee as well as wanting to get closer to real coffee consumers. Valentina started a blog based around coffee even though speciality coffee isn’t a big thing in Italy and specialises in Moka Pot. Even though she is no longer a barista her love for coffee lives through her blog.
You can read Valentina’s account here: https://notabarista.org/valentina-palange
“The coffee I serve is strong, complex, sweet, with strong sour notes. It mirrors my personality.
- Named as one of the top 10 coffee shops in Italy
- Elected as one of Italy’s top 10 baristas
- The first woman to open a micro-roastery in Campania
- She is seeking a certification from the Speciality Coffee Association
Paola is an entrepreneur from the Napolitan coast of Italy who is following in her family’s footsteps after they started a roastery in Naples in 1930. Coffee is a large part of Italian culture but not many know about the technicalities of it, that’s where Paula comes in. Paula aims to educate others about coffee but due to her gender, she has faced many adversities, such as distrust in her abilities. In her own words “they are wary of trusting me and my competencies.” Paula pushed through her adversity and now owns one of the top 10 coffee shops in Italy and she was elected as one of Italy’s top 10 baristas.
You can learn more about Paula’s speciality coffee work here: https://notabarista.org/Paola-campana/
As this is such an important day and we would like to shed light on female baristas around the globe and ensure all women can be part of the coffee community. Because of this, we are offering a 30% discount on our Brewing Guide, which makes a great gift for a coffee friend, using the code SHEISABARISTA, shop to support now.