Tania Villegas is a barista and actress from Mexico, we spoke to her about navigating both areas and her connection to coffee.
Tania initially was not going to share her story but her friends encouraged her. She sent it because if it resonated with someone else then she is happy.
“I want all of us to dedicate ourselves to what we are passionate about, I think that would be a better world”
Going from an actress to a barista is a very unique story, so how did Tania Villegas do it?
Being an actress was not enough to support her financially at the time. She decided to open a cafeteria and that’s where she discovered her new coffee connection. She then became involved in the coffee community full-time and to this day loves her job.
“I already loved coffee but when I discovered everything that speciality coffee has to offer, I fell in love with this whole world”
When we asked Tania Villegas what her favourite part of her day is she told us it was all to do with serving her customers at her coffee bar LBX La Barra del Xolo.
The way she had discovered speciality coffee and being able to give that experience to someone else is an honour. Even better when they bring their friends back to show them the beauty of specialty coffee. “The most challenging thing that’s ever happened to me”
The biggest challenge for Tania was the move to formal entrepreneurship. She had just started her mobile coffee project in September 2022 but the pandemic had hit by then. Suddenly her dream was halted and she quickly had to think of a solution and this would be to make her coffee project a fixed location.
At the same time, Tania also had to juggle the fast moving coffee industry. She handles this by making sure she engages with other baristas and people in all areas of the industry. This includes roasters, producers, consumers and of course, baristas. This motivates her to continue learning, the help from the coffee community is vital.
“Drinking coffee was almost like a daily ritual”
Tania Villegas was already a part of the coffee community before she learnt about speciality coffee. She couldn’t go a day without coffee and already had a special love for it.
Her connection deepened when she learnt about the artisanal processes involved in coffee. This led her to learn about the entire industry, from farm to cup. She discovered coffee from different regions of Mexico and she told us understanding all the flavours was a big moment for her.
“I want to dedicate myself to what I’m passionate about and be able to transmit it to other people, achieving a connection”
Success to Tania is all about her passion and relationships with other people in the coffee community. She gets a lot of inspiration from other people, the biggest inspiration for her is when people notice how much she enjoys her work with coffee. Another thing that inspires her is that she may be inspiring other people. The community inspires each other.
Coffee in Mexico
Tania is especially proud of working with coffee from her home country. Continuing to improve the processes of Mexican coffee is something she holds close to her heart. She explained how she has been lucky enough to work with quality coffees from places such as Finca Santa Cruz and Veracruz de Cafeco.
Aside from coffee, Tania carries her loving nature into all aspects of her life. One of her main values is to care for the planet, animals and other people. She believes that love for each other makes the world a better place, now and in the future. Tania was an actress for 15 years. She works in formal theatre, clown theatre and even independent cinema. She was also a theatre teacher for 8 years and her partner of 17 years is a musician who follows her dreams surrounding coffee every step of the way.
The Ever-Growing Coffee Industry
We asked Tania about the coffee industry and the fact it’s growing and changing so often. She told us how there wasn’t much information when she began and learning expanded an incredible amount due to social networking and the rise of social media. She told us “It seems to me that more and more of us are dedicated to speciality coffee”.
Due to her living in Mexico she told us how there is a lot of information missing in Spanish due to having to translate information created by those not speaking her language. She explained how these gaps will be filled and that she is excited for the knowledge of coffee to grow.
To end we asked Tania Villegas what advice she would give to others.
“Let’s keep learning about what we are passionate about, let’s share from the personal essence what we know and never stop out of fear. A different action every day will take us to the result we are looking for”
If you want to know more about Tania Villegas you can keep up with her on Instagram