MAHLKÃ–NIG and Ditting (Companies of Hemro Group)
What other coffee jobs have you had?
I started 2004 as a barista at Double Eye in Berlin-SchÃ¶neberg, a very small espresso bar where you could get the best coffee in Berlin. Arno Schmeil, best boss I had, made sure everyone learned brewing coffee at its best. Together with two of my oldest friends from primary school, I had the best years of my life working at Double Eye. In 2007, I competed at the German Barista Championships and came in third. [I wanted] to use this championship as a cut, to use my diploma in industrial engineering and actually become an engineer for real. MAHLKÃ–NIG was looking for exactly someone like me with engineering and economical background and coffee knowledge. Two months later, I moved to Hamburg and started the perfect job at MAHLKÃ–NIG, where I also met my girlfriend, Frauke, and we had our daughter, Mila, in 2011. The third place in that silly coffee competition started a new life for me!
What’s your favorite part about working in coffee?
All of it is just great! It’s technical, it’s emotional. It’s rumors and beliefs, it’s science to prove. It’s a worldwide market but a quite small industry with very very dedicated people. Freak is a positive word in coffee. And [grinders are] inspiring products that everyone likes and you can always have inspiring conversations about, with everyone.
Where do you ideally see yourself in 10 years?
Still in coffee, that’s for sure: either in a coffee competence centre that aims for best equipment (and the scientific know-how on why it is the best) or in my own shop with a roastery implementing all the great ideas I get from traveling and seeing the most forward-thinking concepts.
Who and what inspires you?
I suck up all bits and pieces I see everywhere and save them in my head. And Frauke inspires me every day for her dedication to everything and awareness to every single moment.
What are you drinking right now?
At the factory, we are lucky to have lots of different coffees coming in. Today I had an espresso from the Aacri microlot from Bolivar Vosmediano, Ecuador, roasted by Quijote Kaffee here in Hamburg, and I made a Kalita with a coffee I still have from last years Nordic Barista Cup in Oslo. It was the Nordic Roaster’s competitor coffee from Korea. I have to admit that I don’t know the roaster, but it is still really, really good.
Crazy/memorable coffee experience you’d like to share?
My first cupping at the Brewmaster Course in Antwerp 2007 by Alf Kramer was my eye-opening moment in coffee. And every year the Nordic Barista Cup is my highlight ”amazing experiences.
What do you do when you’re not doing coffee?
I try to spend as much time as possible with my family, however I also need my sports (field hockey). A couple of times per year I go back to Berlin to see my parents and do coffee shop tours through the great specialty scene in Berlin . Oh, that’s coffee again.