Paulig Barista Institute
// 23.3.2020

What's up in Barista Institute?

We'll start a new blog series; What's up in Barista Institute! In this series we will write monthly what has been up to in our working and personal life. 

What has been happening in Ieva’s life?

ieva coffee and bread pairing
Our newest member in the gang; Ieva Pikzirnyte!

On the morning of 6th of January I excitingly stepped into Vilnius office as coffee and taste training expert. And boy, I can tell ya, it‘s been cool and fun, lot‘s of learning, travelling, presenting Cold Brew concept and making coctails, meeting colleagues in Tallinn, Riga, Helsinki and....tasting coffee. Yes, getting to know what Paulig is about, how to organize a coffee cupping and trying out the marvellous and oh so full of raspberries Jori‘s competition coffee. I‘m eager to start training with Mihkel and attend SCA course and participate in Vilnius Coffee Festival, where I‘ll lead coffee and cheese as well as coffee and bread pairing classes (a blog post about that is coming your way also?). It‘s been two months full of flavor for sure. 

My personal life was also been active as I try to manage sports everyday and guiding courses and guiding from time to time. In addition to that, spending time with my lovely goddaughter Sofia of 2.5 years,  meeting friends and reading books.

What has been happening in Karkki's life?

karkki training baristas
Karkki training baristas. Picture by Jaakko Jylhä / Deed Creative

Year 2020 was all about new beginnings for me. After a long sick leave and part time sick leave I returned working as a full time trainer again on 20th January. Oh what a joy it was t meet the colleagues and the customers again. I have always known that my core competences lie in the area of inspiring people and making them enthusiastic about coffee. This was even more clear when I came back to work. Also getting to do some semi-scientific stuff while blogging and participating in our new product development team’s projects made my heart smile. I was happy to start my winter with multiple SCA trainings and being able to give certificates for quite a lot new professionals. During the past two months I have also given a couple of interviews and helping out a soon-to-be-graduate. And all the time I have been working more and more in Paulig Kulma where I am doing quality assurance as well as creating documentation and ways of working.  

In January I moved from Helsinki to Espoo and turned a new page in my personal life, too, as being the only person in the flat anymore (however still being the queen of the flat of course). I also have had a pleasure to try out Chinese Moksibustion treatment – truly recommended if you are looking for a massage!!! Another pleasure was a ferry trip to Tallinn, it was just that the winter storm showed it’s worst face and the conditions were a little too bumpy for me and my boyfriend. It was nice to go back home where nothing was shaking and you could walk straight. :)

What has been happening in Mihkel's life?

mihkel roasting in paulig kulma
Mihkel concentrating in roasting in Paulig Kulma. Picture by Jaakko Jylhä / Deed Creative.

In December, I started learning something totally new in my barista career – roasting. I started to study with Paulig Kulma roasting master Tomi, who teached me roasting ABC and gave information how roaster daily tasks look like in Kulma. Now in January and February, after month learning with Tomi, I have been roasting alone once a week. And I must mention that my relationship with Bertha (Bertha is our roaster machine) - it has developed into deep and passionate trust to each other. I love that new role and responsibility in job! Also in January, I had opportunity to learn acting as I participated new Arabica beans advertising and now I am officially new face for Paulig Arabica beans. ? We also started in Estonia "Coffee craft" in our Facebook and Instagram channels. It is live broadcast where I am talking different topics related to coffee. First live was about "from bean to cup" where I talked that how coffee arrives from origin to our cups. Next live will be this month and subject will be coffee trends. Also we had event, where we tested with Jori almost all available plant based milks in Estonia.  We tried plant based milks cold, steamed and with a coffee. The participants were influencers and journalists. 

My personal life,  I have trained for Ironman Otepää 70.3 competition where I have to swim 1,9 km, then ride a bike 90 km and for dessert, run 21 km. Also in January, I visited first time Israel, Eilat. Really nice long weekend with a good company, weather, food, culture and and sights. I’m into about travelling, hiking and exploring and therefore my next destination will be Cyprus in March, where "the menu" will be similar, long weekend with all benefits.

What has been happening in Ella's life?

ella eating almond croissant
Ella has been eating a ton of almond croissants. Picture by Jaakko Jylhä / Deed Creative

I was planning to have quiet and easygoing beginning of the year. But as always ended up having huge hassle about it by promising to participate in everything. Note to self, learn to say no sometimes. :D Mostly have been training a lot in Helsinki and in the countryside. Travelling to the north was cool not only training vise but also as it was a chance to see some snow as in Helsinki we haven’t had any this winter.

As I am in charge of our flagship café Paulig Kulma, we have done lots of planning for the year ahead of us. We are hoping to invite you all to our fascinating festivals, parties, trainings, lectures and hopefully some other coffee related activities as well. Last fall we had the coffee mug workshop that was really popular so maybe something similar to that. What would you guys like to do? If you can’t join to Helsinki, you also follow all of our activities in Instagram @Paulig Kulma. And guess what soon we open our second Paulig Kulma, it will be in Moscow. Woopwoop! :)

What has been happening in Jori's life?

jori in brewers cup 2020
Jori was competing in Brewers Cup 2020.

My year started with my winter holiday and I returned from holiday in the end of January. Since then I was heavily practicing for the Finnish Brewers Cup 2020 that I participated on 7th of March. I was able to start the training for the championships a bit late because the ship that was bringing my coffee to Finland got into heavy storms in the Atlantic and was a month late. In February I was finding the perfect roast, tweaking my brewing water with magnesium sulfate and bicarbonates, trying out at least 20 different brewing recipes and making the presentation so many times that I can’t even remember how many. 

And it all paid out! I came 3rd! The competition was historically high-level as both me and the winner, Jani Mikkonen broke the record for points in the open service round. I messed up in the compulsory round big time which took me the chance to win the competition but I was happy with the result. :) I'm going to write a more detailed blog about the preparations and the competition itself in coming weeks so stay tuned! 

mauri the corgi
Mauri might look cute but he can be a pain in the ass if he wants to.

In my personal life it has been busy because our family got a new member 1st of January. His name is Mauri and he might look cute in pictures but I can tell you that he can get quite crazy sometimes! He is also our office favourite and almost every day I hear a question “When is Mauri coming to the office?”.

You can follow Mauri in Instagram: @mauricorgi