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Paulig Barista Institute

I changed my whole life because of my love for the coffee

My name is Kaspar Tammjärv and I work as a barista trainer at Bocca Coffee Roastery in Amsterdam. I’m originally from Estonia but I moved to Amsterdam a year ago to pursuit my dreams in coffee. I got into coffee roughly two years ago when I started my coffee journey in Estonia in a cafe called Caffeine. Being a barista seemed really interesting because I could see what a single cup of coffee could make huge difference in one’s day. I wanted to be the one serving those “difference making” cups.

Kaspar Tammjärv: a guy who moved away from his home country to create a career in coffee

Since the beginning of my barista career I’ve looked for a place to improve my knowledge and when the opportunity opened in Amsterdam I took it. At the same time I was looking for place to do my SCA certifications so Amsterdam seemed like a perfect place for me. 

Read more:
- Cafés to visit in Amsterdam
- What happens in SCA Barista Skills Professional course

I was never a huge coffee drinker before becoming a barista and still have days without drinking a single cup. I try not to over consume coffee as I want it to be a treat every time I drink a cup. The best cup I’ve ever tasted was a coffee from Las Delicias plantation from Jinotega region in Nigaragua, the coffee was actually also 4th place in 2017 Cup of Excellence. I can still remember the flavour of this coffee, it had really light body with flavour notes of white tea, peach, grapes and citrusy notes. Those kind of coffees are the ones that make coffee so interesting. Coffee inspires me every day because it can be so complex and delicate. A hunger for knowledge keeps me going and one can never be ready or perfect as a barista – there is so much to learn and so many things that we don’t really know yet. 

During the past couple of years in coffee I’ve become quite confident with latte art and I can say that I’m quite good with it. I’ve competed in few Latte Art Throwdowns which are really good way to interact with people who share the same passion as I do. Throwdowns are also excellent place to learn new thing about coffee while chatting with other passionate baristas. I feel that improving yourself is really important and that is why I’m going to compete in barista championships. In the competitions you step out of your comfort zone and that is how you learn new things. The competitions are also a lot about sharing your knowledge with the other contestants as well as learning from them by watching their competition routines.

Read more:
- Sonja Björk Grant tells what it takes to compete
- How to win barista competition?
- 5 tips to prepare for the competition

Plan for the future is to improve my sensory skills as well as deepen my understanding about green coffee. It would be my dream to travel to origin countries to see different processing methods and how they improve or affect the flavour of the coffee. It wouldn’t really matter which origin country it would be as long as I would get to see my beloved coffee plant in its natural habitat.

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The hunger for knowledge keeps me going and my next chapter in coffee is going to be training SCA Barista Skills courses here in Amsterdam. I just passed my exams and now I’m going for an AST (Authorised SCA trainer) certification. I’m definitely not leaving coffee scene in the near future as there still so much inspiring stuff to learn! If I wasn’t already a barista, I would probably sign myself up to a course be one.

My name is Kaspar Tammjärv