Community is incredibly important for our team at Acaia. Every year, as part of our community support, we sponsor a range of local & international industry events and barista competitors.
We offer barista sponsorships to support and encourage a more diverse lineup of competitors. There are many obstacles for competing baristas, on both the national and international levels. We hope the program will help them on their journey and achieve their goals on a more equal world stage.
In the below interview, we speak with sponsored barista Dominika Piotrowska. Dominika competed and won the Austrian Barista Championships in November of this year.
This interview has been edited for clarity.
1. Please tell us about about yourself.
My name is Dominika, and I'm originally from Poland. However, I've lived in Vienna, Austria, for almost three years. I've been working in the hospitality industry for about 13 years (although I've lost track of the exact number!). I've been involved in the specialty coffee industry for around eight years. The coffee industry has completely changed my life (for the better, of course!), and I can’t imagine doing anything else.
2. Why did you decide to enter coffee competitions?
I cannot recall the exact moment when it happened. However, once I became a part of the coffee world, I started meeting new people who showed me more and more things about it. I witnessed some of my colleagues participating in competitions, and one day, I thought, "I want to try that, too." The curiosity and encouragement from my coffee colleagues opened this door for me, and since then, I have never looked back ;).
3. How was your experience during the competition?
The barista championship is the most challenging category in all coffee competitions. Preparing for the stage performance requires a significant amount of time and effort. As someone who has competed before, I have gained valuable experience on how to prepare for this competition. This year, my concept was inspired by wine, as I am also a sommelier. I chose a unique porcelain designed by a Spanish sommelier with an aroma chamber that opened up the aroma and taste of the coffee, similar to a wine glass.
For my signature beverage, I created a "coffee wine" that recreated the taste of the first natural rose wine I made with a friend two years ago in Austria. And the last, coffee fermentation is similar to wine fermentation, which helped build the concept.
4. What are your thoughts after competing? Will you compete again, and will it be in the same competition?
I have little time to think about my competition as I am constantly traveling for work. However, I have closely reviewed my scoresheets to identify areas where I can improve my performance. I am happy that I achieved my goal and won the Austrian Barista Championship, which means I will be on stage in Busan in May. Despite my busy schedule, I would love to compete again and participate in the Brewer's Cup.
5. How did you use your sponsored Acaia products?
I was fortunate enough to receive sponsorship from Acaia. They provided me with two Lunar scales that were ideal for measuring the espresso in all of my drinks. The Pearl scales were perfect for measuring the weight of ground coffee in my portafilters. Additionally, the dosing cups were incredibly helpful for storing extra pre-weighed coffee beans. I also used them to store ingredients for my signature beverage.
6. What's coming up next in your journey with coffee?
I don't have any big plans right now. My sole focus for the upcoming months is preparing for the world stage. After that, I can make more plans.
Thank you for the interview, Dominika, and we wish you the best of luck in Busan!
Read more about our Competitor Product Sponsorship Program here.