I still can’t believe it, but I was interviewed last summer by Essence of Coffee. As an early Christmas present, it got published last week. I am excited and grateful. My passion for coffee and my job, Barista and Trainer at Nømad Coffee, is so big and I am happy to share this passion. Like I always tell people “my blood type is coffee”. The interview was in Spanish, so is the article. To make it easier to read I’ve translated it for you, so no Google Translate needed!
Mariëlla Giljam: A Dutch girl with coffee in her blood
Our third in the serie of Maestras del café is about a the personality and career of a Dutch barista established in Barcelona who has made coffee more than just her profession.
Mariëlla Giljam (Sint Annaland, The Netherlands, 1989): This young Dutch resident of Barcelona carries coffee in her blood, as she confess on The Exploring Barista, a videoblog where she shares her day by day experience in the Catalan capital: “Coffee is in my life 365 days per year, and sometimes 366”. She is dedicated in body and soul, in her actual position at Nømad Coffee as a barista – one of the top places of the coffee scene of Barcelona, where she arrived after working for Costa Coffee.
Since her arrival in Barcelona, Mariëlla was able to separate us from The Netherlands in terms of coffee. “In my country, we drink a lot of filter coffee and less espresso and there is also more a culture of enjoying a coffee than here”, she says. Something that has surprised her is the lack of customer service in some places. “You can sit here at a table in front of the bar and no one helps you and nothing happens”, she says. This is not the case in the coffee place of Nømad Coffee where she works as a barista explaining to customers the origin, the process of making each coffee they drink. “I love educating and teaching and the contact with the customer”, she says. If you order an espresso it will be without sugar, this is how they serve it at Nømad, because “the coffee already has sweetness from itself”. Mariëlla will do it “with a lot of love, good roasted, not too much acidity and not too bitter, how the best espresso is made”.
“In my country, we drink a lot of filter coffee and less espresso and there is also more a culture of enjoying a coffee than here”.
Regarding to the proportion of men and women baristas, Mariëlla thinks that there are less women because “for sure they (men) started before” although she doesn’t care about this. What keeps her busy is to continue in making progress in her career. She keeps learning “Everything about making espressos and milk-based drinks” and she aims to become a SCAE (Speciality Coffee Association of Europe) trainer in the future. Other goals are to increase her knowledge about coffee by visiting countries of origin “like for example Cuba”. She also thinks about regain her competitive side as a barista that led her become third of Spain in a competition organized by Costa Coffee. Good luck!