Nicole Battefeld-Montgomery: Coffee Insurrection Hero Chapter #13

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Nicole Battefeld-Montgomery: Coffee Insurrection Hero Chapter #13

Coffee Insurrection
1- Introduce yourself: who are you, where are you from, where do you work and what’s your job.
My name is Nicole Battefeld-Montgomery, I live in Berlin, work at Berlin and I make coffee. At work I am trying to be the creative and motivating part of the company that connects all aspects of coffee. From customer service to roasting, profiling, teaching and also selling equipment and coffee machines.
2- When and why did coffee become important to you?
I can’t really put a date on it, I guess it is just something that I was naturally good and comfortable with and over the years I realized how much this job changed my life. I would say that I am obsessed with knowing as much as possible about the field of coffee for maybe 5-6 years and over the years I constantly pushed my boundaries. It’s like a really intense hobby. First you buy an espresso machine, then heaps of filter machines, then all the equipment that you can get your hands on until now when I just bought a home roaster. And this is just my free time! At work I am obviously involved in the topic all the time. It basically became my life and I am still not even close to knowing anything about coffee. I feel like it is a never ending search and so much information on it all the time and coffee evolves so quickly that it will not get boring.
3- Do you remember the first coffee you had that was more than “just a cup of coffee”?
No, there are thousands of moments and each moment is relevant. Nowadays I get my hands on coffees that are so new and experimental that I have this feeling quite a lot. But my taste also had to develop. What I thought was amazing 5 years ago is probably not anywhere near as intense and exciting as the coffees I have tried in the past 3 weeks. And I still learn so much about tasting that some coffees amaze me differently every single day. The first time I smelled a coffee that was incredibly different, that’s a moment that I will not forget. It was a coffee from Colombia, El Paraiso, natural, smelled like Hubba Bubba bubblegum. I used it in my 2018 Barista Championship and won.
4- What’s your favorite thing about going to work in the morning?

Seeing my regulars everyday, having the power to make someone's day beautiful simply by serving coffee and having a quick chat, dialling in and drinking the tasters to see where the coffee is at which day after roast, being able to work in my dream job.

5- What’s your favorite brewing method and why?

I think I am very comfortable with the V60 because it’s the technique I know the longest and have brewed with the most. I find it very easy to control my flowrate and I get the cleanest results with it.

6- Which is the best coffee you ever tasted?

Finca Deborah/ Jamison Savage, Panama, Gesha-Interstellar And Hugh Kelly’s Barista competition coffee, yeast fermentation
Nicole Battefeld-Montgomery

7- Is there a country of origin that you tend to favor coffee from? Why?

I am drawn to Ethiopian coffees. I don’t know why but I just absolutely love the coffees from there. I have experienced a new level of flavour with the Project Origin CM coffees from Guji/ Koke and their different fermentation profiles. Since then I am fangirl number one, I am just obsessed with these coffees.

8- Suggest us a roastery to check (not the one you working at/you use at work).

It’s definitely worth ordering from overseas at in Canberra, Australia. Otherwise: , , Brewdogs, .

9- What’s the most important things you’ve learnt while working in the business?

Self Motivation is one of the hardest things to keep up. I really had to learn good customer service and how important it is to not just serve coffee but to create an experience. It is super important to train your staff constantly.

10- How your work and the specialty coffee world are coping with Covid and the new
challenges for hospitality?

It is hard to say for the coffee industry because some roasteries are selling more coffee beans than ever. And machine sellers are also quite happy about last year's development. But I certainly think it is a huge crisis for coffee producing countries, as the demand from cafes and coffee shops, restaurants and hotels has dropped to the lowest since ever.  The most challenging part was to be able to stay in business and to build up good working websites for the coffee shops to be able to still sell online. In Germany the Lockdown started at the start of November 2020 and will now slowly be lifted for outdoor setting with appointments and testing at the end of May. That is a long time to stay positive and to avoid depression for business owners! I feel that mental health is equally as important and challenging as fighting the extremely low green coffee prizes, due to less demand last year.

11- How do you see the specialty coffee scene in 10 years?

I hope that the world will realise that coffee is a valuable good, that should cost a minimum of 6 to 8 dollars/pound. I also hope that specialty coffee can secure more of the global market as at the moment specialty coffee only makes 5% of the world market. And I hope that one day coffee will be as appreciated as wine.

12- Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

As an educator and ambassador for coffee.

13- Any last word? Any tip or suggestion you wanna share with someone that want to
start this path?

If you want to open a cafe, please don’t just do it because it’s romantic and alternative and because you are sick of your old job. If you want to open a shop, don’t just open another coffee shop. Make a difference. Care about your product and not just about your furniture. Educate yourself on sourcing your products and communicate this to your customers. Be a gateway between specialty coffee and end consumer. Never talk down to your customers. Take them by the hand and show them other ways of how to choose, brew, drink coffee. Whatever you do, if you work in coffee, be passionate about it and be the difference. We need people that fascinate others to communicate how amazing the world of coffee is. It isn’t just a product. Coffee is art, live, culture, communication and so much more.

Nicole Battefeld-Montgomery

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