We spoke to Natalia Piotrowska, Polish Barista Champion 2017 and owner of Bless Coffee Roasters about coffee, competitions and the OCD tool
How long have you worked in coffee?
I started my first job as a waitress making coffee back in 2008. Over the years I realised that making coffee is one of the things I like to do the most. Throughout that time I worked as a barista and coffee trainer across few departments along with maintaining a managerial role, followed by coffee consulting in later stage and up to now, with the opening of Bless Coffee Roasters.
What has been your favourite part of the coffee industry?
My favourite part of the coffee industry is the learning curve the industry provides us. The closest to my heart, I think, is the ability to connect with people from so many different parts of the world. Mostly, I enjoy the enthusiasm and drive of so many young baristas who are dedicating themselves to hospitality and the coffee industry, which I think is great for the future.
How long have you competed in Barista competitions?
I have been competing since 2010/2011. So, about 7 years of my competition involvement, with the same supporter and coach behind my back playing the biggest part in my persistence throughout years of competing.
What differences have you noticed in your extraction since you started to use the OCD?
I [began to use the OCD] just a little while after [it was first] introduced to the market.
While extracting coffees, I found my journey with the ONA Coffee Distributor has brought me more than just benefits in the whole coffee’s taste profile and overall cup quality. [The] OCD has made me think deeper as a barista about extraction and about my way of distributing coffee.
Prior to my use of the ONA Coffee Distributor, it made me not only [think to] use it as a tool, but also actually made me way more conscious about [the] process of distribution, further extraction and taste impact.
What differences have you noticed in your workflow/speed since you started using the OCD?
I found first days using OCD quite awkward as the tool changed my workflow – but I picked it up very quickly with speed and muscle memory. Now, I can’t imagine pulling shots without it.
I haven’t tried so many distributors on the market, too few to be fully able to compare them all. I am curious to see and try more distributors over coming time to learn differences and challenge my way of thinking about distribution.
Would you recommend the OCD tool to other baristas? Why?
I [would] recommend the tool mainly because I believe it is not only a distribution tool […] to improve extraction and taste; actually, I think it improves consistency of coffees served by many staff members and in some ways, it provides a solution for training and learning purposes, especially in early stage coffee trainings. It is not only a barista tool, but it is also a trainer tool.
2017 Polish Barista Champion
7th place at World Barista Championships 2016
2016 Irish Barista Champion
32nd place at World Barista Championships 2015
2015 Irish Barista Champion
2015 Best Signature Drink Award at IBC 2015
For more information on the OCD tool, visit onacoffee.com.au/ocd