My coffee journey

My name is Filip Beňo

and in the following few lines I am going to provide a brief overview of my coffee journey.

Signing up for a barista course without even knowing where you are going is brave.

So far it worked the same way for me, but I would like you to the attend the course with a smile on your face knowing that you will be in hands of a person who cares about your education.

I lead every course in person. At least unless it is a competitive latte art, there are other guys for that 🙂

2009

Dark Period

The year was 2009. I call it the dark period.

At all started in Avion Shopping Center in Bratislava with a dishwashing job.

After a few months I was promoted to work with a coffee machine and I stressed out, whenever I had to prepare several milk coffees in a row 🙂 The following six years were about changing bars and cafes.

At one place I stayed for a year, at another for just a couple of days. Working in gastronomy is not an easy feat but it taught me a lot. I learned to work fast*.

Each bar had a different setup, different appliances, different menu, and of course different collective. Sometimes I had to run around like a hamster, sometimes I just stood behind the coffee machine and ground ten kilos of coffee a day. Few days ago, I browsed my old CV and I counted 14 businesses overall.

Anyway, it was a valuable experience, kind of like preparation for what I am doing now.

* really fast

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Goriffee

Everything has changed in year 2015 when I sent the aforementioned rich CV to a beginning a start-up coffee roastery called Goriffee. I remember the interview and the first espresso in detail.

Back then I found it sour as hell, but now I would call that tasty fruity 🙂

They picked me. Into a small café “in the hallway” of the library in Goethe-Institut. 

Project Education

In that period, I had no idea that I will ever teach others.

Due to financial reasons I had to leave my favorite occasional job at Goriffee for a while.

A step back to Italian coffee however brought the most interesting thing it could.

Thanks to a picture in a cup, I was approached by Branislav Gröhling (current Minister of Education) with an offer to cooperate on a project called “Education”.

It was, and still is, a project aimed at the support of education of students at high schools. With better education students get the opportunity to enter the labor market. With my severely limited education I was supposed to come up with a course program, learn the basics and be able to fluently explain and teach those. You get it?

Teach! I was scared stiff, as I was riding a tram trying to memorize wet coffee processing method, while crowd of students was already waiting for my arrival.

I bet you wouldn’t want to trade places with me. Luckily, they found latte art to be the most interesting part of my lecture 🙂 

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Comeback to specialty

After my pedagogic experience I returned to Goriffee.

The world of gourmet coffee was opened to me again, at first directly from Rwanda, later on from the entire world.

I became a head barista, and started travelling for coffee, searching for cafes, quality coffee and giving it my all.

2017

Make It Better

One day I suddenly got an idea. Make it better. A service aimed at helping cafes and bars getting better.

At firs I had no clue how to do that, how to make people aware of me, how to offer my services, etc. So over time I forgot about that, the excitement dropped.

Later, one of my friends approached me and asked me if I could teach him latter art. It was my first individual course. Other than taking place at night in a closed café, it went really well.

Make it better found its way and individual barista courses became my priority.

In Bratislava.

2016

Basic

At first there was just one course – the basic course,over and over.

Almost every Sunday someone was honing their barista skills in a closed café on Panenská street.

This basic course underwent many changes. I added new topics and plenty of new information.

I invested most of the money I earned from courses back into new coffee pots, weights, tampers, and other gadgets.

And it was worth it. Every course is original, the only strict rule is the number of course participants (in particulars two participants), so the quality can always remain paramount.  And even though it is basically a course without rules, I guarantee that you will get to know everything important. You may find Facebook reviews here.

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Brewing

Filter coffee. If you were ever under the impression that coffee is just an espresso, I will help you get your facts straight quickly. The combat task of the barista is to choose the method of processing, properly grind the coffee, fuse the coffee with treated water and afterwards filter it at the right time using chosen technique.

It sounds fairly easy, right? In fact, there’s an entire science behind it.

Micrometers of grinding, water composition and temperature, brew ratio, extraction and its time, taste and above all taste! This course is called brew it better and it is going to teach you how to prepare filtered coffee, be it at home or in a real specialty café.

Business

If you already own a cafe, but you still feel like there is a space for improvement,

the way out for you could be a specific course called business.

I don’t even exactly remember when and why this course came to existence, but oftentimes it was a great adventure.

It is an external course, where I prepare my gear, weights, pots, and I head out to an unknown place.

Barista needs to be ready for everything.

I don’t want to scare you, but a couple of times I was afraid that something will pop out at me from inside of the 10 years old coffee machine 🙂 However without doubts I can guarantee you that you will definitely feel the difference. Even though I underwent quite a couple of external courses, be it at restaurants, hotels, or cafes, it was always an interesting experience.

After all, we always keep on learning.

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References

CAFE HYGGE

And now imagine that you never worked in gastro before, kitchen is the district of your wife (or even your husband), but you still long for your own perfect café.

You have a plan, money, and dedication.

This is the way that a call from an owner of now popular café in Púchov has started.

When I heard about the brand and the type of coffee machine and grinder,

my jaw dropped. I immediately knew that I needed to buy a new gear and get mentally prepared 🙂

If I recall correctly, I spend 40 days in Púchov because of opening and starting-up this café.

Café Hygge received all the necessary guidance, courses and is still a major success up until today.

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Hollerung Café

Another project that I would like to mention

even though it did not cost me as much effort thanks to a properly purposeful and handy owner is Hollerung káva & koloniál.

This unusual café is situated in forest park in Modra and for me it is an embodiment of chill and a perfect coffee.

I only wish it would be a bit close to where I live.

Coffee Me

A very interesting project that is a café Coffee me in Dunajská Lužná.

It holds a special place in my heart. For a while I worked there as a plumber, then as a coffee maker technician, then as a coach, manager, or a marketer… I believe that this place will find a firm spot on a coffee map.

Coffee me – Sky Park

After two years, Coffee me decided to
expand to the cutting-edge office building
in Bratislava.
Lobby in Sky Park Offices provided me with an incredible opportunity to create a dream bar.

It was my biggest and most
challenging project to date. I started thinking about this project a year ahead of its launch, and it worked out great.
Due to pandemic the start of the café was a bit slow but let’s hope that it will gradually captivate new guests with its perfect coffee.

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The Spot / Flatwhite machines

There is no reason why there couldn’t be a great café in an office. The Spot is a premium coworking space with a huge coffee bar. When setting up this bar I had the opportunity to closely collaborate with Czech company

Flatwhite machines that ships, repairs and
upgrades both used and new coffee machines and grinders. I believe this is going to be an interesting collaboration.

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Course prices

Basic

180€
per person
max. 2 people
duration 8 hrs
4 hours of training
specialty coffee
certificate

Brewing

150€
a person
max. 3 people
duration: 6 hrs
extensive theory and practice
best coffee roasteries
certificate

Business

300€
price for 1 day
course in you cafe
duration: as needed
tailored to your needs
calibration of equipment
intense training

Guidance

1500€
price from
bar design
drafting menu
selection of equipment
selection of products
multi-day course

Contact

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