Barista Spotlight: Alica Bánszka
Hello, what is your name?
Hi, my name is Alica, but most of the people call me by nicknames and the list is too long to count!
Where are you from and where do you work?
I come from Slovakia and right now I moved back from The Barn in Berlin and currently, I am a barista at a coffee shop called "pán Králiček" (Mr Bunny in translation). So I went to the rabbit hole, just like Wonderland Alice.
What peaked your interest to be involved in the specialty coffee industry?
The first specialty coffee that I tasted. I did not put sugar and milk in my cup, I enjoyed the taste completely and I was amazed. Washed Kenya served by our head barista and that now is one of my best friends. His passion for coffee got to me, also it was something new and I wanted to know all about it.
How do you define community?
Group of people finding a way to cooperate and bring the best out in each other. Supporting each other and not fighting or gossiping about each other. Focusing on what we all love—coffee finding strength and working really hard on the current standard of coffee culture.
What made you want to get involved with the BGE?
Community, people and BGE events. I attended Colab in Berlin and last Barista Camp. It was so overwhelming seeing so many people basically doing "the same thing"—coffee—with similar passion. It was at the time that I started to burn out a little bit, being in stereotype, but each time it made me realize that we are doing a really great job, not only for us but for the people behind the cup—roasters, farmers, importers, people of each country of origin. And I am so grateful for that.
What did you take away from your experience at the BGE event you attended/volunteered at?
That people aim for same goals as me all over the world and I am not alone. Anything I am struggling with there are people able to help me and last—I made friends with different backgrounds and approach in the field, each one of those experiences is valuable and you can use it for a good cause.
What is your most memorable coffee moment to date?
Being really frustrated, hating my job, feeling helpless and the watching "A Film About Coffee" where is this beautiful scene when farmers taste their coffee for the first time. That made me cry and realize that in the end, it matters—I matter as a barista and it is my responsibility to bring out the best to the table. And also new fermented methods of processing that taste like rum. Yumm.