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10 things that you FOR SURE don’t know about me

I will proudly say that there has been a lot written already about me 🙂 From world championship victories to endless training and presentations all over the world, and even launching my own coffee brand, I've gathered quite a bit of attention. And honestly, it feels great—interviews, photos, autographs, you name it. There's even been lists titled "What You Don't Know About Rojes." (my nickname). But now, I’m excited to share my very own list, hoping to surprise you!

1. I’ve competed in barista championships 52 times, securing 20 wins at various levels. As the only competitor in the world to represent my country in 5 different competitions (World Barista Championship, World Latte Art Championship, World Coffee in Good Spirits Championship, World Brewers Cup Championship and World Cezve/Ibrik Championship).

 I’ve won 14 Polish Champion titles and stood on the World Championship stage 13 times, making the finals 7 times and winning twice. This means I’ve won 38% of my competitions and made the finals in 58% of my World Championship appearances. I dream of snagging one more World Champion title to become the first person to hold three. But if that doesn’t happen, I’ll still be proud.

2. My coffee idol for many years has been Michael Philips, the 2010 World Barista Champion from London. (@1shot4theroad)

I first saw him perform live at the 2009 World Barista Championship in Atlanta. He used three different coffees, each processed differently. At the time, single-dose grinders weren’t common for espresso (Matt Perger only popularised them in 2013). So it was groundbreaking—especially when Mike swapped out a hopper during his performance. Those were the days!

3. I hate running. Seriously! I say this even though I ran 1700 km in 2023.

It’s always a battle with myself and my head. I usually run 10k on flat routes, like the Warsaw Independence Run or the Warsaw Uprising Run. But now, I’m getting into mountain running – at least I can enjoy the landscape. I even moved to the mountains with my roastery Sheep and Raven! I run because I LOVE TO EAT. I used to weigh 100 kg, and running is all about discipline and getting things done, even when your legs and mind are not on board. And it all helps a lot in preparing for coffee competitions.

4. I love food! That’s partly why I sometimes run half-marathons. My favourite dishes are definitely potatoes with cottage cheese and tomato soup, which I could eat every day.

The best are at @pan_inzynier and @whiteplatecom. I love schnitzel from @mlodapolskabistro and falafel from @wypas_vegan. When I want to celebrate, I do a 24-hour fast and then go for a steak at @butcheryandwine. I can’t stand beets and seafood, though once I swapped dishes with Anka Oleksak and ended up eating her crab pasta—apparently, I’m a nice person 😉

5. I generally don’t drink coffee at cafes. I don’t even carry coffee gear when I travel. I don’t have an espresso coffee machine at home, and I don’t even need to drink coffee regularly.

I often have coffee-free weeks, although these are interspersed with periods of intense preparation for competitions, when I’m over caffeinated. Sometimes I crave a classic Italian espresso (with a spoonful of sugar), Inka with milk, or some sugary coffee dessert. At home, I only have a clever dripper because I’m usually sleepy and a bit lazy in the mornings, so it has to be fast and easy.

6. I love dogs <3 Of course, the cutest are the puppies on Instagram, but I’ve always dreamed of having a dog, and after 35 years, I finally got one!

His name is Rudy, and you’ll often see him in my showroom and Insta Stories 🙂 . He’s a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, known for their scent games, training with oranges, cinnamon, and cloves, which fits right in with coffee. And yes, he has his own Instagram account @rudy_dziad. Once the coffee village really gets going, we’ll have at least 2… or 3 dogs. What kind? That’s evolving 🙂

7. I’m a huge fan of “The Great British Bake Off” and “Bake Off Professionals,” and I generally love pastries, desserts, and sweets!

 My favorite cake is a classic cheesecake, ideally plain and definitely without raisins. I also love: cheese buns, millionaire’s shortbread, cakes, brownies, blondies, flan, lemon tart, and St. Martin’s croissants (certified and not). I keep a secret ranking of fudges and nut butters, and I do a little tasting of local sweets in every country I visit. In Italy, instead of coffee tours, I manage “gelato tours.” I generally avoid beetroot cake and all kinds of fake zucchini brownies. I’m also not a fan of croissants and generally French pastries, but that’s about it.

8. I think I’ve moved past my mid-life crisis…

Proof? I drive a yellow Jeep Wrangler. It’s been my dream car. It looks like a giant toy car, and kids always smile when they see it. It drives like a raft, and it’s impossible to park in most underground garages, but I still love it.

9. I try to read books. They aren’t crazy amounts, but supposedly more than the average statistics say.

The topics are usually fantasy and alternative realities. But there are also phases on more educational topics like endurance training or dogs. I often reach for books that expand my coffee knowledge, especially on topics like processing, terroir, brewing, or roasting. I have a sizable library in my showroom.

10. I bought my first Aeropress in 2009. It was the second generation Aeropress, made of transparent material at the time

 It wasn’t very well-known or popular then, mostly available in gadget shops like those selling BBQ master sets, glasses and carafes in various shapes, funny towels, and quirky lamps… I still enjoy visiting such shops.

Agnieszka Rojewska

24/04/2024

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© 2024 Agnieszka Rojewska

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