Behind the Beans: Kathi Ante, Barista at Lowinsky’s, Hamburg

Kathi Ante - Behind the Beans

About “Behind the Beans”

Since the founding of cumpa, we have already met many exciting personalities from the coffee world and made friends. In “Behind the Beans” we want to introduce you to them and take a look behind the scenes together. For our latest issue, we interviewed Kathi Ante, a Barista of the specialty coffee shop Lowinsky’s NY Coffee & Tea. The charming Barista from Hamburg is a close friend of cumpa since we met for the first time at the World of Coffee in Milan.

 Behind the Beans: Kathi Ante, Barista at Lowinsky’s, Hamburg

What is your relationship with cumpa?

I got to know Daniel, Lukas, and Paul in person for the first time in 2022 at the World of Coffee in Milan. Before that, we only “knew each other” online due to the pandemic. Over delicious pizza and large gelato, it quickly became clear: Spending time with the cumpa guys is enjoyable, and we exchange ideas about coffee.

How did you get into the coffee industry?

In 2018, I was looking for a balance to my studies and stumbled upon a small specialty coffee shop almost by chance – and I just stayed. At that time, it was primarily the team and the people who made me spend more and more time at the café, until I fell in love with coffee too.

What do you like about the specialty coffee industry?

As mentioned before, the people in the coffee scene play a significant role for me. We all share the same passion, a passion that is as diverse and varied as we are as individuals. Coffee connects us and is usually the starting point for exciting conversations, lively exchanges, and sometimes even wonderful friendships.

What do you want to achieve with coffee?

At the moment, I am preparing again for the German Barista Championships. Winning them and representing Germany on the world stage is certainly a big goal for me. This year, I was already a volunteer at the World Championships, and I can only recommend such an experience to everyone. Looking beyond the local or, in this case, national borders is not only impressive but also incredibly educational. Seeing how coffee acts as a unifying element on an international level is definitely something I want to focus on even more.

In 2022, together with my good friend Josefine Rampendahl from Oatly, I organized “Das Fest” in Hamburg. A coffee festival by and for the growing community. There were various workshops by us and our friends from the industry, all centered around Specialty Coffee, and a big competition where Baristas were challenged in different disciplines and could win prizes. We will definitely do that again next year. Sharing and spreading experiences and knowledge, while constantly developing myself along with coffee, is certainly a defining aspect of my personal coffee journey.

What does (specialty) coffee mean to you?

Specialty coffee, to me, means mindfulness not only along the value chain but also right up to the cup for our guests. I have been working in gastronomy for 14 years now – fast, efficient, performance-oriented. Wanting and being able to pay attention to the many special aspects of each individual coffee, honing my sensory skills, and taking the time to cater to each coffee individually, maximizing enjoyment and experience for the guests, are crucially important to me. This includes knowledge, which, like processing methods, must continuously evolve, as well as my intuition and experience. Mindfulness and appreciation of the product and, consequently, of all the people along the value chain are essential to me.

What is the craziest thing that has ever happened to you with coffee? (your personal coffee highlight)

Sitting in a taxi through an unfamiliar city at half past six in the morning, on the way to work, and feeling excited.
Spending the entire birthday in the roastery and drinking 40 espressos.
Working in the shop on Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
Living in a hotel for two months to set up a new shop.
Tasting 96 cups in one day.

All of this may not sound so crazy, but when I say that I enjoyed doing all of this and had fun, then it becomes crazy. Coffee is my passion, and I enjoy being behind the machine every day, and there’s no such thing as too much. The hunger is unbroken, even after several years and 34,000 drinks.

Which coffee prejudice would you like to dispel?

Cold Brew is stale filter coffee. Not really. I consider properly extracted cold brew to be absolute gems. Due to the absence of heat, we have completely different flavour possibilities. If we know how to use them correctly and are willing to experiment, we open up entirely new taste worlds. I would like this preparation method to receive even more attention and recognition in the future.

Which coffee highlight are you currently looking forward to the most?

I would say the World of Coffee next year in Copenhagen. It’s still a few days away, but I’m already looking forward to meeting my international coffee friends again. And, of course, Das Fest 2.0. We hope to see as many faces as possible and to give something back to the community and strengthen togetherness.

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