I met Marina in 2016 at the bi-annual hospitality fair Hostelco in Barcelona, since then we are friends and we share the same passion for coffee. That’s the reason I choose her to start this new section of shorts interviews called Q&A.  

the coffee we serve is thanks to the effort and dedication of many peopleMarina Campos.

Who is Marina Polanski (Campos)?

I am Valencian by birth but a citizen of the world. From a very young age, I began to travel and live in other countries, trying to understand what motivated me the most in life. The people of my generation do something good and bad at the same time, it depends on how you look at it: having to adapt to the times that change continuously, travel gives you opportunities for it. I worked in restaurants, hostels, as a translator and I even did an Au Pair. What I discovered throughout these years is that I like people very much, eating, hospitality, having to continually reinvent myself, create positive impact in the lives of others and never go to bed without learning something new.

What is your career in the coffee sector?

My passion for specialty coffee was born in Buenos Aires and by accident. Like many people in the industry, I was lucky to fall in good hands and had a boss who taught me a lot about coffee and hospitality. At LAB Coffee Roasters, for his „fault“, I wanted to continue studying the subject and followed one of them to Brazil on a trip that took me through coffee fields, roasting and exhaustive training. Finally, I decided to return my home country to realize everything I had learned and started working as a head barista at Black Remedy, which allowed me to travel with them to different countries for the World Coffee events, expanding my horizon and meeting people who had the same hunger to learn and share that as I. Today, I am the Marketing and Communication Coordinator of SCA Spain, and I work for Dalla Corte Ibérica, as a coffee ambassador, where I try to spread the specialty coffee culture and its many aspects. They push me to grow continuously and develop as a professional traveller, researcher and innovator. I still cannot believe that I dedicate myself to doing what I like the most in the world, from which I also can live from.

Who is the person you most admire in the industry?

To my mentor: YODA or worldwide more known as Danilo Lodi, coach and sensory judge, who has a memory that one usually would have saved on a USB. He has had a though career, he knows everything, not only about coffee, and he is also humble and a good person. In the end all of us who work in this sector are continually learning, not only to win a championship or sell many coffees, but to have a purposeful life.

The presence of the woman in the coffee industry is higher than that of the men, but nevertheless, in the events the majority are men as well as in championships. Why do you think, it is like that?

Confidence, fear, pressure … those concern us all at the time, regardless of gender.

The WBC allows women and men to compete equally internationally, but the presence of women is still much lower than that of men, although it is changing. I hope that the women who already compete or have won (Emi Fukahori, Agnieszka Rojewska, Charlotte Malaval and many more) will inspire the new competitors and equate both genders. I would like to see a woman from a producer country to have the WBC trophy in her hand. There is already a very good candidate for it this year

From your point of view, what is the skill a person should have to work in the coffee world?

In my point of view one must have sensitivity (to read the client); be a good communicator and be humble (to convey information in a proper and fair way, the coffee we serve is thanks to the effort and dedication of many people); have an open mind and at least be able to communicate in a language other than the native one.

Photo: Marina Campos
I like that the person who roast can take out the sweetness

If I go to your house, how will you prepare my coffee?

In my house I do not prepare the coffee ☺ Andrea, my boyfriend, who is neither a barista nor does anything related to coffee, but has learned to use Bialetti as a professional, has introduced the French Press to his office and is helping me spread the coffee culture. Possibly if I do, I would invite you to have an espresso like a gentleman in my office, because it is an obligation that we always have good coffee, or we would go to one of the „high level” coffee shops that we have close to home.

Winter, spring, summer or autumn?

It’s a tricky question. Spring and autumn, I hate the heat and in winter people turn gloomy and are too lazy to leave the house.

Acidity, sweetness or bitterness?

Balance or metamorphosis, I love when they change the flavours with a minimum temperature difference. I could not decide on a specific flavour, it depends on the moment, the company and the state of mind. It is complicated, I love fruits so when I find notes of strawberry, melon, pineapple, mango, berries, lime, naranjilla, passion fruit, papaya … I moan in happiness. Once I tried a coffee that clearly tasted of lavender and raspberry, I even thought about framing the bag and write to the producer to congratulate her.

Once I tried a coffee that clearly tasted of lavender and raspberry, I even thought about framing the bag and write to the producer to congratulate her

Light roast, medium roast or dark roast?

I like that the person who roast can take out the sweetness.

Is Polanski real or artistic?

Artistic of course, the fault lies with my Polish friends in London. I spent a season there, like most of the young Europeans of my generation and how it happened to more than one, I did not have English friends, most were Polish, and they renamed me with a known surname.

What is the technology that differentiates Dalla Corte from other manufacturers?

Dalla Corte was the first Lead free brand on the market with a unique multi-boiler system, it´s own and patented. Besides being a relatively young company, the family history of espresso machines goes back to 3 generations of system developers, and the person who invents all this high technology is the owner, Paolo Dalla Corte. I must say that they are a super creative and super close family that makes all those who are part of the brand participate in the growth of the company.

What model do you recommend using for the first steps in the world of specialty coffee?

The EVO2 model, given that out of all our machines, it is the one that manages less quantity of variables giving a unique stability and quality to each one of the extractions.

Spreading the coffee culture in our country is not an easy task. Where do you think the industry should put more emphasis?

There are so many open fronts to which we should send energy … The final consumer, because if there is no demand there is no industry. The producers, because if there is no product there is no industry. In education, because if there are no professionals we do not advance. It is a complicated question, although I recommend focusing first on one objective, the one that you think needs the highest priority.

Any future project that you want to share?

Besides being a barista, I studied Social Work and I would like to be able to help the producers, collaborate in an international cooperation project related to coffee, but to achieve this, I still have to learn many things first. I do not know, now I am very well, I do what I like and that is more than many people can say. I feel lucky.