Name: Emiliya Yordanova
Role at Machina: Coffee roasting and quality control
At Machina, you will normally find me... slurping coffee from a spoon and staring at roast curves
To me, coffee is... a source of constant inspiration and a way to connect with people
What is your go-to coffee? A well brewed filter coffee of any kind
What kit do you use to make coffee at home? Kalita and a Feldgrind
Best coffee experience ever: Competing in the UK Barista Championship (UKBC) 2014. It pushed my limits and showed me how much there is to learn about coffee, and how addictive that is. Placing in the semi-finals in London also exposed me to the vibrant and welcoming community speciality coffee is. It lead to me pursuing coffee more seriously and I would recommend competing to anybody that is considering it. Two years later I found myself coaching two baristas who placed 3rd in UKBC and 4th in UK Brewers Cup - such an amazing experience to be a part of their journey and a real highlight for me in the value of collaboration and support.
Worst coffee experience ever: Competing in the UK Barista Championship 2014. I’m super glad I did it, but at the time I had terrible imposter syndrome and was so so out of my depth - I really hated the pressure it put me under...it probably didn’t help I had a degree to finish at the same time.
What's the biggest cafe no-no in your opinion? Fingers anywhere near a cup’s rim - ew ew ew.
How did you end up working in coffee? Like most people - by a happy coincidence. I had the fortune to work with some amazing people in my first ever job 8 years ago in a place called Colours and Flavours (and later Memento) in Sofia, Bulgaria. They sparked my interest in coffee and service, introducing me to what an interesting and complex drink it can be. Before that I couldn’t understand why anyone would drink such a bitter disgusting thing - sharing with other people that it doesn’t have to be like that was very exciting and rewarding because it was so challenging to serve something so different to what people were used to - and seeing them loving it! I ended up at university and meanwhile discovered the wonders of the speciality coffee world here in Scotland. Coffee is part of so many people’s lives in so many different ways and it feels pretty special to be a part of its journey.
Out of 10 how much of a coffee geek are you? I like coffee loads.
Top coffee tip: Keep your mind open and stay humble - there is always more to learn.
Most underrated hot beverage in your humble opinion: Hot apple and cinnamon.
What do you like to do when you're not drinking coffee? Tasting everything! With the rest of my time I like exploring the Scottish mountains, illustration and dance.
What albums are in your current rotation? Terra by Julian Lynch and Beat Tape 2 by Tom Misch.
Guiltiest pleasure: Putting way too many photos of my cat on Instagram.