Hey Barista,

Short Talks

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Lorena MateoBaristaMadrid, Spain

When I discovered coffee, I was doing yoga almost every day of the week and keeping a very strict life—without particularly satisfactory results. I wasn’t studying what I wanted to. I needed something more creative, something with more expression…

I started working in an ice cream parlor in Malasaña that also served specialty coffee. I was drawn to the barista’s movements… It was almost like meditation. I asked him to show me how to do what he does, and that was how it all started. I discovered that manual work made me feel good.

That was the beginning of a period of learning, of making new friendships and building professional relationships with people about whom I only have good things to say. Today I combine my work as the manager in a coffee shop in Madrid with my psychology studies. I chose to study psychology because I’ve always liked it. I am fascinated by people but also very analytical.

I was drawn to the barista’s movements… It was almost like meditation. I asked him to show me how to do what he does, and that was how it all started. I discovered that manual work made me feel good.

I want to understand behaviors and motivations and how these can create reactions; why one person sees and understands the world in a different way than another; and the tools we can use to manage all of that. There are many different aspects to my studies. Behavioral science helps us understand the why behind actions or omissions in behavior. I also enjoy applying psychology to the business sector from a scientific and experimental perspective.

My studies affect the way I interact with my consumers, from managing possible conflict and actively listening to being assertive and selling products. Psychology is surprisingly applicable in the layout of a coffee shop, the direct and indirect treatment of clients, and the management of people. Teams are generally quite small in specialty coffee shops, and this can lead to interesting interactions, for better or worse!

My studies affect the way I interact with my consumers, from managing possible conflict and actively listening to being assertive and selling products. Psychology is surprisingly applicable in the layout of a coffee shop...

I study remotely, which is no easy feat! It requires discipline as well as the capacity to divide your attention equally between work and studies. I always say that at least I don’t have children right now, so I can’t complain! My goal is to finish clinical psychology because it’s the field that interests me the most, and I’m getting there one step at a time. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with everything at once, especially during exams, when I have to give up going out to dinner with my friends or going out dancing. But I have to choose, and my dream is to lead bigger teams. Who knows—maybe one day I’ll even have my own business.

Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with everything at once, especially during exams, when I have to give up going out to dinner with my friends or going out dancing. But I have to choose...