humans of coffee
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Humans of coffee: Nora Šmahelová

Who is Nora Šmahelová?

I was born in Prague in Czech Republic and moved to Germany with my mum when I was a teenager.

How I would describe myself best? I am a daydreamer and I try to design my daily routine as a harmony of coffee, art and design.

Actually I am a blend of two parts, Coffee and Creativity. I am co-owner of two Berlin based specialty coffee shops, Chapter One and Coffee Profilers, where I also work as barista. I am brand ambassador and social media representative for La Marzocco Deutschland and I recently started to work for Ally Coffee. I am one of their company members for Europe. Beside this I am a WCE representative and AST trainer. And well I am a former competitor, I won the german barista competiton back in 2002.  My daily routine is incredibly colourful and diverse, a balance of just things, which I really like and I have on top the luxury to work and be surrounded by amazing people.

What is your favorite childhood memory?

My favorite childhood memory started to be valuable for me when I became older, because I simply didnt understand it back in the days. It was the time of november and december 1989, the time of the velvet revolution in Prague, the time of a series of demonstrations. We were living in the old town, exactly where the velvet revolution was escalating. I remember I was on the way home with my mum and we were stuck in the subway station, which was full with tear gas. We had to wait there untill very early in the morning as the whole street and the access to our house were blocked with armored policemen. When we finally came home we found my grandparents who were surrounded by some students, who were escaping the police and my grandparents gave them a hideaway. This time was just extraordinary. The cohesion of the people in Prague motivated by the revolution was a unique experience. This winter everyone was celebrating christmas and new years eve together, all together gathered at the Wenceslas Square.


If you could have a do-over in life, what would you do differently?

Probably I wouldnt do things differently, life is life and it is kind of always right. What I would do differently though is to listen more to others when I was growing up and be more self confident about my own projects. Of course I did experience things which I would like to erase out of my mind, but on the other hand those made me stronger and contributed to who I am today.

What do you feel most proud of?

I feel most proud of that I managed to find a total balance between all what I like and I can do totally my living out of it. Though I have several occupations, I am super flexible and really appreciate, that I am just doing things which I really like and at the same time I have a lot of diversity. It`s a luxury to have the possibility to work surrounded by amazing people who even became very close friends, to have the possibility to travel a lot around the world and experience new cultures and to get inspired at the same time.


If you could keep only 3 possessions, what would they be and why?

  • my phone for communication
  • my drawing utensilities
  • my bed ( i love sleeping and waking up for a new day)

What do you want your tombstone to say?

I never wanted to have a tombstone. I was thinking about this many times when I went for walks through cemeteries.

If I would have to choose some words for a tombstone I would probably take Pablo Picassos quote:

everything you can imagine is real.


What is your passion project?

For me it’s important to do different occupations in order to get inspired. My absolute passion projects are creative activities, I do a lot of ceramic sculpture, I am drawing and painting a lot, but I wouldnt be able to do so probably, if I wouldnt have my coffee occupations. And vice versa. Doesn`t matter what I do, I always aim to do it untill perfection.

What is your favorite kind of coffee?

I dont have a prefered brew method or origin, the coffee world is so colourful and I constantly try to keep my eyes and my mind open for new things and new experience. This means that I am doing a lot of experiments and also try any kind of coffees from different roasters, processing methods, origins and so on, in order to improve and understand. Selling green coffee is super exciting for me and gives me a deeper insight and possibility to taste and experience numerous cup profiles.

Though I have a preference for sweet and juicy coffees, but who doesn’t?


In which coffee shops are we likely to bump into you?

Most likely in Berlin at Chapter One and Coffee Profilers, because I am co-owner of those two, so I am there for work.

What does a perfect day look like?

I dont have a recipe for a perfect day. Probably a sunny day with mild temperature would make the day easier to be perfect. Not too cold and not to warm… An inbetween. Beside this a blend of coffee, creativity, good food and being surrounded by amazing people and all is perfect for me.


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