Savina Giachgia is a force to be reckoned with. She’s dynamic, passionate, and creative – and perfectly embodies everything that the vibrant world of coffee stands for.
Stumbling into coffee
Growing up, Savina never dreamed that she would one day become a barista. Initially trained as a speech and language therapist, she explored photography, sales and bee keeping, before starting as a barista in a third wave coffee shop in her hometown of Larissa, Greece.
It was then that she discovered her passion for the craft. “It immediately clicked! I really loved my job and so I invested everything into learning more,” says Savina. She researched the best coffee shops in Europe and embarked on trips in the top cities to hone her craft.
Traveling across Europe gave her a broader and richer understanding of coffee, its cultural context across the markets, and helped to develop her sensory palette. “It was eye-opening to taste the local blends of coffee as well as to experience the different ways in which a nice espresso can be served” says Savina.
Savina then went on to work as a barista in several leading coffee shops in Thessaloniki, Greece for 5 years, developing her customer relationships and business acumen. Twice she competed in the Hellenic Aeropress Championships. The experience of preparing coffee in front of large audiences built her self-confidence and passion for coffee, so when the role of Coffee Expert opened at Nestlé Professional Greece, she immediately applied. Savina now works in this team along with 3 other coffee experts.
Life outside of her comfort zone
Savina spends her days buzzing between training customers and supporting the Nestlé Professional Sales team in delivering upgraded coffee experiences.
She leverages her Specialty Coffee Association Coffee Diploma by working closely with customers, training their staff, and supporting them to ensure the best end-cup quality via coffee and equipment calibrations. Customer support is very important to Nestlé Professional Greece, as the team trained more than 700 people last year.
What Savina loves most about her job is the opportunity to learn and challenge her knowledge: “I have countless opportunities to be exposed, test my limits, and to be outside of my comfort zone.”
Additionally, Savina and the marketing team collaborate in monitoring coffee trends, evolving the coffee portfolio and strengthening the overall coffee expertise of the Nestlé Professional Greece team.
The future is bright for women in coffee
Savina believes women have an important role to play in the future of the coffee industry. “Because there are fewer women, when we win awards or achieve something great, it’s in the spotlight.” She continues “additionally, our ideas and creativity have the potential to evolve and strengthen the coffee community.”
Her advice for young people considering a career in coffee is to “do your research, follow your passion and keep trying until you succeed.”