Hanna Talvioja works as NPD Manager for Paulig Coffee. She appreciates the diversity of her work and the constant opportunities for learning new things. In early 2019, she will travel to Trieste, Italy, to gain new insights and ideas through a Master’s level programme organised by the Ernesto Illy foundation.

What is the first thing you do when arriving at work in the morning?

“I get a cup of coffee and go through my email. Paulig’s Café Parisien is a great way to start the morning  it feels like I cannot start the day without it. During the weekends, when I have more time, I also love to try new coffees and preparation methods.”

What does your job involve?

“I’m responsible for new product development (NPD) in the field of Paulig coffees and my work is very diverse. I’m involved in both production and marketing  I keep track of what’s happening in production and the product portfolio, but I also collaborate closely with the marketing department and stay up to date with global and Finnish trends. Cupping, i.e. quality control, is also an important part of my work. Ensuring that our coffee is always top quality is very important for us at Paulig. Therefore, we taste every batch of green coffee a total of eight times during its journey from bean to cup. For example, we arrange a tasting of shipment samples every weekday at 11 am in order to check the quality of the coffee before it is sent to the roastery.”

In what direction do you predict that your field will develop?

“Sustainability has become a much discussed topic in the coffee industry, and I’m delighted to say that Paulig has its finger on the pulse of this topic. We ensure that all of our coffee comes from sustainable sources, we roast our coffee beans in Finland using pure biogas and we have promised that all of our coffee packages will be made of 100% renewable, plant-based materials by 2025. We work hard to ensure a bright future for coffee and we are committed to long-term climate action through concrete efforts and commitments.

Apart from the interest in sustainability, many consumers also want to dive deeper into the world of coffee and learn more about things such as roasting and grinding coffee. Coffee is fantastic as there is always something new to learn, and the field is constantly developing and offers lots of new opportunities. Our Paulig Barista Institute arranges courses for professionals and home baristas alike where the participants are introduced to the secrets of filtering and espresso coffee, for example. I’m a coffee nerd myself and love learning new things about coffee.”

You are going to Trieste, Italy, to study in early 2019. Tell us about that!

“I was accepted into a Master’s level programme organised by the Ernesto Illy Foundation and the University of Trieste. It starts in January at the Università del Caffè in Italy. The degree programme covers the life cycle of coffee from growing to production, taking biological, agronomical, technological and financial perspectives into account. The whole programme takes 10 months to complete, with the first five months consisting of contact teaching in Italy.

I first became interested in this programme when hearing about it years ago at a seminar over a cup of coffee. When I began to read about it, I found that it seemed perfect for me. My colleagues at Paulig also thought this was a great idea, and after submitting my application, my CV and copies of my degree certificates, I soon received the good news that I had been accepted. Preparations began and now, a year later, I’m almost there.”

What do you expect from the degree programme?

“Students from countries involved in the production and roasting of coffee from all over the world will participate in the programme. It will be great to talk and network with them, hear about their work, experiences and best practices and see the coffee industry from different perspectives. I believe that I’ll get lots of added value and new ideas for my work as well as a comprehensive survey of what is happening in the field now and in the near future. The timing is perfect as I completed my third year as NPD Manager for Paulig Coffee in September. I now have a good amount of experience and know-how, and it’s great to be able to expand my knowledge and understanding of coffee.”

What else do you expect from your time in Italy?

“I hope to make new friends from around the world and to explore as much as the study schedule allows. In Finland, I like spending time skiing, orienteering and mountain biking, so if I have time to spare, I might go biking in the mountains during the weekends and participate in an orienteering competition in Slovenia in March. The studies are still the main reason for the trip, however, and I’ll probably have to devote some time initially to getting used to the study routine as I haven’t studied since the early 2000s. However, I believe that the familiar subject matter and the fact that I can connect what I’m learning to practical working life will be a great help.”

How have you prepared for the trip?

“I haven’t packed my suitcase yet, but apart from that, I’m almost done with the preparations. Our contacts in Italy have handled everything really well. A rental apartment has been arranged, the schedule for the first few days has been planned and I have received quick and exhaustive answers to all my questions by email. I feel confident that this is a great programme and I look forward to learning new things. I’ll be leaving on 7 January, so the countdown has already started.”

Fact box

  • Occupation: NPD Manager for Paulig Coffee
  • Career: Hanna has worked at Paulig since September 2015. Prior to that, she worked in product development at Sinebrychoff for 18 years.
  • Education: Master of Science (Technology) in chemical engineering
  • Hobbies: Skiing, orienteering, mountain biking and trail running
  • Motto: “Your attitude in the beginning determines the result in the end.”