Competing in London’s speciality coffee industry isn’t easy, with venues in most neighbourhoods across town. Beans & Bubbles have entered the market with a distinctive offering, combining speciality beans and brews with natural wine and Prosecco from Italy. Laurian Victor is manager and barista at their location in Wandsworth Road, SW8. In this interview, Laurian explains how he became passionate about specialty coffee and what’s in store for the next few years.

When did you start your career in coffee and how did you come across the industry?
I always loved coffee, but as a consumer. I used to work as a club manager and got tired of night shifts, so I said I'd give coffee a try. And guess what, fell in love with it. My first job as a barista was in Romania, in a very well known coffee shop, Meron. London is where my skills and knowledge of coffee will grow.

What's the status of specialty coffee in London?
To be honest, I moved to London right before the Covid outbreak, so I had no opportunity to check out coffeeshops, meet other baristas and experience the southwestern London coffee culture, but looks like things are changing and I will be able to "explore".

What types of people are suited to working in coffee?
If you don't like people in general, don't try to be a barista! Jokes aside, you need to be a coffee consumer in the first place, to properly appreciate what a barista is meant to be. Smiling and being in a good mood, social skills and story telling are a must.

If someone is new to coffee and looking to start out, what would you recommend they start with?
My proper introduction to specialty coffee was in Romania (theory and basics). When it comes to latte art, I learnt by myself, watching videos and other baristas, especially on Instagram. I keep in touch with some guys, I follow their "coffee adventure". And of course, lots of practice.

What's next for your career? What's on the horizon and what goals do you have for the coming three years?
My ultimate goal is to have my own coffee shop, maybe two. I want to lead others on the coffee "path", and work with people that understand that coffee is not only something you need to drink so you can go to work. And learn from them as well, why not?

Find Laurian on Instagram at @Laurian.ism