Head of Coffee - Cleia Junqueira


NAME: Cleia Junqueira

INSTAGRAM HANDLE: @cleiajunqueira

JOB TITLE: Head of Coffee, Coffee Planet

MOVED TO THE UAE IN: 2014

Cleia describes herself as a self-motivated person truly passionate about her job, always looking at improving myself at work. In 2005, she decided to work with coffee, having studied coffee around the world to enhance her sensory skills and therefore highly qualified to do what she does. Cleia holds three of the most recognized international certifications in specialty coffee: World Barista Championship Judge, Q-Grader, Q-Robusta Grader. The certifications help her to source specialty green beans, keep the quality control of the roasted coffee and assure the consistency of Coffee Planet's products, from bean to cup. Overall, she is responsible for creating new blends, whilst also conceptualizing and developing new products.

Cleia's role also involves monitoring the quality control of roasting including capsule production, plus researching coffee from different sources around the world, as well as internal staff training.


What does her day look like..


7AM: Arrive at the Roastery and do a quick round to check on things and plan the day with the team. My breakfast is always very light, and I like to eat things that don’t affect my palate like yogurt with fresh fruit or only fresh fruit. Because I practice cupping mostly in the morning, I usually have a brewed coffee before cupping.


8 – 11:30 AM: My schedule is never the same, I can have cupping sessions for offers from different origins or a new green beans supplier, a pre-shipment or new arrival of samples or I can be handling production for quality control. Other mornings are dedicated to blend creation, capsule tastings or R&D of new products.


12 – 1 PM: Lunch time – usually at my desk checking e-mails or completing admin. For me admin involves preparing coffee reports related to green coffee or roasted coffee. We also produce a dedicated cupping sample quality report. Coffee Planet - as the leaders in speciality grade coffee - adhere to rigorous standards so it’s important we track and report consistently.


2PM: Internal or external meetings with our staff or with clients. Then I could be hosting tasting sessions, creating a bespoke coffee solution for a client, hosting roastery tours for clients or meeting with potential green bean suppliers. My day is consistent in the fact that it is always varied and that’s what makes my role as Head of Coffee unique.


4PM: Time to go home. Sometimes I like to go to a coffee shop to relax, whilst also checking out the competition in town.


5 - 6PM: I’ll normally go for a walk/ workout before dinner.


7 PM: Dinner while I talk with my family in Sao Paulo – Brazil or go out for dinner.


8PM: After dinner I like to read a book, nowadays I’m reading “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek or watch Netflix to relax.


10PM: After meditating I go to bed.