We are starting 2019 with a bang! Returning to one of our favourite roasters, Koppi!
We spent some time discussing a few things with Anne at Koppi, please read on whilst you enjoy your coffee!
You have recently made it to 11 years…well done! How does it feel to reach this landmark?
11 years went by fast and at the same time so much has happened. We feel proud that we have made it this far. Now we have a much clearer vision of what we want our company to be and stand for, which we didn’t necessarily have a decade ago. We were in our mid 20s and didn’t have any experience running a business and it would be a lie not to admit that the first few years challenged us.
What do you feel are some of the most special moments since you started?
That is a hard question since there has been many. I guess for me it has been travelling and getting to know the producers we work with. It is so much more meaningful and interesting to work with a coffee when you know where it comes from and when you have walked the grounds together with the producer and shared their thoughts and ideas when it comes to producing coffee.
It has given me a deeper understanding not only for the coffee production as a whole but also when it comes to where we want to take our company.
Another highlight was our 10 year anniversary – we arranged a huge party with friends from near and afar. It was amazing to get to celebrate with both regulars from the shop, customers from all over the world and of course our friends and family. And what a party it was!
What are some of the key things you have planned for the next 12 months and beyond?
Work even closer with the producers. Develop our online business more and probably start hosting public cuppings and classes at the roastery on a monthly basis. We would like to be as environmentally aware as possible, so what we are looking at now is how we can minimise waste from the roastery and make a positive impact.
With this being your first year without the shop… How has it been?
Over all it has been a very positive change. With closing the shop we were able to focus much more on the roastery and re-charge our batteries. We also got the possibility to take our small team to Costa Rica to meet the families we work with for the first time.
It was great to be able to show Clara and Bjorn the farms we have worked with for so many years and to see the whole process from picking, processing to cupping all the lots and selecting the lots for this year.
For us the goal is to develop our business together with our team and make them a greater part of what we do.
What has it enabled you to do more of?
More travelling, developing our online sales and also given us two free days a week. We used to work 6 days a week and now we are doing pretty normal hours which is great.
Is there anything you miss?
I do miss our customers. We were fortunate to have the most amazing guests in the world probably and I really miss seeing a lot of them on a regular basis. That is why we started serving coffee and pancakes at the roastery at Saturdays whenever we are home. This way we can keep that relationship alive. Is that your puppy, Asta, on insta? How gorgeous! Is this now an essential part of your life and roastery!?
Yes, that is our little dog, Asta. She is now 5 months old and quite a character. It has changed our daily life in the way that we have to take care of her 24/7 but she is making sure we get lots of fresh air and exercise which is good. Also it is a little harder for us to travel together but this is something we were kind of used to when we had the shop. One of us had to stay at home most of the time except for two weeks every summer when we had our vacation. Well normally Charles had to go back and roast for a day or two even during those weeks.
Some amazing pictures of your trip to Ethiopia on Insta… How was your visit?
My visit was short and intense but really interesting. I was down for 4.5 days, spend lots of time travelling by car but managed to visit lots of washing stations, a couple of farms and the mandatory dry mill visits.
What was the main purpose?
I have been to Ethiopia the past 5 years but it was actually the first time since my initial visit in 2013 that I went out to the countryside. I wanted to visit during the peak of the harvest and see the processing first hand. Much has changed since my first visit but there is also so much that can be improved, especially from an ethical point of view.
Anything special coming back from this trip?
I’m looking forward to tasting the samples from this years harvest. What I learnt from my visit was that there are washing stations that I don’t want to support any longer. They pay their members much lower than the other stations we visited and overall I didn’t get a good feeling from the visit.
For us, it is important to work with producers and co-operatives that have a similar mind-set as us. This is why it is important to me to travel since this is the only way I get an insight into what it is really like.
Is this a favourite region for you?
I love Guji, Gedeo and Sidama but coffees from the western parts like Agaro and Illubabor are really amazing as well. Overall I think Ethiopian coffees are spectacular in their complexity and elegance. Nothing really compares to them if you ask me.
Article by Kris Thurbin