Heard it on The Coffeevine
By Alex Kitain
Heard it on The CoffeevineMar 24, 2023
10 - Gay spoons, mental health and good laughs with Umeko Motoyoshi
You might have seen the rainbow cupping spoons by Umeshiso on Instagram. Apart from being super fun and colourful, they're also part of a bigger mission. To make cupping or coffee as a whole more inclusive and less scary. Umeko is a licensed Q-Grader who spent many years working in specialty coffee where they often felt looked down upon or excluded by CIS white males who are largely running the industry. Marginilised people across the world are often being excluded or underrepresented despite coffee being largely produced by black and brown people.
Umeko who is a queer, trans person who also suffers from a disability wants to create a space for everyone to feel welcome and get the mental health they need to thrive, and they do that through their hilarious Instagram account, gay spoons and a non-profit organisation called Get Psyched. In this episode, we talked about Umeko's journey from novice cupper to business owner, how important mental health is for service industry workers and what is on the cards for Umeshio's future.
Disclaimer: We had a few unexpected interruptions caused by a low battery and a lawn mower but you probably won't notice this. The only technical issue we had was the sound in the first 10 minutes of the episode. After that, things went swimmingly.
You can follow Umeshiso on Instagram and also find their upcoming fund raiser there.
9 - Coffee and fitness, a match made in heaven with Chris Roberts
It's common knowledge that coffee and fitness go well together. Coffee can help you burn fat, fight heart disease and diabetes and it can help you live longer. All of these things have been claimed by various studies and obviously, I strongly believe in them. Chris Roberts, Coffeevine ambassador, fitness model and trainer shares this belief and my love for specialty coffee. He joined me for the latest episode of Heard it on The Coffeevine to chat about his personal journey, how he ended up on the Men's Health cover and what he suggests you can do to get that summer body.
You can follow Chris' Instagram here.
8 - Running an award-winning coffee farm in Costa Rica with Alejo Castro Kahle of Volcan Azul
Volcan Azul is widely regarded as one of the best coffee producers in Costa Rica. The small Central American country that has been a pioneer in conservation and is home to 6% of the world's bio diversity has stunning landscapes, rich soils and varied micro climates that are perfect for growing high scoring specialty coffees.
Now in its 6th generation, Volcan Azul was originally founded in the early 19th century by Alejo C. Jiménez and Wilhelm Kahle and their descendants are keeping their traditional values alive while looking towards the future. These days, Alejo Castro Kahle is running the show there and he joined me from Costa Rica to talk about the farms key pillars, sustainability efforts and the wonderful coffees they are growing there every year.
You can find out more about Volcan Azul by visiting their website.
7 - Building a community online and offline with Wendelien van Bunnik and Ronita Dragomir
Coffee is all about the community, or so they say. Community is a very generous term that can refer to anything, from three people who support each other to a global network of members who share the same vision or ideals. And yet, when you're getting started in coffee, it's not always easy to get access, especially when you're seeking information or knowledge on specific topics. Maybe you're an introvert or you're shy by nature and you cannot bring yourself to ask the local star barista for advice? Or you are simply too busy with other things to attent workshops and courses. One way to connect with others is through the internet and social media has played a huge role in creating relationships even if some may only be fleeting.
Former Dutch Barista and World Aeropress Champion Wendelien van Bunnik recently launched a new initiative called The Happy Coffee Network, which aims to build bridges and connections and help budding baristas and competitors to find expertly curated knowledge that can help them further their ambitions. For this episode, she joined me along with one of her founding members Ronita Dragomir who is a barista, trainer and competitor to discuss how The Happy Coffee Network, how it came about, what it aims to change and a fun idea they have for the upcoming World of Coffee in Athens.
You can find more information about The Happy Coffee Network by visiting their website.
6 - Brewing the best filter coffee with World Brewers Cup Champion Matt Winton
Coffee brewing is a real art form and one that requires your full attention. However, contrary to popular belief, it might not be necessary to be so strict with your recipes to still get a banging brew. Matt Winton, two-times Swedish Barista Champion and World Brewer's Cup Champion revealed in this podcast episode that he often doesn't even weigh his coffee or use a timer. The catch, you do need to have the basics right. It's like cooking without a recipe. Some people just know how to do it. Matt also talked about his interesting background, what he thinks about Robusta and what he is currently working on that will surely delight many coffee enthusiasts.
5 - What it's like to train for and become a cup tasting champion with Daniel Horbat
Chocolate, strawberry, cheese cake, rhubarb. These are all commonly used flavour descriptors that can be found on coffee bags. And yet, these are highly subjective because everyone's senses are completely different. When you're training for the cup tasters championships, your sensory skills need to be so finetuned that you can quickly spot the odd one out on the table, i.e. the one out of three coffees that is different. Daniel Horbat, the 2019 World Cup Tasters Champion joined me for this episode to talk about his crazy training routine, how anyone can improve their tasting skills and he shared his take on why so many restaurants still don't serve good coffee at the end of their service.
You can follow Daniel's roastery SUMO on Instagram.
4 - Creating and publishing a great specialty coffee magazine with Michal Molcan
They said print is dead. Long live print. In an age where most of us are getting our news from our phones and newsagents are a disappearing breed, countless people have predicted the demise of print and yet, many publications are thriving. One way to capture audiences is by making sure that you produce something really timeless and unique, something like Standart Magazine. Founded in 2014, Standart Magazine is a quarterly publication about specialty coffee covering many interesting topics, some of which don't often get the attention they deserve. Its founder, Michal Molcan, is an old friend of mine and I brought him on as my guest for this episode to talk about his unlikely success story as a founder, how he curates the content for the magazine, why diversity matters and much else besides. こんにちは、トシ
It was a fascinating conversation and if you would like to learn more about Standart Magazine, visit their website and use my offer code COFFEEVINE to get $10 off an annual subscription.
Follow them on Instagram @standartmag
3 - Regenerative agriculture in coffee production with Lennart Clerkx and Adri Yahdiyan
It's no secret that our planet is suffering from climate change, industrialisation and over-consumption. Agriculture is one of the hardest hit sectors and things are probably going to get much worse before they can get better. To bring their operations somewhat in line with nature, some farmers have switched to organic farming methods but is this going far enough? In recent years, regenerative agriculture has become a buzzword and offers a glimpse of hope for people in lands that have been eroded and depleted by bad practices. With my special guests Lennart Clerkx, founder of This Side Up, a boutique coffee importing business and Adri Yahdiyan, co-founder of Indonesian coffee processor and exporter Ontosoroh Coffee, I discuss regenerative agriculture in coffee production, a pilot that was done on the island of Flores and what we as consumers can do to better understand the plight of farmers around the world.
2 - How to run a successful restaurant. With special guest Dan O'Regan.
Hospitality went through hell during and after covid and many businesses failed to make a comeback. Often, this simply had to do with the lack of training, good pay and future career path offered to waiters, bar keepers and other staff. Dan O'Regan, former UK Barista Championship competitor and coffee expert is doing things differently at his own restaurant BANK.
In this episode, we chat about his journey from Starbucks slurping student to specialty coffee geek and how his wideranging experience ultimately helped him to set up one of Bristol's rising star hospitality businesses. Spoiler alert: Treat your staff well.
1 - From real estate student to Brewer's Cup winner. The story of Charity Cheung of Moklair.
This is it! The first ever episode of my brand new podcast 'Heard it on The Coffeevine'. I still can't believe it. Does my voice sound funny? 🙃 Who cares!
My guest in this first episode is Charity Cheung, co-founder of Moklair, which is a rising star in the French specialty coffee scene. She and her partner Kevin David burst onto the scene in 2022 after winning the French Brewers Cup and French Barista Championships, respectively and their café in Champagne is a highly sought after local favourite. Moklair is also one of our guest roasters in this month's Coffeevine box.
Get to know Charity and this cool French roaster and learn more about her journey from being a real estate student to becoming an international coffee competitor and be sure to hit the 'follow' button to listen to all future episodes.