backyard coffee

Posted:  March 8th, 2011 by:  wolfram comments:  1

Some people might already know it, I opened up a small roastery. I did not yet talk about this much and didn’t publish information about it since I wanted to get things set-up properly in advance. backyard coffee is rather a project than a full blown business. Let me introduce you to what I am after so you know what you can expect.
Just a few years ago good coffee in Germany was limited to a very few places only. Berlin was one of the first cities in which true coffee bars opened their doors. By naming them “true” I mean that those places were really dedicated to coffee and were not opening up an expensive yuppie thing serving bad coffee (which still is the majority in Germany). Today there are a lot more places around Germany, Hoppenworth & Ploch being one of them, just around the corner which I am really thankful for. That is still not enough, but things are emerging fast in the past two years and more and more bars are opening up. Still it’s Berlin having the most diverse scene (e.g. Double Eye, Bonanza Coffee, Godshot, The Barn, Café CK) but others are following.

In addition we have a lack of coffee roasters, matching the pace that you can find in other places like Norway, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Ireland or the USA (Tim Wendelboe, The Coffee Collective, Square Mile Coffee, Has Bean, Intelligentsia, to name just a few of those really fine places). Yes, there are many many roasters out there in Germany, but those are either selling burned tires (read: totally burned coffee) or still selling Guatemalian coffee, coffee from Brazil or some other country of the world, being the name of the country the only information you can get for that particular coffee. The roasteries where you can get a specific coffee of a certain sub-region/micro-climate (say Costa Rica, West Valley, San Juanillo) that blows your mind with terroir specific attributes that you can’t find anywhere else, were a few only. By saying a few I mean less than five. Supremo, located near Munich, is one of those roasteries that is really setting standards in Germany. Supremo not only provides some of the finest coffees available, they are also deeply into improvement and science. They were building the first (as far as I know, correct me If I am wrong) ever humidor for the storage of green coffee in defined climatic conditions in Europe (e.g. temperature, humidity, air exchange rates). They are experimenting with aging and proper storage of green coffee for a long time. The guys at Supremo are more of the calm and silent kind, they are doing really great stuff but you can’t hear them talking about it all the time.

There are a number of younger roasteries emerging, Kaffeemanufaktur Machhoerndl and Erste Tegernseer Kaffeerösterei are two of them, which I really like to mention as often as I can. Each place has its own signature but both have something in common: you can get really good coffee there. They are selecting their coffees carefully, they know a lot about them and they are taking pride in producing the best product possible.

For me there is still a huge lack of roasteries which are totally addicted to coffee, thus I want to step in to fill at least a minor gap. So, what is backyard coffee to me?

As I said in the introduction, backyard coffee is more of a project. I am not after making tons of money with it, it is about showcasing what coffee can be if you do not accept any excuses. I will not offer coffees, just to have a wide seletion. I will offer coffees that are seasonal, really special in a certain way and are matching my idea and interpretation of what coffee should be. If you are looking for roasting notes and/or darker roast, this is not what you can expect from me. The coffees I roast are roasted to showcase terroir specific aspects and to a degree that preserves the key attributes of the coffee. I am not after selling huge amounts of coffee and I am not trying to win the low-price race. I believe that good products, such as superior coffee, need passion, time and doesn’t allow for compromises. And yes, this is reflected in the price.

The same “rules” that I laid on me are the core principles of several coffee bars, which are serving my coffee. To date there are four throughout Germany and this seems to be a good and sufficient number to me.

green and bean, Ansbach
the coffee shop, Hamburg
Godshot, Berlin
Hoppenworth & Ploch, Frankfurt

I am not looking for as much places to serve my coffee as possible. I am looking for places where the same passion can be found and where every step is taken to showcase great coffees (not only mine, others as well) to the customer.

One other thing is important to me. I believe that sharing knowledge with others is the key to improvement. You can find a lot of my thoughts in this blog but I am more than happy and willing, to get into contact with each of you and to share, discuss and learn together with you.

I hope you like this project as much as I do.



1 Comment

Posted By: Roger On: March 09, 2011 At: 12:19 am

Go for it!
Always do what ya wanna do. Be passionated, eager, curious and honest to yourself. That’s all you need.

and oh yes, good coffee of course… 😉

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