Coffee is the favorite drink in many countries, including Russia. It has healthy properties and is particularly indicated for people with low blood pressure. But it refers to organic coffee that is hard to find on Russian supermarket shelves. That’s called “natural coffee” as a rule results heaviness in the head. “Soluble” coffee has nothing but a death to the stomach.
Depending on tastes and wallet, eager coffee drinkers bringing the coffee from other countries, placing orders abroad and in smaller firms-roasters on the Internet, and produce their consumer assessment criteria coffee.
We in our article will try to provide informational assistance and ask for it to expert Aleksei German. In 2011, he and Ilya Savinov had founded the company Torrefacto, which provides consistently high-quality aromatic coffee to thousands of coffee people in Russia.
Alex Herman: I always drank coffee. I worked for many years in the PR Agency, we had a small office, and we drank typically instant coffee. And you sometimes think about what you drink, and what is the difference between grain and instant coffee. I drank coffee in coffee houses, buying coffee beans, preparing the coffee machine in the office… And it seemed to me that everything is wonderful. Until then, until I met Ilya, who introduced me to fresh roasted coffee. Then I realized that everything I drank before that, it was complete nonsense. In particular fresh coffee shooked me. It was a Robusta, but even she was so different in taste and aroma from all that I drank before. So she was richer, was so fragrant and nicer than anything I drank before I was captured the first time, and he never returned either to soluble or to purchase store-bought coffee at all. And Ilya then working in the company, dealing with import green coffee, roasted it mostly for myself and for friends. He continues to work there and runs parallel to the project. So, in fact, personally, I have developed an interest in coffee.
E Vesti: How to check the quality of coffee when you buy it?
Alex Herman: If we are talking about the quality green coffee, it will be quite difficult, because the grain is roasted. But if we, say, talk about fresh coffee, fresh coffee from stale to distinguish elementary. It is sufficient to place a single order, open the package and listen to the flavor. And then compare those feelings with what you can get if you buy coffee in the store.
EV: And signs, for example, oily or something, no?
Alex Herman: Oil appear on the surface of coffee with a very dark roast. It’s actually bad, because these essential oils enclosed in the grain, contains the taste and aromatic components. The grain is a perfect container for transmission, for transportation of these oils, so it is very important to grind the coffee just before preparing, in any case not to buy coffee in the form of a hammer. In the coffee world there is a saying that green coffee lives one year, roasted coffee lives one month, ground coffee lives one hour. That is, if you have omololu coffee, then an hour later due to contact with air you have all of these oils are oxidized and aromatic components are degraded.
EV: Coffee is culture for you or you just need to wake up? What is it?
Alex Herman: This is culture, of course, is the path of self-knowledge, knowledge of flavors, tastes that filled the world. Coffee is just one of the ways a means of self-cognition and cognition of the world in which we live. There is a box coffee aromas by Jean Lenoir, there are 36 flavors matched. From cucumber, peas, potatoes and lemon to pipe tobacco, malt, smoke, and all these flavors, on the idea, meeting us in coffee. They allow us to recognize, identify, and describe the taste and aroma of coffee. Tastes really 4: sweet, salty, bitter and sour. Of flavors and great variety. And here are all the flavors we perceive in the complex. If you grab the nose and chew some mint, we don’t feel that it’s mint. We do not distinguish one herb from another. But if we open up the nose and use retronasally channels that allow us to taste, then the whole world becomes so much richer and brighter for us. Strictly speaking, therefore, coffee is a culture, a way of understanding yourself. And when we study and understand new tastes and flavours, we create neural connections in the brain, and then these aromas will learn in nature.
EV: Great. But the company, how it originated? That is, I understand, as you have learned, discovered coffee?
Alex Herman: The idea to create a business I advised to Ilya in 2011. I had my first business – an online store of electronic cigarettes. I worked in PR Agency and in parallel thought, I need to try their hand in business. And just then there were electronic cigarettes. With their help I was able to abandon the regular cigarettes, which was very pleased, thought will be able to help other people. The idea to open a business related to coffee, quickly seized our consciousness. Soon, we joined our roaster Sergei.
This, actually, was the idea to create a service where people could place an order and get coffee with a fresh roast. Because it seemed to me at the time that this is the most important that can be in coffee – fresh roasted. And we realized that in addition to the freshness of the roast should be nice, normal, human services – it was a shame to see that, in principle, places where we get a normal human attitude, very little.
EV: When we order coffee, we see on the website you have a wide geography of practically the whole world. Do You think that each country has its own special taste or quality coffee?
Alex Herman: Of course. There is, for example, the regions of coffee which has a distinctive taste that cannot be confused with anything. For example, Ethiopian coffee bergamot-Jasmine notes brand stands apart from the rest. Ethiopia is the birthplace of Arabica and the only place that is still wild in the woods, growing more than 10 000 types of Arabica. There’s a huge number of varieties of coffee, which humanity doesn’t even know.
We believe that it is important to offer coffee from various price ranges and from different countries of origin that the person formed a picture of what is happening in the world of coffee. We give you the opportunity to try everything that might offer the coffee world and find yourself in this world.
EV: Your coffee is consistently tasty and high quality. You manage to keep this quality. How do you choose suppliers, how do you track them?
Alex Herman: We have a very simple answer, all the coffee we buy from the same supplier. It is a Russian company SFT trading, which is already 20 years is engaged in import of green coffee, and in which my partner Ilya is Director of development. This company is constantly a huge number of suppliers from different regions send samples of their coffee harvested in a specific region, and there occurs a painstaking selection. As a rule, farmers do not have the opportunity after harvesting it yourself process. They are the harvested, transported to the processing station, and sell it to that station, everything. Then everything makes workstation, if it is washed processing. Most of the coffee in the world is processed mytym way. Peeled berries are immersed in water tanks where they are during the day aged and they have destroyed the gluten remains seed. Then gradat grain size, is collected in bags and sold to exporters lots. Exporters and traders offer their samples and yields lots of different companies that are importing to their countries have already of green coffee. SFT is one of these companies in Russia, the largest of them.
EV: It is the raw material. But how is the coffee itself?
Alex Herman: It’s raw, Yes. Looks like the green corn to roast.
And each coffee berry contains two such seeds. Roasting is a very powerful theme, but in a nutshell, it lasts about 15 minutes. This green grain is poured into the machine, which are called rosters. A roaster is a machine with a drum, the bottom of which is heated either by gas or electric heating elements. In the result roasting process of the beans out moisture, they become brown, the caramelization of sugars.
After a certain time (for each class is selected your profile roasting) the coffee is poured from the roaster. Before we introduce any variety in the range, we conduct multiple test Amarok and see which profile best reveals a specific grain.
We have more than 40 varieties of coffee, and Sergei, our roaster, gets a difficult task. When we finish taking orders on Friday evening and extend to him all ordered coffees, he fries it according to defined profiles.
EV: There are several tons of it?
Alex Herman: We have a 1.6 – 1.7 tonnes per week of roasting, something like it.
EV: As a navigator, there is green coffee and… How to navigate the ordinary consumer in the coffee?
Alex Herman: Quite simply, there are two main species of coffee: Arabica and Robusta.
Robusta grows lower above sea level and it is more resistant to various diseases and has a rough taste, it is characterized by a woody-earthy notes. Actually Arabica and Robusta are different so the taste mainly because of the height of growing. The higher coffee is growing, the higher the acidity. Those of Robusta acidity at all. The richness of Arabica lies exactly in its acidity and hints of citrus, flower, berry and so on.
EV: Robusta has more caffeine.
Alex Herman: In Robusta there is two times more caffeine. The plant produces it as a protective reaction against pests.
EV: And it tastes like to share? Robusta, if I understand correctly, has an earthy taste.
Alex Herman: Earthy-woody notes, Yes. At the other end is the Arabica sour.
Almost all people drink coffee dark roast: espresso, Turk, etc. This is the most familiar taste. If a person goes to fresh coffee, it is better to start with the group B, it is dark roast. Dark roast coffee, with nothing to reveal, nothing to save, there’s no delicate flower, berry, fruit notes. Usually this coffee is not very expensive. Our group grades of C – medium roast, it can be said, coffee in the middle price category, relatively interesting. In these grades there is that to keep a lighter roast. Here is the group D – light roast – this is an interesting coffee, with some interesting notes that we roast light to preserve and protect the wonderful notes that are initially present, to reveal it.
Aromatic components in the coffee in two times more than in wine. Coffee has about 1’800 aromatic components, and in the fault of about 900. This is the most complex product on Earth.
The evolution of the preferences of the person in coffee, as a rule, is following: a man comes to coffee, and begins with the sorts of group B, that is, with the dark roast, then gradually moves to the group C – high roast, then to the group D – light roasting.
EV: The question about the roaster, you already told me that you have a professional. He was finished, it needs something to finish? What’s his name?
Alex Herman: His name is Sergei Tabers, and he’s a professional of high level. This year took second place in the championship of Russia on coffee roasting, and the difference from the first place he was only in one or two points, and the points there was 230 something. That is, you know…
In General, roasting coffee is a science. Sergey, we have the Creator, is the real master. Man can 20 years be roasting coffee, and still will have something that he does not yet fully comprehend, and that he will still have to understand in this area. Sergey already 7 years is engaged in roasting. For the Russian coffee market is in principle quite a lot. We have recently started to develop a serious coffee culture, we modestly believe that we also promote this.
EV: So why do you have super quality is obtained? You buy from the largest importer, but when I go to the supermarket, there is a super poor quality, that is, the difference is huge?
Alex Herman: Often the raw material can be the same for us and other companies that are roasted coffee for networking. The fact is that we have the opportunity to roast coffee, and after a few days he will be boiled you have in the Cup. The company, which is aimed at a different segment for retail chains, fry large volumes, and then the product is still stored somewhere in the warehouse. Coffee begins to age immediately after roasting, and about the third day he reaches the peak of his form, he needs two or three days to deploy, then you can begin to use it. Immediately after roasting starts aging coffee. A month after roasting, you will not distinguish one variety from another in the Cup, because they will lose virtually all that distinguishes them. All of these flavoring components, they will oxidize and you will not feel the difference, so it’s important to drink fresh coffee. Everyone understands that fresh bread is best stale. With coffee all the same. Coffee you can roast yourself, just models home roasters are not many and they, in my opinion, not all good.
EV: That is, the pan is not being used for roasting?
Alex Herman: It is very difficult to fry evenly. Then we have, again I say, each coffee to find your profile, it comes with experience. Many of our customers are roasted coffee yourself at home, buy green coffee and roast your own.
EV: That is green too. And someone says: drink green coffee!
Alex Herman: No, in any case. Green coffee is a raw material for roasting. Drink it that this is impossible, it is not designed for this. This ready to eat product. I would say that it is even dangerous for health. Don’t listen to nutritionists. In my opinion, recent studies have shown that green coffee helps to lose weight. But the health risks are.
EV: Rarely when we meet at the coffee shop some this wonderful taste that you supply. Put You coffee in restaurants and coffee shops?
Alex Herman: You know, we have in General 85% of our sales are individuals and that was the original idea. With individuals easier to work with in all respects, Yes. The moral satisfaction it brings is huge, so to work with companies, for example, who bought coffee at the office is also great fun, in fact it is individuals who order coffee company. We have about 10,000 buyers.
our Main advertising channel is word of mouth. Good service is one of our competitive advantages. For example, you received a gift of several packages of coffee with your order or shipping is delayed, and you don’t pay. All this is a good occasion to tell about us to friends and acquaintances. Our buyers say that they do not dare to call us an online store. We are more a community of coffee lovers, for whom we, in fact, this system and build. Just it works on the basis of mutual benefit, and we never put the money, frankly, in the first place.
EV: That is such an experience? There are people who understand that when they come to guests…
Alex Herman: Yes, certainly is. But cafés or restaurants are rare among our few customers.
EV: Because you’re drinking coffee at home and enjoy, sometimes you have to drink it somewhere and be disappointed.
Alex Herman: Catering is often put the price on the first place. We believe that it is wrong. We put on first place quality and service. In the Horeca segment, there is a tradition that the company obzharivaya coffee and delivering it anywhere, and even provides machine for free or for rent. We do not do, and therefore, such clients are few.
EV: Ok. And the last question about your plans for future?
Alex Herman: Future plans to continue to develop the service to continue to develop the range, to carry out technological upgrade of our production closer to our customers. Here are some plans for the future in a nutshell.
EV: Thank you very much.