Our founders realization: coffee is not just coffee?!
In order to be the best in this constantly changing world, one has to adapt and be willing to change and IMPROVE. It is now almost 2,5 years after Not Your Average came up with the superfood coffee recipes 1.0. With the knowledge and ingredients in hand we had back then, we did our best. But as the old saying goes, “There is always room for improvement”. Especially for a start-up that carries the value of providing the best on the market (meaning the purest, healthiest, tastiest).
So started our journey into the crazy-interesting world of coffee! Here's a picture of Anna and Kevad, our co-CEOs, diving into the unknown:
But that's how progress is made.
Luckily for us, the coffee world is pretty simple. Or so we thought…
All coffee is the same anyway unless it's Nescafé, right? And you just add some boiling water and then for our case, superfoods, and that's it! HA!
Partly, we are blaming The Brick Coffee Roastery for destroying our dreamy cloud castles. I don't really remember how exactly it all started, but as far as I do remember, we suddenly found ourselves in The Brick's headquarters in Telliskivi (the local hipster area) totally shocked when the roasters Märten and Henry just laughed when they heard about our rookie thoughts and naive vision.
Then they brewed us some coffee with one of those fancy Chemex coffee-makers and for the first time in our lives, we both genuinely liked the taste of regular black coffee. Ruining it with some almond milk would have been an insult.
It felt like enlightenment! “So, you mean coffee isn't supposed to taste like burnt mould?!”
And THAT'S where it all began…
By the way, here are some images to illustrate the story...
Henry Politanov & Märten Kuusemets
Coffee invaded Henry's life over 10 years ago when he started working in a local cafe in Tallinn. Not long after he moved to a place called Gourmet Coffee and dedicated himself to learning all possible barista knowledge. Still not getting tired of coffee - quite the opposite, really - he started studying roasting with Raimond Feil who was the first speciality coffee roaster in Estonia and also one of the pioneers of coffee roasting in the whole Baltic region.
Henry is the one who came up with the whole The Brick Coffee Roastery idea. It was his trip to Brazil that made him want to expand the coffee culture in small Estonia and make good coffee more accessible to people here. “The more there are people who are willing to stand up for that, the more trustworthy and accessible it will become. Meaning that the existence of quality coffee here in Estonia finally becomes known, and the usage of it mainstream!”
Märten followed a similar path being introduced to the coffee world at the age of 18 when he also started working in a small cafe. Was it fate or coincidence, but Märten's first coffee schooling was also guided by the coffee-master Raimond Feil. From that day, Märten never stopped learning more about coffee and its' secrets. Before The Brick, he worked with coffee machines and attended several coffee courses. The Brick was a total turning point that finally let Märten fully commit to coffee and learn everything about barista life and roasting.
It is pretty clear now that once you get interested, even a little, in coffee, there's no way back. We can confirm that.
Finding the right coffee
Anyway, The Brick boys (a new boyband?) invited us to a coffee cupping. According to Wikipedia, coffee cupping, or coffee tasting, is the practice of observing the tastes and aromas of brewed coffee. And that's exactly what it was. We were presented 9 different types of coffee beans from little farms all around the world so we could choose the ones we want to use with our superfoods.
I was amazed how there actually were noticeable differences between different regions and taste profiles. Of course, neither I or Anna yet spoke the coffee slang and didn't really distinguish whether the aroma has a note of a sour cranberry or a brazil nut, but we sure realized that coffee is NOT just coffee.
The whole cupping procedure was a bit odd to the newbs like us since brewing a perfect cup of coffee is a matter of seconds, and there are special techniques for tasting coffee and so on. It is pure science, honestly…
Being totally taken aback by the vastness of this coffee world, we still managed to make a pretty good choice when it comes to picking a perfect coffee for our product. In addition to the decaf (which deserves a whole separate article), we decided to use heavenly Peruvian beans for all our superfood coffees.
Our revolutionary inventions = our first product line:
And the upgraded latest versions after 2 years of experimenting:
But it is not only the professionalism of Märten and Henry that got us so excited, but also their general vision and values.
The principles of specialty coffee
Usually, coffees come from big farms and before they actually get into the hands of a local roastery, they travel through many places and resellers. All that makes it hard to track the fairness and quality of the beans.
Not Your Average, on the other hand, specializes in finding smaller farms and has direct contact with them. We make sure that the workers in farms are being paid right and the methods being used don't ruin the taste and quality of the precious coffee beans. You can read HERE why it is so important to drink quality coffee and how harmful can it actually be to consume low-quality beans!
Having a chance to learn from such cool peple gave us all the right tools to invent superfood coffee recipes 2.0. that are now sold HERE. We love it and, between you and me, the progress is tremendous!
What we learned from it is that you have to stay open-minded and always look for ways to improve. And maybe the real definition of perfection is actually just continuous never-ending progress. Here's to Märten, Henry and all other amazing people who are with us on this caffeinated journey that we are still so eager to discover. Cheers! *sips superfood coffee*
Try our super-coffees here!