After months of roasting on the sly out of the former Agro Roasters spot on Clark Drive, local coffee chain Kafka’s Coffee has now officially launched their own line of in-house roasted coffee.
To start, the line-up includes two single-origin coffees – an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Kochere heirloom varietal and a Red Bourbon cultivar from Milagro El Crucero (Guatemala) – along with an Espresso Blend and, probably most exciting of all, the ‘Simpler Times Blend’. Scout recently had the opportunity to taste all four during a routine Tuesday roasting and cupping. Although we can vouch for them all, we think that the latter-mentioned high-end take on a classic diner ‘Cup of Joe’ lives up to its people-pleasing claim.
At the helm of the roasting operation is Paul Rose, who has worked with Kafka’s as a general manager for over 10 years, and whose passion for their coffee program has made no small contribution to the success of all three cafe locations (Main Street, Great Northern Way, and Gastown). Mel Akdoğan, manager of the Main Street location, is tasked with heading up the tasting and cupping side of things – a skill that seems to come naturally to the coffee aficionado with Turkish roots. Founder and Owner Aaron Kafka is taking over the green bean sourcing, picking up where their former supplier and mentor, Seattle’s Herkimer Coffee Roasters, left off by continuing to hone in on seasonally harvested beans ethically sourced from the same farmers and importers they have been working with since the start. Next up: crops from Colombia and El Salvador.
Along with the official implementation of their in-house roasted coffee on the Kafka’s menu, and the retail release of bags of beans ($20-24 for 340g) at each of their cafes, Kafka’s has also launched a new online shop and wholesale program, with dreams of infiltrating the Vancouver restaurant scene.
Check out our behind-the-scenes take on the process, from roasting to cupping and adjusting for quality assurance, in the gallery below…