Updated: Jun 10
Author: Anastasia Mezenina
Ales Pospisil from European Coffee Trip shared with us his insights on:
European Coffee Trip: How it started.
Coffee Culture: Evolution and development.
Workflow: Staying creative and motivated.
I had an Aha! moment with specialty coffee at a home barista workshop during Brno Coffee Week, when Jarda Tuček from Doubleshot brought all the equipment for coffee brewing and coffee from Panama. He was saying that the coffee smells and tastes like strawberry and white chocolate. At that time I was not drinking specialty coffee, so I was laughing to myself but then he opened a bag and we brewed the coffee, it was really like strawberry and white chocolate. From that moment I realised that I want to explore specialty coffee more.
How we started European Coffee Trip
The first specialty coffee shop in Zurich opened next to the office, where I was working in a startup company. I was just passing by and peeked inside. Then, I quickly became friends with the guys and we created a meetup coffee community there. I wanted to learn more about coffee by meeting with different people from the industry and share my knowledge with others by speaking on behalf of the community. This idea transformed into the European Coffee Trip. I envisioned it as a platform to explore and learn more about coffee and eventually to travel around the world's coffee farms.
I came back to the Czech Republic and I knew that I need somebody who can take care of the creative part of the project: to shoot videos and photos, and at that time I met Radek. He has just got a new camera and was very eager to learn. He also had a gap year at the university, so it was like a perfect match. We set up a plan for 2 months to test out the ECT and see how people are going to respond to the idea and they eventually responded very well, so we continued working on the project: we created a website, developed the social media, started creating YouTube Videos, and shoot a documentary "AeroPress Movie". Also, we created a film for Mondul Coffee Estates in Tanzania.
Initially, we were driven by the creative energy inside us, however, very soon we started getting a lot of positive energy from the people that we met on our journey. It helps us a lot.
We felt like there was a need for ECT because at that time it was very difficult to find information about the European coffee scene in English. Back then there were less than 10 specialty coffee shops in Prague, in Brno - around 4, and in Bratislava - 3. So I and Radek felt like we are hunters for these tiny places. Baristas were also very passionate about coffee and they supported us a lot by sharing their positive vibes. We got the most energy from these moments with people.
Now we are at the stage of evaluating and setting goals for the future of ECT. Our main goal is to create meaningful content that supports the coffee community worldwide. We are in a nice position because we have production skills and good connections in the coffee world but we need to figure out how to make our project a robust and sustainable business.
Coffee culture is evolving at a different pace all around Europe.
The evolution of coffee culture within a city or a country has different stages. Also, there are economic and social aspects that influence the progression through the stages.
1 stage: 1 roaster and 2-3 cafes, everyone is eager to learn and cooperate to find really good coffee because everything is new.
2 stage: 10-20 cafes and a few roasters. The awareness of coffee is increased.
3 stage: Around 100 cafes. Prague, Amsterdam, and Berlin are at this stage and evolving and London is ahead with a very developed coffee culture.
Workflow and Motivation
Morning journaling helps me the most to get into the "work mode" and clear my mind. I am just writing down my thoughts, what happened yesterday, or some ideas. Another helpful thing is exercise. It helps to clear mind a lot and it is better to do it in the morning because then you have a higher chance of not skipping it.
The biggest motivation for me is to have a business partner, someone who you share goals with and work towards achieving those goals. Because it is now not only about you but about the common purpose.
My motto is - Create more than you consume.
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Author: Anastasia Mezenina