Thank you for your subscription this month! Into November now and delighted to bring you coffee from Berlin, Father Carpenter. They bring some good perspective in their way of working and highlighted in our interview. Ask yourself, is it pleasurable? If so, carry on and live a life of pleasure!
Please tell us a little about the team and your passion for the industry
Father Carpenter has become somewhat of a Berlin institution in its 10 years of existence. The team has made this possible, and is composed of different nationalities, ages, and experience levels, all tied together with a common interest - provide hospitality and pleasure.
With Berlin being a somewhat northern city the team swells in the warmer months, and then breathes out and is made up of core staff through the cold winters while everyone is seated indoors. The warmer months we are a team of more than 30 people spread out through the roastery, baristas, cooks and kitchen staff, the office and the wait staff serving our guests. Winter we operate with around 22 staff all together.
We are believers in Epicureanism and living for pleasure, and we have woven this through the webbing of our business. What we produce should first and foremost be pleasurable, above all else.
Objectives that you are focussed on
Father Carpenter's restaurant's purpose is to create positive, memorable experiences for guests and to inspire others to follow suit. We want people to leave FC inspired to create deliciousness, provide hospitality and to carry that excitement to the next place. Our coffees are an essential part of providing pleasure, memorable experiences and positive, infectious energy. We serve clean, lightly roasted coffees that have no flavour imparted on them from the roasting machine. We want to serve honest expressions of terroir - the variety, the soil, the microclimate, etc. We want to serve honest coffee.
Please let us know the meaning of your name.
Pretty straight forward. My father is a carpenter. I like the idea of paying homage to people or things.
What factors are important for you in helping to select producers to work with but also to help and support them?
When selecting green coffees to add to the menu we first ask ourselves - is it pleasurable? That is priority number one, above all else. Secondly is clarity of flavour and the coffee's honesty. Does it taste like its variety or has the producer manipulated the flavour with processing? Is the profile clean and transparent and taste like it should? These are what determine our purchasing.
To be totally honest, we prefer to focus our 'help' (our ability to create meaningful positive change) where we actually can, our employees. The greenwashing in specialty coffee and the one size fits all idea of 'direct trade is best' is bogus, and until we have the volume to actually provide positive meaningful change in the green coffee growing countries we will remain focused on things in our area of sight. We have however made a conscious decision to only purchase our green coffee from two importers that I personally know very well. I know their buying practices, their influence at origin and also the farmgate prices that they pay. I can confidently say that they are creating positive meaningful change within their scope of sight and we like supporting them.
What highlights for you in the FC Podcast? What opportunities does this give to you and how do you like to explore that?
That is something that I know will create value for others, including myself. I am a big believer that 'a rising tide brings all boats', and that knowledge sharing is a key to living a pleasurable life. Sharing being the key word there.
The Podcast is to provide a short insight into the thinking of some really interesting and successful hospitality professionals, which would likely often have a much higher barrier to entry. As in, most people don't have access to this candid insight(s).
Great selection for this month, for each of the coffee being featured please could you share some detail
Bookissa, Ethiopia - Washed Ethiopian Landrace varieties.
This is a coffee that shows signs of a natural process, in that the rich, sweet fruit component is very accentuated. It is clean and refined though, as it was washed and then dried slowly on raised beds. A clean coffee with the flavour of strawberry - this is rare.
Excellent and meticulous processing has lead to this Landrace varieties lot tasting of deep red.
Ricardo Silva, Colombia - Washed Pink Bourbon.
Pink Bourbon is not a Bourbon variety, and the plant itself is whats called a dwarf plant as its a little shorty! The character trait of a good Colombian Pink Bourbon is florality, both in the flesh of the cherry itself and the roasted beans. Ricardo Silva has processed this well grown Pink Bourbon by washing the depulped cherries and drying them on raised beds, resulting in a floral, bright and very sweet cup. Immediately tasting of crisp sweet red apple, followed by floral qualities that remind you its a Pink Bourbon. The sweetness reminds us of fresh sugarcane juice that you're sometimes given on Colombian coffee farms. The aftertaste is an orchard filled with stone Fruits.
Policarpo Yossa, Colombia - Washed Maragogype and Castillo.
The Maragogype variety has a giant bean, making it a lot more difficult to roast than most other varieties due to the difficulty to penetrate the bean with enough heat early in the roasting process. By decreasing the batch size of the roast we essentially give each bean more access to heat from the roaster - lets call it supercharging the start of the roast. The end result is a very Spring-like flavour profile, filled with ripe citrus fruits and crisp structured acidity that gives this coffee life and veracity. As the coffee cools it becomes sweeter and creamy, and the citric turns distinctly to lime. Cream, sugar and lime are a match made in heaven. The Castillo variety adds a herbal element to the profile, which is present when the coffee is first brewed and hot but disappears as it cools.
Any closing remark you would like to make to our subscribers?
Live a life of pleasure, seeking deliciousness and quality relationships. Share knowledge and never stop learning. These are what we live by, and I think they are helpful for what I guess could be called 'progression'.