Evelyn Joun: Coffee Insurrection Hero Chapter #19

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Evelyn Joun: Coffee Insurrection Hero Chapter #19

Coffee Insurrection
Published by Tanya in Coffee Insurrection Hero · 20 August 2021
Tags: EvelynJounIntelligentsiaCaliforniaInterview
1- Introduce yourself: who are you, where are you from, where do you work and what’s    your job.

My name is Evelyn Joun and am excited to have this opportunity to represent our Intelligentsia Venice team and coffee bar. I am a retail manager of , overseeing our Venice and Hollywood location out here in sunny CA.
2- When and why did coffee become important to you?
Coffee became important to me when I walked into my first specialty coffee shop, Copa Vida in Pasadena. When I learned about their story and what made them and their coffee different, I was hooked. I wanted to know anything and everything about specialty coffee and now it has already been 10 years in the making. It is humbling to realize that there is still so much to learn and just how deep specialty coffee and more specifically the direct trade model runs.
3- Do you remember the first coffee you had that was more than “just a cup of coffee”?
The first cup of coffee that I had that was more than ‘just a cup of coffee’ was at . I don’t remember the origin, but I ordered a black coffee and sat down and took my first sip and knew there was something more to that cup of coffee. Little did I know just how much and deep the story of the cup of coffee went.
4- What’s your favorite thing about going to work in the morning?
My favorite thing about going to work in the morning is dialing in coffee. The morning rituals of opening a coffee bar, brewing coffees and making sure they are to spec and represented to the best of our abilities is what gets me going in the morning. To this day, it is my favorite part of my job.
5- What’s your favorite brewing method and why?
My current favorite brewing method at home is the French press and at work it is hands down espresso.

6- Which is the best coffee you ever tasted?
The best coffee I ever tasted was in November of 2020 and it was the Bolivia Finca Takesi Geisha from Intelligentsia. Michael Sheridan, who is our Director of Sourcing and Shared Value and our green coffee buyer for Bolivia, describes the coffee as the ‘world’s most elegant cultivar from the world’s highest farm’. Th  sweetness of the coffee was insane, the fruit flavors literally sang in my mouth and the floral aromatics brought a coffee experience that changed you for the better.

Specialty Coffee Roasters Venice

7- Is there a country of origin that you tend to favor coffee from? Why?
A country of origin that I tend to favor coffee from, at this moment in time, would be Rwanda. I may be a little biased here, but recently we had an opportunity to speak with one of our direct trade partners, Furaha Umwizeye Teuscher, who is the founder and chairperson of Kivubelt Coffee Ltd in Rwanda. When asked about what Furaha wanted the world to know about Rwandan coffee, Furaha said that it is the ultimate farm to table coffee, a boutique coffee that doesn’t use machines but from start to finish is done right through the meticulous and deeply caring hands of people who live and breathe quality. I have such a deep respect for Rwandan coffee in that it’s very much a hands on approach and carries the philosophy that quality coffee takes time and care. Don’t even get me on the social and economic impact of Rwandan coffee.
8- Suggest us a roastery to check (not the one you working at/you use at work).
A roastery to check out would be a micro roastery based in Brooklyn, New York, .
9- What’s the most important things you’ve learnt while working in the business?
The most important things we learned while working in the business is that there is a reason why specialty coffee is growing, having lasting impact, and is standing the test of time. It makes us think differently about coffee, food, and people. It makes us challenge the way we do things and takes great intention to do things right, with care, it may be ‘slower’ but it sets the tone to a life not just lived, but lived well.
10- How your work and the specialty coffee world are coping with Covid and the new challenges for hospitality?
I feel like Intelligentsia and the specialty coffee world coped with Covid and the new challenges for hospitality the best we possibly can and could have, when looking back to all that we have been through. They were and are unprecedented times and it took a lot of grit, teamwork, creativity and ultimately people taking care of people. Coffee brought us together and we were able to explore new sides of the business, reflect and reevaluate the way we do coffee and business.
11- How do you see the specialty coffee scene in 10 years?
I see the specialty coffee scene 10 years from now filled with a lot of innovation in terms of technology, processes and brewing methods of coffee. But at the same time, I see us being grounded in the simplicity of coffee and return to the roots of coffee. In which we, out here in the West, will have access to how people who grow coffee around the world enjoy their coffee. I want to see the origin stories of the coffees we drink everyday come alive and connect us in ways we have yet to see.
12- Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years I see myself still in specialty coffee. Whether that is still in the retail side of the business or as a green coffee buyer looking at spreadsheets and going on origin trips, all I know is that it will have something to do with coffee.
13- Any last word? Any tip or suggestion you wanna share with someone that want to start this path?
Specialty coffee is an industry and philosophy that focuses on quality coffee and people. The people piece plays a big role starting from baristas brewing a morning cup to the farmers in the fields of coffee cherries. There is much to learn and opportunity is out there. My tip would be to be curious, stay consistent, and make the moves as the field and arena of specialty coffee is ripe for the picking.

Specialty Coffee Roasters

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