Ask the Roaster - Stephen from Django Coffee Co.
How did you get into speciality coffee?
I have always had an interest in the environment and travel - I studied Geography at University. However, when I left University I did so with a degree but no real career prospects so I began travelling. After soaking up different countries and cultures for a few years I settled in Melbourne and quickly became immersed in their coffee scene. This is where I was introduced to “speciality coffee” and the different aspects involved in the “third wave” coffee scene. I had tasted coffee in its rawest form on treks in the Andes and South East Asia where it was roasted on primitive apparatus but what I found in Melbourne was much more scientific and was more of a social movement.
As for Django? Django, is also the name of my cat. Named, of course, after the band Django Django. The Cat did come first but then after doing a bit of research into the origins of the name and trying to think of a name for a coffee roasting company, I decided to combine the two.
Every business needs a motif and I thought that a cat would be perfect. There was a Chat Noir poster of the black cat in a café bar in Colombia during my South American travels and I thought that it looked quite unique against the backdrop of old coffee sacks. When starting the company these ideas just all fitted together and Django became the face of the company.
What's your missions as a Roaster?
My mission as a roaster is to be able to recreate what I found in Melbourne for the UK market. I want to make people more aware of the journey of the coffee bean, where it comes from, the processes involved and how it becomes the drink that people love. I feel that there are two different sides to the industry, the producing and the roasting.
I think it is very important to provide as much detail on the farms and the production of the coffee I roast to consumers. However, it is perhaps even more important that consumers have access to information about the history of coffee in each country and how it has affected the economy and government policies over time - we strive to provide this at Django.
What makes you unique?
We roast to order in small batches which means our coffee arrives to customers as fresh as possible, usually within two days of roasting. Currently, we only roast single origin coffee which provides more emphasis on the actual farms. Our roast profiles are always on the light to medium scale as we want the two natural flavours to be evident and not destroyed by over roasting. At Django we engage in direct trade. We are a both a socially and environmentally conscious company.
Our website provides information on the origins of all the coffees we currently have available, as well as a brewing guide and a blog where we talk about all things coffee related! As a coffee company as run by specialist coffee roasters, we want to share our passion for single-origin and ethically sourced artisan coffee.
What three words best describe your Roastery?
Industrial, Minimal, Environmental
What’s your favourite place to enjoy a coffee, and what coffee would that be?
There is nothing better than watching the sunrise anywhere in the world, whether you are starting the day or finishing off a late night.
The local coffee is always the best but my favourite at the moment is our Guatemalan La Bolsa in the AeroPress. I sometimes enjoy my coffee using the v60 when I have a bit more time and I always drink it black.
Finally, what Dog & Hat combination would you choose?
I would have to say a German Shepherd with a flat cap.