AROUND THE WORLD IN 8 WEEKS
For eight weeks I am curating a host of world coffees at Stone & Crow, starting in London. So far we started with Alchemy Coffee Roasters (available throughout the duration) featuring Nomad Coffee (Barcelona), Five Elephants (Berlin), Coffee Supreme Melbourne (Australia) and Coutume Coffee Roasters in Paris. Last weekend I just had something hot right out of the Czech Republic.
What a cool weekend it was, with so many customers from my old work places, owners of amazing restaurants and cafes, coffee roasters, baristas and general wicked people of Leytonstone came by. Mix that in with awesome coffee from Prague and I can get a little over-excited!
This weekend at Stone & Crow, I had DoubleShot, which is from Prague in the Czech Republic. It came about because I was asking a couple of friends in the coffee business who live in Europe, what’s hot and who is doing good things over that way. I had three notable people suggest DoubleShot so I just had to bring some to London and give it a whirl myself.
DoubleShot is owned by three people; Yara Tucek, Jarda Hrstka, and Kamilla Sotonova. Yara is responsible for buying the green coffee, quality control, managing baristas, marketing and wholesale; Jarda looks after the whole production side, and Kamila looks after the finance and human resources. Together they seem to make one great team! Jarda who does all the roasting, trained at 49th Parallel which is one of Vancouver’s most reputable roasteries.
Having some Czech baristas do very well in a range of world coffee competitions has also helped the region gain attention on an international level with Adam Neubauer finishing 10th in the WBC, one of DoubleShot’s baristas Ondrej Hurtik placed 2nd in World Coffee in Good Spirits and Petra Strelecka (former Prufrock barista) placed 6th in World Brewers Cup. Yara noted that the barista scene is pretty good there because they seem to be traveling abroad (London and Berlin) to work and then coming back with much more experience.
But when I asked Yara if there were any challenges, he seemed grateful to note that they had great timing when they started their business. There was no competition and the market was open to new information and a high quality product. One thing Yara said that I found interesting, was that people don’t drink a lot of coffee in Czech so there isn’t much high-volume coffee sold yet.
Even though they stock around 150 cafes in the Czech Republic, as well as their own three cafes, in the coming years, they want to see and help that grow and also make time to travel more outside of their base city, Prague and have more presence at origin. It always excites me when someone has found a relatively untapped, new market and has a chance to really have an impact on it for the better, in terms of coffee, education and café culture – because I think everyone should drink good coffee.