I’ve been working in coffee for nearly 15 years now. But really, it all started about 20 years ago when a friend gave me their old Gaggia espresso machine. From there I started roasting at home, buying green coffee from local places in Toronto and online.
I became fascinated with coffee, the different processes, I wanted to understand why coffees from different countries and regions could taste so different. There weren’t a lot of educational books about coffee back then. I bought all of Ken Davids' books, Michael Sivetz, Mark Pendergrast etc. I read whatever I could find.
My wife and I got married in Mexico and as part of our honeymoon we drove through Oaxaca state stopping at several coffee farms on our way to and from Oaxaca city. We talked to farmers, toured farms, learned about processing etc.
In 2004 we moved to Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica to open a restaurant. We bought green coffee from farm Montes d’Oro near Miramar and roasted it ourselves in the restaurant oven. We brewed it and served it for our customers using the traditional Chorreador method and also as espresso using that old Gaggia machine which we brought down with us.
We returned back home to Toronto in 2006 to start a family and open a new cafe business. I opened the first Crema Coffee location in 2007 in the Junction neighbourhood. I opened 3 more over the next 3 years.
In 2013 I co-founded and co-owned another roasting company called Propeller and was actively involved in the company winning Micro-Roaster of the Year in 2016.
I sold out of that company early 2018 to start a new roasting company on my own. Stereo Coffee Roasters was founded in May 2018, our first roast was in June 2018.
When it comes to roasting, my goal is to develop each coffee to its full potential. A lot of work has gone into producing these coffees before they reach our warehouse. Lots of manual labour - picking, sorting, processing, drying, shipping etc. As a roaster it is our job to do the coffee justice. This can only be done by taking the time to respect the roast that each unique coffee requires. As no two coffees ever roast the same, this means we must apply different profiles to each coffee and continually cup and adjust these profiles to maximize development of each coffee.