From The Roaster
QUALITY & INNOVATION
I work with select coffee importers and growers to identify green beans that meet the ethical and quality standards I have set for my single origin, delicate blends, and decaf coffees.
I have been enjoying mixing blends to find the perfect marriage of flavor profiles — and challenging the conventional wisdom that blended coffees are of inferior quality. Instead I’m taking the approach that wine has taken, opening up a respect for high-end varietal blends. I believe great quality coffee blends can do the same — it requires understanding the single origin beans and the technical ability to roast each bean to perfection before finding the complementary blend proportion.
Blends aside, I also have devoted months of research and development into infused coffees, and specifically the infusion of high quality coffee beans with the aroma of wine or spirits. Working closely with small local wineries and distilleries, I cultivate an environment where the beans can slowly, progressively become infused with the individual aroma of the wine or spirit. It delivers a new twist on coffee — where the coffee taste is still frontal, followed by an intriguing delicate hint of something quite unexpected. I enjoy these infused coffees hot, iced, or even as an affogato.
ABOUT HAJO ROASTS
My name is Hajo, short for Hans-Jörg — a name needing an abbreviation! Growing up in Stuttgart, Germany, with Mercedes legacy in the family (my great-grandfather as Mercedes' first race car driver) I followed suit as an engineer. Work took me frequently to Portland, where I discovered a coffee culture unlike any I knew in Europe and I became enthralled. I also started spending time in Brazil, opening up multiple opportunities to learn about the sourcing side of coffee growing.
I loved my job but could feel that this coffee passion held the potential to become more than just a weekend hobby so I started to take barista and roasting courses. As a triathlete, I have learned how to focus and make training and planning a priority — skills that have driven my approach to educating myself on the world of coffee.
On one of my flights to Brazil fortune struck by seating me next to a woman who would become my wife. Life events gave us the opportunity to move back to where she grew up in the U.S. In a bold break with family tradition, I quit Mercedes, ordered a coffee roaster, and haven't looked back.
Last October I competed in my first competition and won silver for my single origin at the 2016 Golden Bean Roasting Competition in Portland — a proud achievement on par with finishing my first ironman!