Q&A with Not Even Coffee Roasters:
Andrew Werbowyj and Viktoria Hynynen are the co-owners of Not Even Coffee Roasters – a brand new coffee company here in Toronto. However, they aren’t rookies to coffee – Andrew was trained in Berlin at the reputable roaster Fjord Coffee Roasters and was working in the QC team. The two moved back home to Toronto and started their coffee company three months ago. We sat down with them for our March 2020 issue to chat about their experience so far:
How have you been finding it so far? Three months in, how are things going?
Andrew: Things are going really well. We've gotten a lot of support. There has been a big learning curve I'd say, just in terms of figuring it out on our own.
Viktoria: I'm getting good at accounting, that's for sure.
Andrew: You know what? Luckily Vik's experience is in the business world where I lack experience. I'm not really interested in taking over that side of things and Vik is really good at it. We've gotten really good at splitting the duties between us and focusing all of our attention into certain areas that need high amounts of dedication.
Vik also is working a full time job in addition to doing this. So she's there part time, but basically just working two full time jobs. We work seven days a week - and yeah, it's taking up a lot of time, but it's going really well. We've received a lot of support, people have been really welcoming and really nice. Canadians are just so friendly.
Did you have a goal of what you guys were going to try and bring to the coffee industry or a certain vision or ethos for the coffee company itself?
Andrew: Generally a more ‘European style or roast’, but still trying to get developed acidity and sweetness. Bringing that character into the cup and telling a story in your cup of what this coffee is.
I remember so many times sitting in cafes in Berlin and in Oslo and Copenhagen and just being so blown away by how expressive that cup was and how labor full and incredible it was. It was honestly, as cheesy as it sounds, kind of a life changing experience. I remember these distinct moments. So I wanted to bring some of that.
Why do you think your guys' quality has been able to match up to some of the more established roasters despite only being in business for 3 months?
Andrew: I'd say that we're lucky to be dealing with really well grown and processed coffees. We have really good quality green that we're using. I think that's really the base. You can only make it as good as the raw material that you have kind of feel. So we're lucky that we're starting with a point that is really high in quality. And the most that we can hope for is to do the coffee justice, to be honest and not get in the way of displaying all the beautiful characteristics of the coffee that we are buying. It's a chain and we all have to do our part not to screw it up to get a good product.