“It would be really boring to be mediocre or to be finished in our quest for making great coffee. It gets me out of bed knowing it’s a long way to go. We have tasted glimpses of near perfection - the question is, how do we get it to be consistently great?” explained Sebastian Sztabzyb, co-founder of Phil & Sebastian.
The pursuit of perfection. That would be a daunting task for most folks, however Phil & Sebastian aren’t like most people. They had a comfortable, well-paying job at an engineering firm that any new graduate could be proud of. But that wasn’t for them. So the ambitious coffee loving pair left one industry and went head first into another.
“The motivation was in building something and doing something interesting & inspiring as opposed to sitting in front a computer all day writing code, never seeing the light of day. For us, coffee was an absolute fascination and intense hobby compared to the “going nowhere” feeling we were experiencing day-to-day.” Said Sebastian.
They could see the potential for flavor, the uniqueness and the individuality in each bean and it ignited their passion. The inquisitive pair were taken on a path of continual improvement. They have custom roasts for each bean – for example they may apply heat more in the beginning and less at the end of the roast, or vice versa, depending on the varietal and what they think may yield the best outcome. However, roasting is only one piece of their puzzle. That other piece is working closing with their green bean suppliers to improve farming.
“In meeting the farmers, we hope to discover that they too have a shared vision with us — an interest in improvement and an appreciation for the work it takes to make it happen. That, we would say, is the most important quality” says Sebastian.
With the roast which was featured in the June issue of The Roasters Pack, a Costa Rican produced by Helbert & Macho. They are a father-son duo who are relentless about improving their coffee. They’re continually educating themselves on technical aspects of coffee, reinvesting in better coffee processing equipment and implementing incentives for workers to improve their coffee picking.
The best way to sum up their meticulous efforts in managing the minor details is with the two words they use on the back of their retail bag: “we care”. And it’s incredibly evident in their amazing coffee.