Welcome to this newest episode of Behind the Roast. In this episode, Willem shares his personal experience of meeting Aharon Vaknin, a coffee roaster who is fascinated by the flavor of freshly prepared geisha coffee. Willem and Aharon developed a close friendship over the years, during which Aharon established his own coffee roasting business in Beverly Hills, California. Aharon’s philosophy about roasting and marketing top-quality coffees is centered around sharing the joy of coffee by connecting clients to the flavor of the roasted beans. The Giesen W6A roaster at Aharon Coffee is installed inside the café, where Aharon himself can fully concentrate on roasting the beans.
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I got to know Aharon Vaknin years ago. We drove together through the highlands of Panama to the town of Boquete, where I was presenting a coffee origin course. During our journey, we had a very lively conversation. This was about the essence of running a coffee company and about the craft of roasting. Before we took off, I surprised Aharon with the flavor of freshly prepared geisha, which took him completely by surprise. He simply couldn’t fathom how geisha coffee could taste so floral, like a delicate cup of tea. The sensory experience became one of the main topics during our car ride. Aharon decided to establish a coffee roasting business in the heart of Beverly Hills, California.
Roasting on a Giesen
Aharon also became very interested in purchasing a Giesen coffee roaster for his new business. We established a close friendship in the process. During the past nine years, he managed to realize substantial growth. He built the business with an impressive portfolio of mostly organic, single-origin coffees. Frequently, Aharon Coffee features super-specialty geisha beans from Finca La Mula in Panama and Gesha Village Estate in Ethiopia. During my recent visit, Aharon specifically mentioned how he likes the consistency of his Giesen W6A; “it’s an awesome machine”, he concludes.
A unique philosophy
Over the years, Aharon has maintained a steady philosophy about roasting and marketing his portfolio of top-quality coffees. Aharon explains; “Our whole bean program has one core objective: share the joy of coffee by connecting our clientele to the flavor of the roasted beans”. The Giesen roasting machine at Aharon Coffee is installed inside the café in a quiet area where the roast master (Aharon himself) can fully concentrate on the job at hand. Before every roast, Aharon blesses his coffee beans through a brief meditation which features his favorite mantra “for the joy of coffee”. I observed him doing it more than once, and I sincerely believe that such rituals can make a difference.
Aharon Vaknin’s passion for coffee and his philosophy of sharing the joy of coffee through top-quality beans and roasting techniques have resulted in an impressive portfolio. This consists of organic, single-origin coffees. The installation of a Giesen W6A roasting machine inside Aharon Coffee’s café allows Aharon to fully concentrate on the roasting process, and his belief in the power of pre-roasting blessings and mantras adds a unique touch to the process.
Willem Boot is Brand Ambassador of Giesen Coffee Roasters and founder of Boot Coffee Campus, a leading coffee training institute for the coffee industry.