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August - August Part 2: 19grams, Berlin

August - August Part 2: 19grams, Berlin

19grams, Berlin

This mysterious roastery has been on our minds for a time since we have heard from many acquaintances that they roast incredibly good coffee. 19grams mysteriously got in touch with us and asked if we were interested in having them in the box and of course we were, excited to get to know the people behind and test their coffee. After sipping through their entire range, few have delivered as high a standard as 19grams, just as few have offered so little about themselves: mysterious.


- How did 19grams start?

19grams started in 2002 as Tres Cabezas in Berlin Friedrichshain. Three friends had the idea to import specialty coffees directly from Costa Rica and serve and sell it in their own cafe in Berlin. 


- How was the coffee-scene back in 2002 when you started and what were some of the challenges you came across?

There was no existing specialty coffee scene in Berlin / Germany so to implement the terms and the idea of a higher quality coffee was a challenge back then. This has changed a lot over the years, which is great!


- What was the vision when you started and does it match with what you have accomplished now?

The idea at the beginning was to make specialty coffee accessible for everyone. An important factor was the direct import from Costa Rica as our early founders also had a coffee farm in Costa Rica at some point.


- You underwent a re-branding from Tres Cabezas to 19grams. Why did you do it and what was your goal with it?

So, technically we are still Tres Cabezas - a few years ago we launched our 19grams brand which was exclusively dedicated to the specialty grade coffees. This part of our branding grew very fast, especially during the past few years as Specialty Coffee is getting more and more attention in the coffee scene.

But funny enough, our German customers always struggled pronouncing Tres Cabezas anyway ;)

- Maybe a silly question, but why the name 19grams?

Please, there is no silly question - happy to answer this one: 19grams was the amount of ground coffee for a double espresso shot, that was used, when we changed the company to 19grams.


- You are located in one of the biggest coffee cities in Europe, how is the vibe between the different roasters, cafés, etc?

The specialty coffee scene in Berlin feels quite small - although we are in Berlin - and everybody knows and respects each other: so it’s very friendly and there is nearly a family-like vibe going on.

- It is very impressive that you have been trading directly since the beginning, what is the most rewarding and challenging with direct trade?

We believe that a strong relationship with farmers is key. By eliminating the middlemen in our supply chain, we achieve more: talking to farmers and producers directly allows us to understand their work and trace each coffee back to the tree, bringing the best quality to your cup. More importantly, we can pay the farmer a price that is many times higher than the commodity coffee price. This helps improve living and production conditions in the growing countries, which is awesome!


- What is your plan/vision for the future with 19grams?

We have learned a lot in the past 20 years and want to share the knowledge. We want to be a platform for the farmers who grow the coffee and want to discover the best coffees in the world and roast them to perfection.

We love experimenting with new brewing methods, like biodegradable capsules, drippers etc. 

- What is your roasting style and what do you focus on when roasting?

Our roast style is medium and fully developed. This is how we best bring out the natural flavor profile - terroir, processing method, sweeteners and acids. Our roasting team creates a roast profile with an appreciation for the great work of the farmer. Our espresso roasts are slightly more evolved than our filter roasts to work on any espresso machine. Our roasters work closely with our bar crew, and offer regular workshops and cuppings so that you, the coffee drinker, are served the best coffee possible.


If you missed august coffee box you can still order our favourite coffees from 19grams here.