Marcel Vogel 25 years in coffee and tea
If you have been in the business for 25 years, then that is reason for a celebration. Marcel Vogel, co-owner and founder of Axxent Masters in Tea, has therefore decided to roast his own anniversary coffee. Read his story about the origin of this 'signature coffee'.
In your daily life, you prefer to surround yourself with things that make you happy. You cherish your loved ones, your friends and your family. You develop yourself by doing work where you challenge, stimulate and seduce yourself. You stand up for that every morning. With or without coffee. Sometimes you have the luck that you have work that feels like a dream job. Of course that does not just happen, but how wonderful is it to see that many opportunities and challenges that you get in your life, often turn out to be the same thread. The common thread in my life is coffee. When I started studying - with my diploma from high school in my pocket - I could not have imagined that coffee would play such an important role in my life. Now I can not imagine a life without coffee. Not only to start my day with it every morning, but because of the inspiration it gives me and the admiration I feel in the process from berry to bean. It made me decide to do something special. To celebrate that I have been in the business for 25 years, I took up the challenge and developed my own anniversary coffee.
With due pride and incredible respect for the partners who have taught me so much in all aspects of this process, I look at my own Gourmet fancy, single estate 100% Arabica. A Signature Coffee with origin Costa Rica. Together with coffee farmer Oscar Chacon of the Las Lajas farm from Costa Rica and with the Dutch coffee connoisseurs Michiel Lampers, trader at The Coffee Quest and coffee roaster Jasper Overdevest of Nordkapp Coffee, I have been able to develop a coffee that has been made to my personal taste. This coffee was produced in a small edition and is the anniversary gift for my friends and relations. I like to share my story about how this coffee originated. It is a story that is close to me. A story that reflects my incessant fascination with coffee, in all its facets.
69 kilos. Lot 27. That was my destiny and my happiness. 'My dream come true'. I know exactly where this lot was harvested and dried at coffee estate Las Lajas. During a memorable trip through Costa Rica, I visited several coffee estates. I met Oscar, a small farmer with an estate from the Chacon family. This is where the adventure really started. His coffee bushes grow on the fertile soil at the edges of the still active Poas volcano in Alajuela. The feeling that I get from a walk with him through his farm, through the coffee bushes, is indescribable. The harvest period was long gone, but somewhere I found a red berry. Would that have been a sign? Oscar took plenty of time for me to explain his personal business methods. About the system of aqua pulp, which forms the basis for the honey-like taste of the beans and the drying process, in which the flesh stays around the bean so that it gets that special flavor. That day I decided to try and produce my own coffee. Because I am so crazy about that product and because I have been in the business for 25 years.
After my International Business study in Enschede, I got acquainted with the world of coffee in my first job and started my fascination with the product. As an export trainee I went to work at De Drie Mollen, a coffee roaster and tea company in Den Bosch. After my traineeship I stayed there for a very nice period of ten years and worked as Export Director. After this period I got the opportunity to work as commercial director at Arcus Koffie en Thee. At Arcus I introduced a line of single origin coffees. My favorite was the coffee from Costa Rica. We had a pack design with a golden stamp in our assortment, on which the origin of the country was portrayed. Costa Rica has always remained my favorite coffee country. After working there for five years, I set up our current Axxent business with my business partner Arnoud. Both of us could not imagine a life without coffee, to put it a little bit dramatic. In the course of time, the focus shifted from coffee to tea. But the passion for coffee has never disappeared.
When I arrived in the Netherlands, I went looking for the trader who imports the coffee from Las Lajas. Jasper Overdevest, an independent coffee roaster who offered to help me with the roasting process, knew who I should contact. I had already met with Jasper a long time ago. He was our barista in 2008 at the stand of a trade fair and we have kept in touch since then. When he wanted to enter into his own entrepreneurship through crowdfunding, we invested in him at the time. He now roasts his own coffee brand Nordkapp in the VechtclubXL in Utrecht. Jasper, like me, has the same passionate look in his eyes when he roasts beans. I remember the time that every Friday afternoon I started to roast my own coffee beans out of love for coffee and recognize that passion for that beautiful process at Jasper.
Contact was made with Michiel Lampers. A coffee connoisseur pur sang. He quickly became enthusiastic about my plans and organized in a short time a bag of 69 kilos with the coffee beans from the Las Lajas Estate of Oscar. It was time for the first roasting of the 100% Arabica beans, packed in a to me already memorable jute bag with decription 'Single estate 100% Arabica and SHB'. SHB stands for Strictly Hard Bean. When the bag is opened you can smell the good quality of the then still raw green coffee. Under the guidance of Jasper I fill the roaster with the first spit of six kilos. We look at how the beans turn in the display window of the drum roaster. The roaster is set to go from 180 to 202 degrees Celsius. The coffee bean undergoes a true metamorphosis while roasting: the bean loses moisture, turns from green to brown, becomes larger and 'cracks' just like popcorn. The first 'crack' takes place after about 12 minutes. When I reach the desired roasting time I pull open the roaster and when the beans cool down we smell the fruity scent of plum. The attempt to get that honey flavor that is characteristic of Las Lajas beans, with the fruit and caramel, has succeeded. A nice roasted yield of 82.6% appears to come from the raw beans. It is ground and served and the flavors of caramel and fruit come up well. This also when the coffee is broken to taste. The flavor wheel describes the first roasting of my Signature Coffee and I am incredibly excited to celebrate it.
Las Lajas' first roasting: nutty, caramel, low acidity, slightly fruit - plum on the side of the tongue, soft, not bitter and a nice drink, medium roast, whole beans.
Coffee is beautiful, it is the most traded product in the world. The places where coffee grows are breathtakingly beautiful, I have experienced that myself; the production process is unique and laborious. This makes it a wonderful craft. Worldwide there are a lot of people working in this industry - from the origin to the local roasters. With my 25-year jubilee, a dream came true for me and I have been able to make the passion for coffee concrete by roasting this personal coffee. Hopefully those who will be surprised with this coffee will enjoy as much as I enjoyed all the beautiful work that preceded it.
Founder and co-owner of Axxent Masters in Tea
The people who can put their stamp on the Signature Coffee from Marcel:
Oscar Chacon is part of an authentic coffee family and has an 'estate' called Las Lagas near the Poas volcano in Costa Rica, a fertile area where coffee is grown with a refined, individual flavor by an original 'Penagos Aquapulper' and with special drying beds. Oscar has toured Marcel on his estate near the volcano and talks about his way of working, so that he has a lively image of hand-picked coffee. The Perla Negra coffee from Las Lagas is now a big hit in the metropolis of Berlin.
Jasper Overdevest is a micro roaster. In the VechtclubXL in Utrecht he roasts his own coffee brand Nordkapp. Marcel knows Jasper as a barista from the profession and has invested in the successful crowdfunding project of Jasper to set up Nordkapp two years ago. In his roasting department he roasts fresh coffee, espresso and filter every week. In addition to a number of blends, he also has a changing range of single farm coffees.
Michiel Lampers of The Coffee Quest has laid the bridge for making Marcel's signature coffee possible. He imports coffee from around the world and he turned out to be the person who buys coffee from the Chacon family's estate. Marcel has received a lot of extra knowledge about coffee from this expert with whom he has been able to share his passion for coffee.
Text: Leonieke Borrie / Marcel Vogel Photography: Margot Vogel
Via the youtube link http://bit.ly/2BtDIOM you can watch the whole process (desktop only).