My name is Gabi Leikute. I’m the most recent person that has joined the team of Cafetoria. I’ve been really passionate about coffee for more than four years now and even though I joined Cafetoria only recently, it has already been full of new experiences. One of the most exciting ones to me so far has definitely been the arrival of our new micro-lots from Peru!
As my passion for coffee grew I’ve been more and more curious about the behind the scenes of the world of coffee that most of us don’t get to experience. The amount of work that goes into producing a simple cappuccino is truly understated and some of us never even think about how deep it truly dives! From the planting of coffee, to the growing, the picking, the processing, packaging, shipping, unloading and roasting, down to the final moments of brewing – the journey of coffee is long and delicate. I have always appreciated the hard and meticulous work that goes into roasting, but after experiencing the amount of work that goes into simply getting the coffee into the roastery, I feel like my mind has been opened even more. This is why I wanted to share my experience with you guys!
When I first heard about the new shipment of coffee arriving a few weeks before the event itself, I instantly volunteered myself to help in this laborious process. I knew I wouldn’t be much help in the process of carrying the sacks, so the job of photographing and journaling the event fell into my lap. I was beyond excited. Just days before the arrival of the coffees, Helsinki got a surprising amount of snow – we knew this would make the work a little more difficult, but none of us lost our excitement, in fact it grew with each day. The Cafetoria roastery was not the first roastery I have ever visited, but there was something so much more magical about seeing a roastery that I work for. I think the best way I can describe this feeling is by comparing it to the feeling of coming home, feeling of belonging.c
Finally, the day of the coffees arrival had come. The container, full of four different micro-lots from Cusco and Puno, was delayed many hours because of weather conditions. While waiting for the container, Levi shared how each Cafetoria member had a role and position that they always took when unloading the coffee. He shared how the seal of the container gets broken and how there’s a ritual-like routine to it. Hearing him share these stories with me made my heart race with excitement!
The breaking of the seal to the container was just as the other team members have described it – ritual-like. As the door of the container swung, the exotic aromas of the jungles and fresh green beans were invading the environment. Yet, although this could have paralysed a normal observer, the members of Cafetoria didn’t act with hesitation and everyone got immediately to work – everyone found their rhythm and place, like gears and cogs in a clock working together. The team became more like a part of a machinery to make this process efficient so that the tens of heavy sacks (69kg each) can be unloaded in the shortest possible time. Even with the cold weather biting at everyone’s fingers – no one stopped even for a moment. With my camera in my hands I felt like a gleeful child, that occasionally got absorbed by the excitement that surrounded me. I often forgot to take pictures as I was in awe with the hard work that was happening in front of me. I took on the challenge to try and help a few times, but we all agreed that I was more helpful behind the lense of a camera. At the end, the Cafetoria family worked so hard and fast that the container got emptied
within an hour! I have never witnessed such strong team work. You could feel the delight, pleasure, pride and appreciation towards each member in the air as the empty container was closed and we waved the driver goodbye. Seeing this beautiful teamwork makes you appreciate and understand the amount of work that goes into coffee at each stage of it’s life.