Sometimes meeting someone just feels like destiny and one of those moments happened to us a while ago. Just when our journey into the world of specialty coffee began, we met the guys at STOW Specialty Coffee Roasters and their head barista and trainer Peter Ševič. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship, spiced by the smell of coffee.
Timing was just perfect, as we were eager for knowledge about coffee and it just happens that the guys at STOW do not only roast a mean set of beans, brew the perfect cup of coffee, but love to spread their knowledge as well.
When they saw our plans for GINA, they were amazed that a new coffee brewer is being developed right on their doorstep. It seems this has been the brewer they have been waiting for!
The master gets his GINA
Even before the first prototype was made, we had to make a promise to Peter - to get him a GINA as soon as it will be available.
On December 15 we took off to the STOW coffee shop, located in Ljubljana’s City Museum, the meeting place of specialty coffee lovers in Ljubljana and the training ground for new baristas and coffee professionals. Yes, Peter is an Authorized Coffee Trainer at SCA and we could call him the authority of all-things-coffee.
Calling this ex-professional cyclist enthusiastic about coffee is an understatement … we’d rather say he’s ecstatic. He’s the guy that is searching for the special in specialty coffee. He’s a true multifunctional coffee professional: head barista, head of coffee training, program manager for Stow Coffee Festival, coffee consultant and the guy who picks the green coffee to be roasted in their micro roastery.
And talking about multifunctionality … well, that just fits with GINA, a multifunctional smart coffee instrument.
Back to the coffee shop …
We delivered GINA a few days before our visit to Peter, as we wanted them to get acquainted. But, as he said, they became friends in no time and his team already started using GINA for serving curious customers.
“It’s an eyecatcher … Practically anyone that visited our coffee shop noticed it on our countertop,” said Peter, while selecting the beans to brew with GINA. Peter is picky about the bean, but still down to earth enough not to go crazy with the selection: “I’m actually the guy that is looking for something special,” he says and meticulously pours the beans in the grinder, “I believe we all need to pitch in to show coffee drinkers what specialty coffee is all about, what it feels and tastes like.”
He sees GINA as the perfect brewer to complement the specialty coffee movement; its ease of use and the app that makes it easier even for coffee noobs to brew the perfect cup of coffee, as long as they use good coffee. Specialty coffee.
In the mean time, a few guests arrive at the coffee shop, ordering an espresso and a flat white … with precision and determination we see him do his magic on the Strada, the king of the counter top at the STOW coffee shop.
“The tastes of our guests are varied. Local guests are still very oriented towards cappucinos, lattes, about 20% are espresso drinkers. But with the coffee culture in Slovenia evolving, drip coffee is on the rise. I guess it was just a matter of offering a variety of different brew types to our clients …”
Back to the brew
“I like the idea of the app,” he says, while smelling the freshly ground Ethiopian single origin that was roasted a few days ago by his friend an colleague Aleš Turšič, head roaster and CEO at STOW. “When things get hectic in the coffee shop, one can make mistakes that could make the brew go to waste. The step-by-step process makes it easy to brew a quality cup of coffee, even for someone that is just starting to explore specialty coffee,” he goes on while making the first pour and then savours the view of the gentle bloom of the Ethiopian grind.
He goes on with the pouring and checks the app to get the timing dialed in: “I’ll leave it to flow a few seconds longer, the filter I’m using is a bit on the slow side.”
Four minutes after the first pour, he raises the pitcher and takes a deep sniff from it then pours a little bit into his tasting cup and runs it in his mouth.
“Coffee anyone?” An invitation we just can’t refuse.