On the western side of Namibia, located 2 kilometers from the Atlantic Ocean and surrounded by the Namib-Naukluft National Park exudes the sweet aroma of fresh roasted coffee wafting through the air. If you follow this enticing smell through the desert you will reach the origin point of Two Beards Coffee. A roastery and cafe that opened in 2016 with the ambition of bringing top-shelf coffee to their customers, sourced from the best coffee bean suppliers globally.
Two Beards Coffee is a father and son combination who has spent many meticulous hours developing the best methods for roasting coffee, unique to the origin of the bean. Whether it’s Colombian, Brazilian, Ethiopian, or Indonesian, each bean has a unique flavor profile it can render depending on the roast method. For two coffee lovers who prefer their drinks with no sweetening agents, maximizing the natural flavor profile is extremely important.
Questioning what the easiest part of their journey was and what they found to be the most challenging. The challenge, perhaps for every coffee roaster, is exposing premium coffee to local markets and gaining local support with a new wave of young coffee enthusiasts. This is a slow process that cannot be forced, it requires consistency as much as it does time. Two beards coffee has entrusted Coffee-Tech Engineering equipment to aid them in their pursuit of consistency. Because consistently providing a good product will ensure happy, returning customers. Both Mark and Roy said they enjoy the roasting part of the coffee business most, and everything else seems to facilitate that.
Roy, the father in the duo, does not feel as though he has perfected his roasting methods as of yet. He believes there is always something new to experiment with and unrecognized knowledge that will increase the quality of each roast. Equally humble in his approach, Mark believes there will always be opportunities to learn, acknowledging there may not be an end to their research experience. Very adequate and knowledgeable roasters who maintain a sense of modesty in their craft. Mark noted that he would feel disappointment if he and his father reached the point when they did not feel they were learning and improving. Working with his father and sharing developmental experiences is a privilege in Mark’s day, and coffee is the highlight.
Mark and Roy feel comfortable within the space Two Beards Coffee is operating, but they also recognize there is always room for improvement. Both believe a key to maintaining their identity as providers of fine coffee is maintaining their standards and philosophies while also advancing capacity and reach. Mark eloquently deduced his expectations to “each day needs to be better than the day before”. This is not only a goal in business, but a shared goal everyone can prosper from.
When I asked the two of them what advice they would give to young or inexperienced roasters, they echoed a time honored statement for anyone wanting to commit to a profession. Be passionate with what you are pursuing, nothing happens overnight. Documenting will help you understand the characteristics of the bean you are dealing with, and it is important to do so accurately. Pay attention to every detail “it may end up being important”, this will ensure repeated quality roasts. Last but not least, practice makes perfect. Mark added, the time you invest is returned when the customer is delighted with the final product.
Coffee-Tech Engineering is excited to play a part of the “Two Beards Coffee” story, regardless of the minutiae of the role. Even if Mark and Roy did not benefit from the consistency of the Solar Shop Roaster, the versatility and array of options in the Silon ZR-7, or the technology packed workhorse Ghibli R15 Commercial Roaster, these two coffee lovers would have found endless ways to achieve their aspirations. Nevertheless, who does not love being part of a great story.
Thanks to Mark and Roy for their assistance and time contributing to this article. If you are ever visiting Swakopmund, Namibia, stop by Two Beards Coffee and say hello.
Chris Nance / Moshav Mazliach / 26.2.2020