Bean to cup: How coffee entrepreneurs of Maverick & Farmer experiment with new flavours and blends
Maverick & Farmer, founded by three passionate coffee entrepreneurs, caters to coffee lovers who want new flavours in their brew. Co-founder Ashish D’abreo speaks to YSWeekender about the evolution of artisanal coffee and the company’s unique blends
Whether you love your coffee cold, blitzed to perfection with ice cubes, or brewed hot and delicious in your percolator, it is the drink that gives you that happy buzz and takes you through the day. But with time, people wanted more from their coffee. Some wanted it freshly roasted, a few liked it strong and black, while others wanted nutty, sweet, and tropical flavours in their brews.
Over the years, coffees have been created and developed to suit every palate, right from house blends to different degrees of roasting to a gamut of innovations and textures
Maverick & Farmer Coffee Roasters started operations in 2018, founded by three passionate coffee entrepreneurs — Sreeram G, Tej Thammaiah, and Ashish D’abreo.
Tej Thammaiah is a third-generation coffee farmer who looks after the Ajjikutira family estates in Pollibetta, Coorg. Ashish D'abreo is the head roaster and barista, while Sreeram G leads sales. The co-founders are on a constant endeavour to create innovative variants of coffee that imbibe different plantations and natural fermentation methods.
In an interaction with YSWeekender, Ashish D'abreo, Co-founder, Maverick & Farmer, tells us about the company’s latest flavours and the USP of the brand.
YSWeekender (YSW): Can you tell us about your latest coffees and what makes them special?
Ashish D’abreo (AD): In keeping with the pursuit of creating unconventional coffee, we have six coffee blends that are set to launch in a staggered manner over the next 12 weeks. These are a result of a lot of experimentation on the farm and in our roastery.
The first two that were launched last week are called ‘Ol’ Smoky’ and ‘Orange you curious?.’ Those who love a mellow, sweet-smoky lining to their favourite drink, our Ol’ Smoky creation is for them as it is prepared from freshly pulped top-grade Arabica green beans that are cold-smoked for 13-14 hours in a smokehouse.
Orange You Curious? is created by fermenting freshly pulped coffee beans with orange juice. Both the coffees are available on our website: www.maverickandfarmer.com
YSW: How was the idea of Maverick and Farmer conceived, and what is unique about your brand?
Maverick & Farmer coffee roasters are here to take Indian coffee past the third wave of coffee (which predominantly deals with origin, terroir, roasting, etc.) and introduce a whole new world of coffees that unlock so much more than what the species, terroir, or roasting can offer.
There are two sides to our coffee brand — the farmer, with its in-depth understanding of coffee growing heritage, rules, experience, and rich knowledge — and the Maverick, the rule-breaker, boundary pusher, and experimenter. This is what makes us unique, and reflects in our coffee offerings.
Our coffee primarily comes from our farms in Coorg, but we also work with other farmers from different growing regions when we require coffees that bring a different uniqueness to our offering.
YSW: What is artisanal coffee?
AD: The term 'artisanal coffee’ implies that the producer is growing, processing, roasting, etc., coffee from a traceable source, in a manner that highlights the unique flavours and tasting notes.
YSW: How do you come up with new flavours, and how are they tested out?
AD: Most of the work happens during non-harvesting months — from March to October — and most work happens on paper. We’re constantly brainstorming on ideas, lines of thought, and wish lists. During the harvest season, we can actually put all of this into practice. We spend a lot of time together on the farm, executing our ideas, drying, roasting, tasting, and journaling.
YSW: Which countries offer the best kinds of coffee?
AD: I would say India because we have some very unique characteristics of our coffee. Apart from India, I would say, (and this is a personal opinion) — Kenya for the flavours, the importance given to R&D, and meticulous quality control; Guatemala for its bright, sweet notes; and Ethiopia for being the birthplace of coffee, as well as its floral and fruity coffees.
YSW: Can you give us some tips on how to make a good cup of coffee?
AD: Brew coffee that’s freshly roasted. Stale coffee or dead coffee is unidimensional and gets the whole brewing process off on the wrong foot. Choose a grind size that’s perfect for your brewing equipment. Follow instructions only for the first time, and after that, adapt recipes and brewing techniques to what you think works best for you.
YSW: What are your plans for Maverick & Farmer in the days ahead?
AD: We don’t have much time until the next harvest. There’s still a lot of work left to be done, directions, and processes to be finalised. We have quite a few new products and café launches in the pipeline in the future.
(Images credit: Pavan Srinivas)
Edited by Suman Singh