When HAYB from Warsaw was first featured in late 2020, their packaging at the time sparked a real wave of delight amongst our subscribers. Not only did their boxes look really playful but they also felt very special. For HAYB this was a Eureka moment because soon after, they won the 2021 Coffeevine Award for ‘Best packaging’. Not a bad for a debutant.
Polish roasters are a very special bunch. Not only are they extremely passionate and friendly, they are also very involved in social matters. The last time I was in Warsaw in 2019, I couldn’t help but notice the number of LGBT-friendly posters that hung in almost every specialty coffee bar in the city in a demonstration of solidarity during a time when the Polish government was working hard to undermine our rights and marginalise us further.
Because my other half is also Polish and very policially active, I am very aware of the major issues that preoccupy Polish society at any given time. Most recently, one of them was women’s rights in light of a new draconion anti-abortion law that was passed.
HAYB is an exemplary company in the sense that it has always had a strong activist profile and supports many organisations that are doing incredibly important work such as cancer research, women’s rights, animal welfare and more. The fact that their coffees also taste exceptional is another reason to love the team around co-founder Wiktor Borowski who is such a joy to work with.
As a roaster, HAYB tries to take the seriousness out of specialty coffee without sacrificing any of the quality. As Wiktor disclosed during our recent live interview on Instagram: “We want to make specialty coffee more fun, more inclusive and more approachable.”
Shortly after winning the ‘Best packaging’ award, they embarked on a redesign of their boxes/bags because Wiktor realised that there was too much waste being created. “I really loved the look of the boxes but what do you do with them once you’ve taking out the bag?” he asked. “You throw them away and that’s a shame.”
Nowadays, they work with custom-printed and designed bags that correspond to seasonal offerings from particular origins. Instead of changing the whole packaging, they only adjust the label to detail what each bag contains.
For the upcoming January 2022 Coffeevine box, they will be roasting for us a super delicious Costa Rican coffee from Finca La Guaca, which we first shared a coffee from in 2019, then roasted by Single Estate Coffee in The Netherlands.
This farm is located in the Brunca region of the country and although the coffee is classified as a ‘full honey’ process, it is actually a bit more complex than that. According to Wiktor, they first remove the skin and leave the mucilage on. The farm is also known for using very little water in the depulping process, something that gives them great environmental credentials.
After the skin is removed, the fruit is dried on raised beds for five days during which time most of the natural sugars concentrate in the bean and then, they put the fruit in plastic bags to dry for seven days with most of the oxygen removed. Once this process has been completed, they depulp the coffee beans and then dry them in rotating air-driers for 48 hours at 40ºC.
This unique process results in an extraordinary cup with lots of sweetness, notes of stawberry, banana and sweets. We’re so excited to share this exquisite coffee from one of Europe’s most activist roaster as part of our upcoming January 2022 Coffeevine box soon.