Every matter I take into my hands I do it with a specific purpose. It was the same way that I did it when I was a professional cyclist, and nowadays it’s the way I do it in the coffee industry too. 

I am the head barista at Cafe STOW. I make coffee, educate my employees, and I also import green coffee to our roastery. 

The whole mission of this project is to start treating coffee with the same immense respect that we treat wine. Those who aren’t familiar with “specialty coffee” believe that the commercial coffee we’re used to tasting is what coffee is supposed to taste like, but it’s not even remotely similar. 

 

“When I have projects I work from morning until evening, and when my body cannot function anymore and needs recovery I go to sleep.”

 

My typical day is pretty chaotic. I do not have a fixed schedule. There’s no 9 to 5, like they have in public sector, instead I set my schedule. Normally, when I get into a project, or something that drives me I work, I’m not bothered by the time frame… I have many days where I work more than 16 hours a day. 

Every barista’s wish is to try out new coffee with beans of higher and higher quality and taste, and that path for trying out and exploring coffee doesn’t seem like work for me. So I can put in 15 or more hours per day.

 

My goal is to be the best

Passion is a major factor. Every matter I take into my hands I do it with a specific purpose. It was the same when I was a professional cyclist. It wasn’t enough for me just to cycle, I wanted to break records cycling. And when I started in the coffee industry, my goal wasn’t just to sell coffee, it was to be the best in the coffee industry. I do not look at competition in Slovenia, but I observe the best coffee companies in the world.

I want to bring STOW to the level that it will compete with the best roasting mills like The Barn and Gardelli coffee. That’s my goal, and while I’m conscious that currently we’re quite far behind them, that’s what I’m striving for.

Learning new things is something that drives me the most. I strive to work on things which increase my understanding, whereas responding to emails is a task that consumes a lot of your time and yet you don’t really learn anything new. 

 

Why coffee?

When I was a professional cyclist, a lot of my friends drank coffee, yet I didn’t like it. It was too bitter. When I visited London in 2008, I found a coffee shop named Prufrock. Inside I was stunned that the barista was grinding the coffee, then weighing it, all to ensure a great cup of coffee. I was curious.

When I tried that coffee I noticed it had aromas of fruits. I thought to myself that this substance couldn’t be coffee, but it was. I was fortunate enough to be able to speak to Gwilym Davies – the founder of the cafe which was one of the first specialty coffee shops in London. I wanted to bring this to Slovenia.

Currently, only 1 % of all the coffee in the world is specialty coffee. As a company we spent approximately €15.000 to €20.000 on arranging the STOW Coffee Festival. This wasn’t just beneficial for our company, but also for our competitors in the same industry. It wasn’t just to build our brand but to grow the speciality coffee industry as a whole. The thing is, when it comes to specialty coffee, we don’t have competitors in the industry, but instead our competitors are the mass-produced, commercial brands that are selling just bad coffee!

See more about Peter and Kavarna STOW on their Facebook page. 

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