Imagine this – opening the door of a café and walking up massive stairs that lead you to a long bar. The scene with an orange custom designed Synesso machine, a smiling barista and red and blue neons in the shape of a Finch bird on the wall are drawing all your attention. Everything is clean and neat. The second you are up the waitress offers you a tour around the facility – it is truly a multipurpose space that includes a warehouse storage for green coffee, a training centre, a roastery, a show room and, of course, a café.
No, this is not a scene from a futuristic café in New York City or San Francisco, the café opened in May 2015 in Kiev, Ukraine. A country which most of our friends tried to keep us away from, yet we have found the most interesting coffee experience so far. Fair Finch, a project that we often describe as an “Apple Store of Coffee”.
Roman Pomoranov, the founder of Fair Finch, explains that the white colour represents the new and yet blank list of coffee history in Ukraine. At Fair Finch they buy and roast only Cup of Excellence coffees, in the warehouse we were shown some award winning coffees from Guatemala, Honduras and Brasil. “We describe our coffee, similar to wine, by the country and its variety. It is very difficult for customers to remember names of farms and farmers and it does not say that much about the resulting taste of coffee anyway,” adds Roman, an international CoE judge and a ukrainian hospitality veteran with over 13 years of experience.
Is this coffee not too expensive? Well, it is. That is the reason why staff is not hiding behind the bar and offer the tours instead. Gulia, our guide, confirmed that “most people think it is very expensive but once they see the entire facility, learn about Cup Of Excellence and the whole process behind brewing their cup of coffee, they are more than happy to pay the price.” One of the most surprising parts was the fridge dedicated to flowers that decorate the space. The fit out of the space was made possible thanks to Oleg Bilenchuk, a young ukrainian architect living in London, who had the freedom and enough space to fit in all the required parts.
In September, a new training centre is opening and international experts will be invited to come to Kiev and share their knowledge. Together with Ukrainian Coffee School run by Svit Kavy in Lviv, this should be a very good base for the development of Ukrainian speciality coffee scene.
Of course that after trying all the coffee on the menu we left with the biggest bag of a Guatemalan coffee we could afford. You would think that there is not much space for surprises after you have visited over 200 cafés and then you visit such a café as Fair Finch and you are blown away.