Interview with Adhi Jusuf by Coffee Insurrection

Interview with Adhi Jusuf by Coffee Insurrection

One evening, I was surfing on Instagram when I found Coffee Insurrection, a community space about specialty coffee, roasters, and cafe recipes organized by Tanya and Endri.  They are specialty coffee lovers who also love to write and travel. With the same purpose to spread the news of good specialty coffee, I gave it a shot by asking if we can work together. 
Soon after reaching out to Tanya, they welcomed us to be part of their community. On July 1, 2022, Adhi was featured on their website in Coffee Insurrection Hero Chapter #58.
Here is the full interview. 

Tanya: Introduce yourself: Who are you, where are you from, where do you work, and what’s your job?

Adhi: Hi, I’m Adhi Jusuf. Currently, I live in San Francisco Bay Area, California.  I have worked in the IT field for more than 20 years.  I also work alongside my wife, Amanda, and my coffee buddy, Bryan Theonardo who is an SCA-certified barista, Q grader, and master roaster. We co-founded Beaneka Specialty Coffee and Roastery in 2019.

Tanya: When and why did coffee become important to you?
Adhi: During our trip to Indonesia, we met the coffee farmers in Toraja – Sulawesi. We were astonished that the price gap between the farmers and the consumers in the US was so large. From there, we did some research to find the reason. Other than the logistic cost, the biggest chunk was taken by the large distributor who controlled the majority of supply to the US market. We decided to do our small part in bringing more equality, in other words, to shift the balance toward the farmers in this complex trade.  
By paying more and supporting our farmers' colleagues, we feel that we can do our part in this “fight”.  We also realized that if we “give” more money, the impact wouldn’t be as tangible as when we provide support in other ways.  From partially funding after-school education for the farmers' children, funding education and training for better farming, to facilitating export from Indonesia – we did what we could do in our limited way.  
Tanya: Do you remember the first coffee you had that was more than “just a cup of coffee”?
Adhi: This moment was when we did a coffee cupping to a 17-year-old coffee farmer’s daughter after we found out that she never even tasted her coffee. For her, the coffee that the family produced was only to be sold to the co-op while she drank a “local”/dark roasted blend from the market. That day, high on caffeine at 1 am, I realized that coffee is not just a hot beverage. Coffee can connect different worlds, a conduit to make the world a little more equal.
Tanya:  What’s your favorite thing about going to work in the morning?
Adhi: I enjoy the serenity and the time I have with myself to “check” whether I am still on course with my goal.
Tanya: What’s your favorite brewing method and why?  
Adhi: I enjoy Indonesian Tubruk.  With its simplicity and pureness, the tubruk method is the original way of Indonesian drinks coffee.  Why do we have to drink coffee in a latte or … worse… caramel “macchiato”?  The place where coffee grows has the experience and, in a way, understands best how coffee should be treated.
Tanya: Which is the best coffee you ever tasted?
Adhi: Coffee, like life, changes all the time. The surroundings, the meaning, and the feeling during the time you drink coffee all affect the experience.  
Beaneka Specialty Coffee
 Image: Beaneka Coffee and team at the SF Coffee Festival 2021
Tanya: Is there a country of origin that you tend to favor coffee from? Why? 
Adhi: I favor Indonesian coffee due to my connection to the land. My connection to the farmers and more importantly, to my goal to make a difference for the Indonesian coffee farmers.
Tanya: Suggest us a roastery to check (not the one you work at/you use at work). 
Adhi: Zocalo Coffee
Tanya: What are the most important things you’ve learned while working in the business? 
Adhi: The power of a few distributors and the established channel for coffee is very hard to compete with.

Tanya: How your work and the specialty coffee world are coping with Covid and the new challenges for hospitality? 
Adhi: I wish I know how to manage the rising transportation costs that we experience now.  While the supply is there, the logistic of bringing the coffee here is quite difficult. With cost quadrupling in the past 3 years, we are faced with difficult challenges.

Tanya: How do you see the specialty coffee scene in 10 years?
 Adhi: With global warming affecting coffee production, coffee will only increase in price making it more valuable.  High-elevation coffee will be the holly grail while the big farm similar to banana plantation will take over the supply.
Tanya: Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 
Adhi: Hopefully, in 10 years, I will have achieved some of my goals in “uplifting the origin” mission statement of Beaneka Coffee.
Tanya: Any last word? Any tip or suggestion you want to share with someone that wants to start this path?
Adhi: Don’t...
I'm grateful to see communities like Coffee Insurrections who are passionate to share their knowledge and interests in good quality coffee. We would love to see more people enjoy good cups of coffee. With that said, we wish more farmers would reap the benefit of their hard work.
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