João Marques Vilar: Coffee Insurrection Hero Chapter #47

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João Marques Vilar: Coffee Insurrection Hero Chapter #47

Coffee Shop
Published by Tanya in Coffee Insurrection Hero · 1 April 2022
Tags: João_Marques_VilarSO_CoffeePortoPortugal
1- Introduce yourself: who are you, where are you from, where do you work and what’s    your job.

I am João, from Porto, Portugal, I am a co-founder at , where I do a little bit of everything – just not barista because the guys won’t let me do it. Mostly, I work as a roaster.

2- When and why did coffee become important to you?

I think coffee became important to me back when I was at the university. Back then it was more of a waking up tool: we are talking about commercial coffee, mostly bitter and strong. Highly caffeinated!

3- Do you remember the first coffee you had that was more than “just a cup of coffee”?

So, when I moved abroad to New York and was desperately looking for my Portuguese-style “caffeine fix” and I couldn’t find it. In the US the coffee culture is different, there’s no espresso culture and most coffee shops work with batch brew. I tried Starbucks and found a drink called red-eye - batch brew plus an espresso shot. I wasn’t happy. That took me online and I found Mud Coffee, , and in my neighborhood, that’s probably where I had my first decent coffee.
Afterwards, I found "" and "" in Dumbo, Brooklyn, where I moved later.

4- What’s your favorite thing about going to work in the morning?

I think it depends on my mood that day. But I do enjoy going to work in the morning.

5- What’s your favorite brewing method and why?

Right now, I am really enjoying the “ Brewer”, Patrick Rolf´s creation. It extracts a super vibrant and clear coffee.

6- Which is the best coffee you ever tasted?

Probably, the coffee Lisa Zancanella, one of SO Coffee Roasters' co-founders, took to the Italian brewer's cup in 2020, a Castillo varietal, from Cauca, Colombia.

So Coffee

7- Is there a country of origin that you tend to favor coffee from? Why?

No favors. Each coffee gets an opportunity to surprise me regardless of its origin. I think having a prejudice toward coffee origins can inadvertently stop us from exploring new aromas and flavors.

8- Suggest us a roastery to check (not the one you working at/you use at work).

I suggest the classic Scandinavian roasters, it’s my thing, but there’s a lot happening and there’s plenty new brilliant roasters from different parts of the world. I wouldn’t dare to name any because surely, I would leave out someone.

9- What’s the most important things you’ve learnt while working in the business?

What matters the most: people, product, process. In this exact order.

10- How your work and the specialty coffee world are coping with Covid and the new challenges for hospitality?

In the old days, 500 years ago, Portuguese navigators left the harbors without knowing where they were going. They knew there was something but they didn’t know what, where, or how. It’s where we are in coffee and hospitality. We don’t know what, where or how the future is. If we have this clear and can find quick ways to adapt, we should be fine.

11- How do you see the specialty coffee scene in 10 years?

I see the quality coffee production growing, however, seems like the market is fluctuating a bit. Let´s see how coffee prices develop, how the consumers react, and let´s see how we, as a community, face the challenges. This being said and looking at recent times, I do not dare to make any sort of prediction. All I can say is that we won´t budge on the quality of our cup.

12- Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Traveling. Lots of traveling and still in the coffee industry.

13- Any last word? Any tip or suggestion you wanna share with someone that want to start this path?

First, have fun. Enjoy yourself and be happy while at work. Then, if you want to be serious about coffee, study, read, do courses, develop your sensorial skills. Coffee is a fascinating world but requires time and dedication.


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