Meet the maker: Christian Becke, the man changing the coffee business
Hailing from Hamburg's hippest area Schanzenviertel, a little while back, three friends collaborated to create a brand of their own and what's common between all three of them was the passion for coffee.
Discovering new ways to brew coffee, the end result of their initiative is what we now know as the new niche coffee brand, Stempels’ Slowbrew. Their primal product being the cold drip and the cold brew coffees that have been adorning morning desks all over for sometime now.
Introducing this fresh, flavourful and healthy alternative of coffee making to Germany, the only 25 year old CEO Christian Becke talks about being his own boss, coming up with innovative ways of branding and the advantages coffee’s latest trend, cold brew. Discover how working around coffee can be even better while travelling, imbibing new café cultures and beans everyday.
When and how did you get the idea of starting a brand solely around Cold Brews?
I used to work as a barista and was really interested in coffee. Especially new methods of brewing coffee were fascinating to me, so I decided to start a business about cold brew coffee. I did research and found out that there are two brothers that already started a business about cold drip coffee in Hamburg. They are now my business partners.
What’s the difference between Cold Brew and Cold Drip coffee?
You make Cold Brew Coffee when you put water and coffee in one jar and wait for 12 – 24 hours (depends on the recipe), Cold Drip means that the water slowly drips on the coffee, drop-by-drop. It’s just a different method of extracting the coffee. We got better results when we made cold drip coffee.
What’s the benefit of this kind of coffee in comparison to ‘regular’ coffee?
At first you drink it cold. The cold extraction has the benefit of the taste being less bitter and less acidic. The coffee often tastes more fruity or chocolaty than ‘regular’ coffee.
In many countries slow brew coffee is a big thing whereas in Germany/Austria it seems to be pretty unknown so far – what might be the reason for that?
Probably because a lot of people have never heard of cold brew coffee and there is no big player on the German market — yet.
Starting a brand is difficult, even more so, is being all the manpower behind it. How do you do it? What’s your career advice?
A lot of cold brew coffee helps a lot! No seriously, it doesn’t feel so much like work when you do something you really love.
What would be the flavor of your dreams to add to your coffee?
The coffee bean has the the unique flavours of different groceries. Some sorts taste like blueberry, others like almond and some beans even taste like popcorn… that’s the reason why I wouldn’t add anything to my coffee.
What sort of travelling do you do for adding more to your brand?
There is coffee all over the world. If you’re in the coffee business you can go almost everywhere and you will find new methods, special beans or interesting cafés. That’s probably another reason why working with coffee is amazing.
How can we imagine your workday?
I wake up, shower and have a coffee (usually a hot one!). I open my laptop, check e-mails and answer them. I often have to phone people because it’s usually easier to reach people in the morning. Depends on the day of the month, I have to meet costumers, suppliers, work on the website or do finance… when you’re self-employed there is always something to do and there is no day like the other. Some days are packed with financial stuff, some days you’re just in meetings with potential costumers. I really like that it’s not the same every day. On the other hand: if you don’t do your work, no one will do it for you, not when you’re sick and especially not on holidays.
How much coffee do you drink a day?
I try not to drink more than 3 mugs.
A day without coffee is…
A scary day.
In five years you see yourself …?
Waiting for my cold brew coffee.