A brand new firm in Maine known as Kavka Espresso has began roasting and promoting Ukrainian-style blends whereas donating at the least $1 from every buy to humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.
Kavka Espresso proprietor Maksym Isakov, a refugee from Ukrainian metropolis of Vinnytsya, launched the web site for the corporate in December of final yr, roughly 4 months after relocating together with his younger household to Lincolnville, Maine.
Inexperienced coffees are bought by Lincolnville-based Inexperienced Tree Espresso & Tea, a vendor of inexperienced and roasted coffees and teas that additionally operates a retail cafe. Inexperienced Tree proprietor John Ostrand educated Isakov on roasting utilizing his Diedrich, and Isakov now rents time on the machine for Kavka manufacturing.
“I got here with virtually nothing to the US, so John made me a beneficiant supply to show me and share his expertise,” Isakov advised Every day Espresso Information. “I attempted to succeed in out to a few native roasters simply to speak with them, to alternate expertise, however they have been afraid of competitors. John was laughing from all these things, and he mentioned in case you do what you are promoting correctly, it is best to by no means be afraid of competitors.”
In an effort to obtain the cup profile Isakov recollects from his residence in Ukraine, mixing is important. Whereas preferring to maintain the precise elements of his Ukrainian-style blends a secret for now, Isakov mentioned that Indonesian coffees play a robust function in forming the stability of flavors.
“About 75% of the espresso I’ve tried right here, and I attempted plenty of espresso, is bitter,” Isokov mentioned. “People love this type of stuff, however I’m providing one thing completely different, and already persons are actually liking it.”
Kavka will not be Isakov’s first espresso enterprise, neither is this his first time dwelling in Maine. In 2015, Isakov got here to Lincolnville on a four-month work and journey program organized by a scholar alternate community. He opted to not journey a lot, as an alternative staying put to earn cash working at a neighborhood motel the place he met the lady who would later turn out to be his spouse.
In Ukraine, the couple began a retail espresso firm that ultimately grew to 3 company-owned places and 7 franchises earlier than it was acquired by a bigger firm. By that point Isakov had additionally began a small automobile dealership enterprise that he was capable of develop after the sale of the espresso firm.
All of that got here screeching to a halt in February, 2022, upon the launch of Russia’s army invasion. Inside per week of the primary pictures being fired, Isakov despatched his spouse and kids to Poland, and he started volunteering his time, cash and sources to assist Ukraine’s protection and particularly the civilians affected.
“My pal began this NGO [Zhytomyr Humanitarian Hub] and we have been simply working as volunteers shopping for meals with our personal cash. We by no means raised cash,” mentioned Isakov. “Elon Musk despatched plenty of Starlinks, so we used to choose them up in Poland and introduced them to Zhytomyr.”
For each bag of espresso now offered by Kavka Espresso, the corporate offers $1 to The Zhytomyr Humanitarian Hub. When offering free supply service to native prospects across the Camden and Lincolnville areas, Isakov additionally collects clothes, meals and different donated objects for cargo to Zhytomyr.
Inside a yr, Isakov intends to buy roasting tools and safe a manufacturing area for Kavka’s continued enlargement by way of wholesale gross sales and e-commerce. All of the whereas he’ll proceed to welcome and encourage as a lot assist for the individuals of Ukraine as anybody is keen to provide, in no matter type it takes.
“When [the war] first began we had loads of assist, we had lots donations and now the scenario is much more horrible, however individuals get drained,” mentioned Isakov. “I see my mission as simply to remind those that some individuals want macaroni, some individuals want water, a chunk of bread. Let’s neglect about politics. Let the politicians try this job. Let’s be human beings and let’s simply assist common households.”
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Howard Bryman is the affiliate editor of Every day Espresso Information by Roast Journal. He’s primarily based in Portland, Oregon.