The story of 39 Steps Coffee began in early 2018 in Soho, London. The founders had the dream of providing the finest specialty coffee with the highest quality service – and this is a mission they still follow today.
The majority of their coffee is sourced directly from the origin, offering full traceability and generating better salaries for the growers. This relationship with their farmers ensures that each brew is grown and picked with love, skill, and most importantly, respect.
With beans freshly roasted from their London roastery, you can experience their delicious specialty blends from the comfort of your own home.
We recently had the opportunity to interview Julián Loayza of 39 Steps Coffee. We hope you enjoy learning a little more about the people behind this delicious coffee.
How did you get started in the coffee business?
When my wife got a job in Dubai, we just decided to start over. We packed our suitcases, left our apartment in Madrid, and booked tickets for both us and our cats.
I didn’t have a job in the UAE so I started to take different barista classes. One of the roasteries I visited was looking for a barista, so I applied for the job and was lucky to get it. From that moment, the learning never stopped.
What sparked your interest in coffee roasting?
For many baristas, coffee roasting is the ultimate goal. It wasn’t different for me.
What is the very first cup of coffee you ever remember drinking?
My mum used to brew a moka pot now and then. We had it with milk and sugar, and it was just super comforting. No specialty standards yet.
What does your roasting set up look like and how has it changed over the years?
Here at 39 Steps Coffee our main roaster is a Ghibli R15, with a signature perforated copper drum for ideal convective heat transfer, linked to Cropster for total control.
We use a FZ94 Pro-Lab Roaster for sample roasts from 100g to 2 kilos. We offer slot roasting and SCA roasting courses if you would like to have a go.
What is your favourite brewing method and do you drink a lot of coffee at home?
I love my Mr. Clever!
Which coffee origin is your favourite and why?
Probably Colombia. The country produces delicious coffees in a consistent manner. They have room for experimentation and scientific innovation.
How often do you roast?
Our most roasting intensive day is Monday, but unless we have a big order, we normally roast Monday through Thursday.
Does your roaster have a name? If so, is there a story?
The roasters working before me had names for the machines but I didn’t keep the tradition. Sorry.
What is your favourite aspect of roasting coffee?
Even after years of roasting, I still find it to be an interesting challenge.
What distinguishes your approach to sourcing and roasting coffee from other roasters?
We try to base all our decisions on facts. If we don’t know something we are happy to do a bit of research. The coffee industry has amazing people doing research in a variety of subjects, from processing to coffee history.
What gear or gadget is at the top of your coffee wish list?
Probably a decent espresso machine.
Do you have a favourite coffee mug? If so, tell us about it.
I really like to drink my coffee in a tumbler glass.
Have you read any great books about coffee roasting?
Probably Scott Rao’s ‘Coffee Roasting Best Practices’ because it is a great reference book.
Do you have a cafe?
Our flagship store is in Knightsbridge, London on Brompton Road. Although it is in busy central London our cafe is a nice oasis of calm, and the first floor has nice views of Brompton Road! We have espresso of course, but also our latest filter pour-over options to choose from.
What does the future look like for you? Where do you see your company at in the future?
We want to focus mostly on coffee training.
What advice would you give new roasters who are just starting out their careers in coffee?
Try to learn from everyone and everything.
What is your favourite thing to do when you are not roasting coffee?
Being with my kids.
When traveling, do you visit other coffee shops and hassle them about their methods or do you relax and take it all in?
39 Steps Coffee is especially passionate about offering coffee education, and they strongly believe in making coffee training more accessible for enthusiasts and professionals alike. You can learn more and get involved on their website.