Paulig’s Head of Sourcing, Green Coffee & Hedging András Koroknay-Pál has visited hundreds of farms in various coffee-producing countries during his career. “We have a lot to learn from the coffee farmers how to live in the moment,” says Koroknay-Pál.
“We should find happiness in the precious moments of life and by using our senses!“ This is the insight Head of Sourcing, Green Coffee & Hedging András Koroknay-Pál has come home with after visiting hundreds of farms in various coffee-producing countries.
He is excited by and grateful for his job, because he gets to meet farmers, share meaningful coffee moments with them and talk with them about day-to-day life as well as the bright future of coffee. His work gives him a sense of perspective in his own life.
“The farmers are kind and welcoming people. My job has given me wonderful moments.”
Flavours and aromas bring back memories
Enjoying a cup of coffee with farmers is always a memorable, valuable and comprehensive experience for Koroknay-Pál. It is also a special moment for the farmers. There are 25 million coffee farms around the world. Few coffee farmers ever get to meet a coffee roaster and find out what markets their product ends up in. According to Koroknay-Pál, the farmers are always very interested to learn what kind of coffee Finns like to drink, for example.
“I get bombarded with questions when I meet the farmers. Being able to give them a package of coffee that is sourced from their farm is always a touching moment. Their sense of pride and joy is palpable. I feel in those moments that my work is very meaningful.”
Koroknay-Pál says the best coffee experience of his life happened early one morning in Colombia with a local farmer, with the sun rising from behind the mountains.
“Flavours and aromas bring back memories. Later, when I drink coffee with similar flavour profiles in Finland, it takes me back to the moments I’ve spent with farmers in the countries of origin. There’s a strong association between taste and memorable experiences.”
Kenyan coffee sweeps you off your feet
Koroknay-Pál joined Paulig in 1999 while he was still a student. He first started drinking coffee when he was studying for his entrance exams. At Paulig, he found the opportunity to learn about the various complex flavours of coffee. It lit a fire in him that burns to this day.
“When you take a dive into the world of fresh, high-quality coffee, you get swept away.”
And what is the most exotic coffee that Koroknay-Pál has tasted?
“There are some pretty wild coffee flavours in Africa, in places like Zambia. And in Indonesia, too. They are coffees that divide opinion. The best coffee I’ve ever had was a Kenyan bean with the most amazing blackcurrant aroma,” says Koroknay-Pál.
Coffee moments with colleagues are an important part of Koroknay-Pál’s days at work in Finland. At home, the best coffee moments take place on Saturdays and Sundays.
“At weekends, I like to enjoy something a bit more special. I also teach my wife about good coffee. I enjoy it when I get to brew coffee by hand, taking my time with it. They are precious moments.”
A farmer takes great care of the harvest
Koroknay-Pál defines happiness as being enthusiastic about getting and sharing new experiences.
“Being able to wake up in the morning and be enthusiastic about the day and the new experiences it will bring. Happiness is also a matter of balance.”
Sustainability and happiness go hand in hand. According to Koroknay-Pál, there is no question that sustainably produced coffee tastes better.
“Knowing the coffee’s origin definitely makes my coffee break even more pleasant. At Paulig we are committed to ensuring that all our coffees are verified sustainable. I have also learnt a lot on my journeys to the origin countries of coffee. If I could, I would take every Finnish coffee drinker for a visit to a coffee farm to show them where the coffee comes from and how much passion the farmers have for what they do. The maturing of the coffee berry takes nine months and therefore many farmers treat the crops as their own children.”