Coming off the heels of New York Coffee Festival, I had the pleasure of meeting up with Deniz Kosan, Founder/CEO of the highly Instagram-worthy Walter's Coffee Roastery based in Istanbul, Turkey. To my surprise, Deniz announced he was in the area for more than simply attending the festival. He was here to scout for a space in Brooklyn for his Breaking Bad-inspired coffee roastery, Walter's Coffee. We spoke about his history with coffee and how he ambitiously created a coffee destination in Turkey loved by many to now venturing into the competitive coffee scene of New York City.
How and when did you get into the coffee industry?
Deniz: Starting at a little espresso bar in Munich and becoming it's manager opened the doors to the coffee industry. I visited the roasting facility and HQ of Lavazza in Turin / Italy. There I discovered my passion for coffee.
What's the difference of specialty coffee in Istanbul & New York?
Deniz: At the end of the day, it is the same roasting machine, same beans, same brewing equipment. There is no difference between cities, you as the roaster and brewer make the difference. It depends on how you approach your coffee. Except this, coffee made his way through Istanbul 600 years ago. There is a lot of heritage and history connected to coffee. You can feel it in the city.
How's the coffee culture in Istanbul?
Deniz: Turkey is new into third wave. For years it was only second wave espresso-based, milk-containing, coffee flavoured drinks the people had. The past 3 years, micro-coffee roasters and third wave coffee brewers are facing many challenges along the way to introduce micro roasting, medium roast, low temperature brewing etc. As known, Turkish Coffee is almost coal roasted, bitter tasting cup. It is difficult to establish medium roast, alternative brewing methods.
Why did you decide to branch out and expand into other countries instead of building more in your home country?
Deniz: After all the coverage Walter's got, we didn't want to be selfish. So many people are waiting for Walter's everywhere in the world. We want to share the experience of daily roasted coffee and the lab atmosphere with everyone.
Why New York? Any coffee shops in NYC that interests you?
Deniz: New York is dense with competition. It will take a lot of work to establish ourself in the market and we are ready for the challenge. Our dedication to daily roasts and serving the freshest coffee possible differentiates us from the competition. We want our customers to see and take part in the roasting process. NYC is the challenge we need! If we can make it there, we can make it anywhere! :)
What can we expect a Walter's in Brooklyn? What makes you different?
Deniz: Walter’s concept of a place where you can sit down and enjoy a freshly roasted and brewed cup of joe, have fun with your friends, or relax and get some work done with outlets aplenty and high speed Wi-Fi. But even more than that, it's the feeling you will have when you are with us, that indescribable sensation of being exactly where you need and want to be with those you want to have around you. Daily roasted coffee, outlets and Wi-Fi for work-a-holics, fresh baked bagels and more..
In an effort to establish a Walter's Coffee in Brooklyn, Deniz needs our help. Walter's Coffee recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to cover initial buildout costs. Rewards range from merchandise such as tote bags, cups, stickers to a custom hazmat suit, laboratory apron, wall of fame and coffee subscriptions. To learn more about how you can support Deniz and his venture, visit their Kickstarter page: http://kck.st/1KY5aDJ.
Thanks for your time, Deniz! We hope to be able to visit your roastery soon in the near future.