Normally I don’t get into seasons this much but since I get to stay in the Northern Hemisphere for this Fall (instead of being able to move to Australia for my masters), I guess I am appreciating the change of the seasons this time around a bit more.
I recently sat down with Ella Jesmajian, co-founder of Honey & Roses Coffee Company, for a mini interview. As a customer of Honey & Roses, and a fellow coffee lover, I was really intrigued by the back story behind the business.
Furthermore, in a time like this, it’s reminded me how it’s extra important to shop small and shop sustainably!
Honey & Roses Coffee Co. is a coffee marketplace where you can find the highest quality coffee roasters from all around the United States. They also sell high quality, artisanal homeware along with other sustainable items, like there adorable travel cups!
But beyond what they sell, they’ve created a community based off of coffee & travel: two of my favorite things!
So let’s learn about how Honey & Roses came to be, and maybe even where they’re going in the future.
Tell me a little bit about the team behind Honey & Roses
At this time it’s myself and my partner Joe! We met a few years ago, as he is one of my closest friend’s husband. We are both big travelers and foodies and kept brainstorming businesses idea for fun. Somehow one day, while enjoying some Vietnamese noodles, Honey & Roses was born. Joe’s the practical one and I’m not. I come up with the ideas and he executes them unlike anything I’ve ever seen. He brings me down to earth and vice versa and that has really been the key to our success. I think having a business partnership is similar to having a successful marriage. You have to communicate constantly, trust each other, complement each others differences and have fun!
I was born and raised in NY and Joe is from England. He had spent the last five years working in finance and I have been working in the restaurant industry. I think the polar opposite career paths have helped shape our business in more ways than one and that’s been really cool to watch unfold.
Ella Jesmajian, co-founder of Honey & Roses
What were your goals when you first started? & was there anything specific you wanted to accomplish?
We just wanted to create a really high quality product and work with people who are passionate about their craft. I had always wanted to pursue design in someway or another. So our home line and reusable bottles were influenced heavily by my desire to create our own unique product. Joe and I really just wanted to create an online community. We want to offer more than just a bag of coffee in the mail.
Which leads me into my next question of how do you pick the roasters to include in your marketplace?
It really depends. Many of our roasters were either coffee companies I had previously tried and loved. Or ones that were highly recommended to me. At this point, some roasters will reach out to us and that’s been a really gratifying shift to see. We would love to have roasters from all 50 states, so If a roaster is from a state we don’t currently carry, it heavily influences us in reaching out to try their coffee.
Let’s talk about the Honey and Roses Aesthetic: what was the main inspiration, because you clearly have an aesthetic (boho, beachy, etc.) How would you sum it up?
It’s such a blend. I would say it’s Moroccan, tropical, bohemian and contemporary. I have been heavily influenced by traveling and exploring the world. I love incorporating pieces of art and my travels in my home and office. And I think that translates to the business.
I saw Honey and Roses did New York and San Francisco coffee festival last year, how was that?
It was awesome. We were just starting out and it was the first advertising and project we participated in. It was really gratifying to see something we were just creating come to life. You also get access to a very different customer base and it was amazing to see the real coffee drinkers, loving our newly founded brand and roasters coffee.
Would you do something like that again?
I think we would if it was safe. It was truly a blast and we learned a lot. I also have to give credit to Joe. I was in the hospital during the second festival and he handled it all on his own and never complained. It was really amazing to watch, even from a distance.
There are a couple side projects I’ve seen stemming from Honey and Roses:Travel Blog (with recipes and other travel posts) and a go fund me page for COVID relief would you mind talking about them a bit?
We really wanted to create a community and blog from the beginning. We want to share more than just products with people and we felt like recipes would be a great place to start. We have created a few series, including coffee around the world. Highlighting a different coffee and breakfast recipe from a new country each week. This has been a really fun way to give people the experience of traveling, without leaving their homes. If you look at how Dalgona coffee spread across the globe in popularity, we hope to replicate that on a smaller scale and share fun new food and coffee recipes with our customers.
I mean I was on it (the blog) last night and I saw one that was a maple cold foam.. I was like omg I want to try that!
It’s truly amazing. It’s such a mix between sweet and savory and really compliments a more bitter and acidic cold brew perfectly.
Anything exciting coming ahead that you can hint to? I think you mentioned maybe expanding some of the homeware?
Yeah it’s just been quite difficult with everything going on in the world and we have been hit with several delays. We are planning on expanding our home collection and improving our coffee marketplace, but it will take time and funding. We have lots of projects and ideas in the works and will be launching a kickstarter campaign in the next couple of months.
Big thanks to Ella for sitting down with me, especially with everything going on right now in the world.
I hope you guys learned something ant that it even sparked your interest to go check these guys out!
Let’s be real, making coffee at home can get intimidating. There’s so many different products and techniques to go about brewing at home. You could just go the simple route and use a keurig or another kind of machine that makes the coffee for you but where’s the fun in that?
I’m here to help make it simple.
My method of choice is pour over. It’s as simple as it sounds: you pour hot water over coffee grinds and that’s it for the most part. Of course there are actual techniques to do the pour over method properly (like wetting the filter before hand, letting the grinds bloom, etc). If you’re interested in a detailed post about pour over techniques let me know!!
First and foremost you’re going to need to choose if you want to tackle whole beans or already pre-ground coffee. Pre-ground coffee does really decrease the flavors and quality of the coffee (in my opinion). I chose to purchase whole beans and ground them by the cup before each use.
A battery-powered, lightweight scale that precisely weighs out my preferred coffee bean to water ratio. It is a bit pricier but after the amount of people who recommended this to me I couldn’t help but want to test it out. I didn’t use one for the longest time (as you can also weigh out your beans and water by volume) but this has been a GAME CHANGER in increasing my precision.
I felt that doing pour over by volume instead of weight was really just me eyeballing how much water to use and crossing my fingers hoping it turned out okay. Furthermore, measuring coffee by volume didn’t make much sense to me (here comes my science background) because different roasts and beans of different origins have different densities. Anyway, do what makes you happy!!! This is just my methodology of choice.
The perfect, balanced cup of coffee starts with accurate tools so I can definitely recommend this grinder for you to try. It’s the perfect durable and budget friendly grinder (its only $14 right now). With the adjustable grind settings it’s helped each bean grind consistently so the flavor gets captured evenly throughout. It’s also super quiet so it helps when I’m up early in the morning for my first cup of the day.
In the past I used a different grinder without anyway to adjust the settings so I was kinda just spitballing it. As you can guess, that didn’t turn out the greatest for me as each grind was a different size and shape…… so let’s stick to a grinder with settings shall we!!!!
When I first started really caring about the quality of my coffee at home, I got a much cheaper pour over maker to start. But once the day came where my brother accidentally shattered it, I knew it was a sign to drop a bit more money to get the one that was better quality. My thought process in choosing a Chemex is that I always saw them for sale at my local coffee shops, so I guess that planted the seed.
Nonetheless, I have only good things to say about it. Chemex does sell smaller ones (like 3-cup) and also larger ones (like 8-cup). They are made of a super sturdy glass. I’ve had mine for months now and I never ran into any issues with scratches or cracks or anything. It’s just a great classic coffee maker.
5.Pour Over Filters
After trial & error, I can whole-heartedly recommend purchasing the paper filters made, in fact, for the Chemex.
Unfortunately it seems they are sold out on amazon but I get mine at my local whole foods! These filters are super sturdy and I’ve never had them fall through or break in the middle of a pour (which has happened to me with other filters).
Also there is a much more sustainable route with reusable filters but I have yet to find one of those I like using. So any recommendations let me know in the comments!!
There you have it! My 5 must haves to make the perfect cup of coffee at home (besides the coffee)!
*NOTE* the amazon links are affiliate links! So using them does support me and my coffee addiciton.
Let me know if you’d be interested in a detailed post of my favorite roasters and blends to enjoy at home! I did a mini one over on my instagram.