Stephen Hurst is the managing director and founder of Mercanta – the coffee hunters. Mercanta was possibly the first company to source speciality coffee from independent growers and to supply independent roasters globally. His journey into speciality coffee was so fascinating that I couldn’t stop asking questions, there was just so much to cover.
I really wanted to talk to someone about coffee and we touched on it a little bit in the episode with Thomas Colombo.
In this episode with Stephen we discuss;
The transition from the commodity desks at Goldman Sachs to Speciality Coffee.
Why is Fairtrade not as good as what is perceived?
What makes speciality coffee special?
Local issues that affect bean growers?
The yield difference between organic coffee and non-organic coffee?
Biggest challenges you have faced since the inception of Mercanta?
What does the future hold for speciality coffee farmers?
Is it possible to have a favourite coffee?
Passionate for whiskey?
Who’s has been an inspiration to you?
About Stephen Hurst:
Stephen Hurst has been in the coffee business for more than 25 years. He spent the first 11 years of his career as a commodity coffee trader for the J Aron Division of Goldman Sachs Group, who was at one time the fifth-biggest coffee trading company in the world. In 1996 he founded Mercanta The Coffee Hunters and migrated into the emerging speciality coffee world.
Stephen spent over a decade as a board member for the Alliance for Coffee Excellence, which runs the Cup of Excellence programme and has served on numerous Cup of Excellence juries around Central and South America since 2000. He has also served on the board of the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe (2002-2006).
In 2004 he founded Mercanta’s sister company, the London School of Coffee, with the aim of educating and informing consumers and the wider industry about speciality coffee.
Mercanta supplies speciality roasters around the world with the world’s very best green coffees. Founded in 1996 in a small office in Southwest London, Mercanta now sources a huge variety of outstanding coffees from 20 producing countries, which our experienced team of Coffeehunters offer from our 4 warehouses located on three different continents. We are proud to offer impartial and professional advice and efficient deliveries to more than 40 countries worldwide.
Listen to Stephen Hurst for free today on Apple Podcasts.