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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ecco Coffee's Gabe Boscana on the "Social Responsibility" of Quality Roasting

Posted By on Tue, Nov 1, 2011 at 8:00 AM

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SFoodie is on a mission to sit down with the city's most intelligent, influential, and experienced coffee folk to pick their brain about what makes our city such a hot bed of coffee trends.Today we speak with Gabe Boscana of Ecco Coffee.

What is it about coffee that fascinates you?

The chase for perfection. It is a constantly moving target. If anyone ever tells you they have it all figured out, they are blatantly lying to you. Don't misunderstand though. We definitely know a thing or two about consistency and approach. The chase is intoxicating, the tinkering addictive and the fact that you get to consume that which you create...man, it's like poetry.

Plus, there is the social responsibility aspect. As roasters, we are responsible for making someone else's hard work and labors of love something really, really special. We make it possible for people to experience that love and hard work. Man, I have been in California too long.

Being in the North Bay can be challenging at times, so we are looking forward to being closer to the action. I think in regards to the Bay Area specifically, it will be interesting to see how we do in front of a live studio audience. We love what we do though, so it won't be very difficult to share that love.

What's your philosophy on sourcing, roasting, and drinking coffee?

To source the sweetest, cleanest and most impeccably structured coffees form around the world in the most transparent and responsible way. To roast the sweetest, cleanest and most impeccably structured coffees in the world in the most consistent way possible. When you get down to drinking it, just open up the senses and really enjoy it. Stop trying to score it, dissect it, or refute it. Accept what is there and think of all the possibilities, then belly up to the counter and order another round.

How has coffee evolved in the last 5 years?

Brewing madness has ensued! A lot more attention to the retail experience and micro-lots is being paid. Consumers have become way more interested in the entire process from sourcing to cupping to brewing. As coffee buyers we have become way more aware about climate and weather and how this affects the producers we work with year to year and their crops.

Where would you like to see coffee in the next 5 years?

I would love to see more research and development in the agricultural aspect of coffee growing, and more chemistry analysis of roasting processes. I would love to see more companies truly commit to customer service, in a real way. Not in the way of "let me educate you" but more the philosophy of "Let me share this wonderful coffee with you and take care of your every need."

How do you get coffee to that hypothetical coffee future?

Dedicated people, fearless and ambitious goals, true coffee professionals, and relentless pursuit of perfection in every single way. Leave the egos at the door, they really kill the room.

Your thoughts on the current state of the Bay Area coffee scene?

I think it's lively, diverse and there is still A lot of room for more ideas to throw on the table.

We have a way better than average coffee scene in the bay area. Super independent and genuinely diverse. There is something for every one here.

How do you envision your ideal coffee shop? What do you serve? How do you serve it?

I think you are about to find out when we open up shop in San Francisco. I can tell you this much, always serve it with both pride and humility. It's the only way we will get better, grasshopper.

What you intend to bring to this scene with the opening of your new Ecco Cafe?

You will have to wait and see for yourself.

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Noah Sanders

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