Interviewing The Coffee Industry - Matthew Deyn

 Today's guest on The Coffee Life is Matthew, who is doing some incredible roasting for Thypoon Roasters.

Photography by Chris Willoughby - Find him here!

How are you?

Composed, caffeinated and optimistic for what is to come in 2021.

Where do you work? What is your role?

I am currently a roast master at Typhoon Roaster's new showroom in Prague. Interestingly the company actually manufactures their own roasters in Russia. When I'm not on site at the roastery space I sometimes help new clients get set-up with their new machines or am working on building new wholesale relationships. I love roasting coffee and am endlessly working to tweak, refine and improve my skills.

How did Coronavirus affect your job during 2020?

Well, due to the Coronavirus happening, in a strange twist of 2020 fate my three week birthday 'holiday' in Prague early March turned out a lot longer than planned! Because of the lockdown my return flight was cancelled but because I love Prague's unique history and charm, I decided to stick it out here and make something work. It wasn't easy but after navigating working as a barista at an independent cinema and with Amazon in logistics, oddly enough I only stumbled upon Typhoon through a random Facebook ad but was instantly curious due to their intriguing looking roasters. Because of the restrictions I had to start on a flexible part-time basis throughout the later stages of 2020 but because I love coffee roasting I was happy to be patient and become a part of the team. Amazingly the director Daniil has been working on opening the showroom since January and we are now finally all set-up to roast and serve espresso from a shiny white Eagle One. Sometimes things really fall into place!

Did you have to change any aspect of your workplace to adapt to new regulations?

In the showroom all staff wear face-masks when working behind the bar or on the floor and we have hand sanitiser available by the door for customers also. The government have been a bit 'stop / start' here in terms of restrictions a bit like in the UK so it goes without saying that the team are looking forward to getting through the current ones!

What is the biggest challenge you faced in the Coffee Industry in 2020?

After some great experiences helping Brew Coffee Plus get up and running for most of 2019, it was in December / January where I had to make the tough decision to move on from the team there. Perhaps it could have developed into something more for me but I think in those kind of critical moments you've always got to trust your intuition. I'm super grateful for my time there as I learnt a lot about roasting with Enea and ultimately cant wait to to see the brand get more recognised in London which is where I built up a lot of my skills.

How did you feel about the Coffee Industry in 2020?

In 2020, I think the coffee industry really showed how great it is at coming together and acting as a community. Thanks to the proliferation of social media there are more and more interesting connections and conversations taking place - especially through interesting blogs like this one - which only helps to raise more awareness for better coffee and the positive impact that it can have on people's lives. An example of this was the 'Brewing Marathon' initiative set up by the UK brewers cup champion Matteo and Josh Williams. It was great to take part in it to help raise some money for coffee producers in Rwanda, Honduras and Panama who have been having to deal with hurricanes and floods.

What is something you have missed in the Coffee Industry in 2020?

Seeing coffee friends for sure! On a previous coffee making trip to Saudi Arabia with Baristas On Tap (thanks Izzy!) I met some great guys for the first time during the week we spent there. When you're all on the same page and everything clicks you can't beat it, especially when you get to play cards in your time off ;). That was probably the last time I've actually seen a 'coffee mate' in real life but I am working on my Czech gradually so hopefully I can meet some of the movers and shakers of the scene here when things get 'a little' more back to normal.

How has Coronavirus/Lockdown affected your mental health?

Interestingly for me (I had a tough time in this department during my early study days in London), the Pandemic has really strengthened my overall mindset and resolve, which I think is simply because I have managed to stick to my guns and persist in moving myself forwards in the way that I think is most effective. I think a major aspect to this has been to only focus on the key things that I actually do have control over (e.g. getting regular exercise, completing tasks (no matter how small) and thinking strategically about my career). Of course this isn't always easy, (especially when you're getting set up in a foreign country!) but once you start to practise the 'resourceful muscle' and eliminate distractions, you'd be amazed at what you can get done.

What are you looking forward to in 2021?

2021 for me is all about summer. A pivo (Czech for beer) or two in the park with some friends and not a face mask in sight (hopefully not too optimistic?) will be just what the doctor ordered! Aside from that I can't wait to help get Typhoon Roaster's new roastery off the ground and running like clockwork.

Find Matthew

Instagram - Click Here

Typhoon Roasters - Click Here

Instagram - Click Here

Showroom - Click Here

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