Hippolyte Courty, coffee expert
Coffee expert and coffee lover, Hippolyte Courty is guiding Araku into its next phase of production. He uses his taste and expertise to identify terroirs in the Valley of Araku, classifies the parcels, and combines varieties of coffee to obtain the best and most balanced product. He also makes sure each coffee is roasted with the utmost care to bring out its special personality.
Before devoting himself to coffee, Hippolyte worked in many different fields: associate professor of history, teacher, wine instructor, impassioned proponent of biodynamics, and more. It is therefore not surprising that his past experiences has made him one of the top coffee experts in France. Founder of "L'Arbre à Café" coffee shop and workshop in Paris, Hippolyte Courty now dedicates his life to finding coffee varieties. He joined Araku in 2013, as a coffee expert, and participates in each stage of the coffee cultivation process to ensure its utmost quality. His mission is threefold. On the plantation, he selects the finest terroirs and helps farmers use the most appropriate coffee farming techniques. After harvest, he performs quality checks and taste tests, and supervises each stage of the coffee cherry’s transformation into green coffee. In our coffee lab, he creates each Araku coffee blend and develops their roasting profile. At our facilities and shops, he explains the art of brewing coffee and conducts tasting events.
What made you want to be part of this journey?
Hippolyte Courty — The people, biodynamics, the values and the improved quality. Araku is a large-scale model for some of the values of "L'Arbre à Café" and the evolution from being purely a social project that included high-volume production to making better quality coffee yet maintaining the social aspect.
How does a short supply chain benefit coffee? Does it mean that long supply chains are the predominant model in the coffee industry?
Hippolyte Courty — All the coffees on the market today are the result of trade, so the quality may be excellent but also really expensive to producers because they have to sell their coffee to a middleman. Short supply chains are extremely rare in the coffee industry.
Why are there are many different types of roasting for Araku coffees?
Hippolyte Courty – There is a different kind of roasting process for each coffee and terroir, and most of all for each use. We might want one coffee to be full-bodied and another to taste fruity. So the purpose of roasting is to accentuate those flavorish profiles.