AeroPress Talks: SlowMov, Barcelona
Carmen Callizo & François Justet interviewed by Carlos Zavala
Photos by Agni Tilla & Naty Creci
Carlos: When I started to explore the new specialty coffee scene in Barcelona, I met Carmen and François in their new coffee shop and roastery in the neighbourhood of Gràcia. In the first year, I was surprised by the outstanding quality of their cold brew, but I didn’t expect they could improve that fast. Just one year after, their Gelana Abaya and Kibicha coffees were chosen by our judges as the best on the table, and became the beans we used in this year's Catalan and National AeroPress Competitions.
After completing a Master's Degree in European Studies, François worked for the European Union in the management of cooperation projects in Barcelona. One day in 2014, he tried his first cup of specialty coffee in Paris and that experience opened the door to a new passion and trajectory.
Having studied Economics and a Master's Degree in International Trade with experience in several departments of international businesses, Carmen moved from Barcelona to Paris to study Anthropology and social research methods. One day she decided to stop doing things to give herself time to think what she really wanted to do. In that same period of productive transition, she created the SlowMov project and discovered the specialty coffee.
Carlos: How did you start roasting specialty coffee?
C&F: Working in Coutume in 2014, we started to roast with our master roaster Antoine Netien, who helped us to launch the roastery in Barcelona in 2015.
Carlos: What's the concept behind SlowMov?
C&F: It's quality over quantity. The idea behind SlowMov came up during a trip to Dublin in the winter of 2013. Back then we discovered an unconventional city guide that captivated us instantly. It wasn’t just because its paper quality, the amazing photos or the sound texts that inspired us, but the feeling that we were awakening to a more lucid and ethical perspective towards our surroundings, specially towards the value of time. Since that moment on we got interested in the Slow movement. What is it all about? Who are the ones implied? Where could we find them?
Once back in Paris we started a blog where we aimed to explain and show this amazing experience. We wanted to create a space where we could give reason to initiatives that do their best to spread awareness and discuss some of our traditional ways in production: the same that reject organic processes and turn them into something automatized. Happily, the experience coincided with a change in our professional paths towards specialty coffee, a very new way of understanding this everyday drink. Thanks to a careful selection of the beans, the supervision of each part of the process and a variety of brewing methods, we are capable to extract the full potential of every single bean, praising its qualities and act accordingly to our values with everyone involved in the process. The quality and richness in our coffee is our dearest satisfaction. So SlowMov’s inception and development has been very organic, resulting in a genuine business concept in Barcelona.
Since it opened in May 2015, SlowMov is where we roast and sell our single origin coffees, cautiously selected from people that respect the environment and the ones involved in the process, guaranteeing traceability.
Likewise, SlowMov is a showroom proud to show producers and initiatives from different areas that prioritize quality over quantity, and share our same passion towards good and respectful work. Our objective is to spread and fight for alternatives to irrational forms of consumption, encouraging and promoting collaborative economy and artisanal processes, positively affecting local economy.
Our services include catering with local and ecologic products, as well as training at any level in specialty coffee for baristas.
Carlos: Is the AeroPress the main brew method in SlowMov?
C&F: Specially after the 2017 Spanish AeroPress Championship, it has been one of the most ordered drinks. But we are also offering a large selection of brew methods: V60, Kalita, Chemex, French Press and Clever. It’s impressive how the same coffee can taste different with different methods.
Carlos: You won both the Catalan and the Spanish Roaster's Competitions. What's the secret of choosing a coffee for the AeroPress?
C&F: We first did a Brazilian cupping with different coffees and different roasting profiles to identify the potentiality, then we tried different AeroPress recipes with the coffees selected from the first taste. Finally we decided to present to the Championship the coffee that stood out among the rest.
Carlos: When it comes to develop a roasting profile for the AeroPress, what are the elements you consider?
C&F: We love to create the feeling that you're eating a juicy orange when you are drinking our coffee with the AeroPress. We modulate coffee to find a balance of sweetness and acidity that creates density in mouth, because acidity is more a sensation of weight and texture than a flavor.
Carlos: It's always a pleasure to go to have a coffee in SlowMov and talk with Carmen and François. There's always small improvements, a new magazine, a new color for the cupboard or a new local product. I think they're the perfect representation of the new generation in Catalunya, always working hard, always aiming on better, caring about the local and people.
Carrer de Luis Antúnez, 18