Getting to know Joni Lima - Co-founder of Smoking Barrels Craft Coffee.
What's the story behind Smoking Barrels and how did it all start?
Ken, the other co-founder, and I were friends in primary school. We continued our studies in different countries and lost touch for more than 15 years. However, one day, we reconnected through social media and discovered our shared love for coffee. This marked the beginning of our coffee journey, leading us to establish a coffee roastery called Smoking Barrels in 2015.
In the initial stages, we operated without any staff, treating it as our coffee playground. Fortunately, we received positive responses from coffee aficionados, and our business has since flourished into what we are today.
Can you share more about Smoking Barrels' approach to sourcing and roasting coffee?
In general, we are more focused on sourcing local Indonesian beans because we believe that Indonesia offers a rich and diverse selection of coffee. Our approach primarily involves building relationships and collaborating with various farms to ensure consistent quality over the years. We consider this particularly challenging in coffee production due to the unpredictable nature of the environment. Additionally, given Indonesia's vast expanse and the presence of different islands, the weather fluctuates significantly across the country.
What motivated Smoking Barrels to explore the capsule coffee format?
Personally, I have been a capsule user for several years due to its practicality, reaching a point where I yearned for better quality coffees in capsule form. This desire led us to initiate capsule research and development at Smoking Barrels. We believe that many people share a similar desire for better coffee in a convenient format. The launch of the Morning Machine further motivated us, as it aligned well with our goals.
We all have our morning routines, and coffee is often a crucial part of it. What is your morning ritual like?
On weekends, I heat up my espresso machine after waking up, engage in some exercise, pull some shots while preparing breakfast, and enjoy my morning meal with a cup of piccolo. However, on weekdays, time is much tighter. Most of the time, I rely on my Morning machine to brew 2-3 shots of capsule coffee before heading to work.
What are you most excited about right now and for the future of Smoking Barrels as a brand/business?
As a business, we have expanded into teas with our second brand (Sanka+Bira Tea Co.) because we realized our love for "taste," not necessarily limited to coffee alone. In the future, we might explore other tasty treats beyond coffee and tea. Additionally, we have recently opened our first flagship cafe, Smoking Barrels Atelier. After eight years in the industry focusing on roasting coffee beans, we now have our own space to showcase our products, particularly in the form of beverages. This allows for a broader exploration of flavors, including the creation of new coffee and tea mocktails, among other offerings.
Regarding coffee itself, we remain open to alternative brewing and drinking methods, aiming to make better coffee accessible to more people. This includes options such as capsules and drip bags.