Getting to know Junsun Bae - Founder of Namusairo Coffee.
What's the story behind Namusairo Coffee and how did it all start?
"Namusairo" is essentially a short form for "a path winding through the trees." I borrowed this beautiful phrase from a song by Kim Hwal-seong, named "Path." This concept of a naturally winding path, created by the footsteps of many between ancient trees, spoke to me deeply. In a sense, it's reflective of our own journey at Namusairo – navigating the world of coffee just like one might navigate a path through the woods.
Can you share more about Namusairo’s approach to sourcing and roasting coffee?
Our guiding philosophy in sourcing our coffees revolves around fair and direct trade, traceability, and fostering long-term relationships. Our belief in strict sensory evaluation ensures we maintain top-notch quality even amidst challenges. We believe our purchasing behaviors can help create a harmonious world for producers, exporters, importers, and consumers alike.
The team at Namusairo is driven by professionals like Bae Junsun, who founded Namusairo in 2002 and has been leading us ever since. She sees coffee as a way to enrich lives and offers creative direction to our team. Kim Dongjoo is our green bean buyer, a head roaster, and the CEO of Namusairo. His experience as a certified public appraiser for twenty years adds tremendous value to his multiple roles.
Our roasting approach is comprehensive: we rely on our senses, use scientific analysis to quantify these senses, and possess a steady passion that grows through constant analysis. We believe in identifying and solving problems that our customers face, however small, and maintaining a sense of unity in our work.
What motivated Namusairo to explore putting your coffees into the capsule coffee format?
The primary motivation behind our venture into capsule coffee was the sheer convenience and satisfaction it offers. The idea of enjoying delicious coffee at the push of a button was too enticing to resist!
We all have our morning routines, and coffee is often a crucial part of it. What is your morning ritual like?
I absolutely cherish the early morning hours! My routine typically begins between 6 and 9 am, before I head to work. After waking up, I take a shower, hydrate, catch up on overnight emails, and prepare breakfast. Lately, I've been enjoying cabbage-based juices, blending it with other ingredients for fun. And of course, my morning is incomplete without a cup of coffee. The first coffee of the day is usually for quality control, but I do dream of savoring a delicious cup without having to think about its quality someday.
Namusairo Coffee has already accomplished a lot as a brand, but what are some future plans that you are most excited about?
One dream I have is building a Namusairo community around people and coffee, almost like a share house! Our shared space, the Namusairo Friends House, has various floors dedicated to community activities, reading, cooking, and more. It is a space where we all come together, work hard, and share joy.
Our dream is not about living under the same roof, but rather fostering a community where everyone finds happiness. As we look forward to our future, we hope to continue to incorporate the ethos of coffee and the values we hold dear into our daily lives.