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Coffee and a chat with Ancis from Rocket Bean

How did you come up with its name?

This is quite a common question for us. Why Rocket Bean Roastery? You see, whatever you do in your life, when you are in the stage of planning to do something new, you have to have a vision and set targets. Then you need to push your limits to get there. Rocket Bean Roastery’s target from day one was to be one of the best and most reputable craftsmen in our business. This can be achieved with a strong team which has a high level of skill and dedication. Like sending men to the moon, its long and hard, and requires teamwork before they launch the first rocket ship, and there are some failures, you have to be ready for that. However, to get your ship out into space you need not only time, persistence, patience and a dedicated team but all that working precisely and based on some science. And numbers, like a roastery its science.

How long have you been in business and how did the idea start?

Well this might take a few pages!

It all started in 2007, when me, Martins and Aivars came together to start coffee business.

We had some business background in large corporations like beer businesses, tobacco, pharmacy and many others. So, we just had to put all our experience together to start a new chapter and establish a new coffee company “King Coffee Service”, at the time it was a very challenging task for new company with high quality in DNS to break the ice in a stagnated market. However, we did it, during the crises which came right after “King Coffee Service” started to operate, we managed to grow very fast when many companies were going down. The same approach was set for “King Coffee Service” – to be the best and most professional/respectable company in the market. Which it still is.

I had my break, I left Latvia and moved to Dubai from 2011- 2014. There I met some really cool British guys who had a fairly young coffee company with a roastery called “Coffee Planet”. I joined the team and had a chance to run the roastery for a while, so while working there the idea for a roastery in Riga was born.

Aivars and Martins meanwhile were successfully managing a coffee business back home and called me back to start building Rocket Bean Roastery. Obviously, I did not need much time to make up my mind. Here we are, right now, growing year after year, learning every day and getting better and better from day to day! A big thanks and credit goes to our team, however our partners are just as important for us to achieve our goals. We are very pleased with all our bean suppliers as they already know what Rocket is looking for in coffee. It’s getting easier to score those beans we love so much. And our clients love them equally much as well.

Ancis and Martins in Singapore

What’s your favourite thing about living in your town?

It’s small, historical with a rich local culture. But at the same time it is amazing to see how Riga is developing, finding opportunities for new businesses and allowing people to grow professionally as well as personally.

Where’s your favourite place nearby to visit?

Latvian National Museum of Art, Riga Central Market.

Do you have any local tips? Maybe there’s a hidden gem you’d like to share?

Go to Āgenskalns or Ķīpsala to enjoy our beautiful wooden architecture or get tickets to an opera or ballet at Riga Opera house for unforgettable experience.

Which is your favourite coffee / origin and why

Kenya. I’m so amazed at the rich, fruity taste of this coffee and the many multiple flavour layers to discover. At the end of the day, it’s all in the handling of the plant, the farmer, roaster and your brewing technique in order highlight what that origin has to offer. And to be honest, these days any origin can surprise you.

What’s your favourite brewing method?

Well on daily basis my old friend is Chemex, however whenever I travel (and I do it a lot!) I always have an Aeropress in my luggage, combined with some of our gorgeous seasonal coffees.

How do you take your coffee?

Just black. The time of using sugar and milk has passed for me.

What’s life outside roasting like for you?

I would say Rocket Bean is never out of my mind. But obviously my family is the most important part of my life. So, I try to spend as much quality time with them as I can.

What would you be doing if you weren’t roasting? Maybe you already have a side project?

I would be thinking of roasting.

Where was the last place you travelled to?

My last trip was a month ago to Singapore and Indonesia.

What was the last book you read?

Life lessons from the Monk who sold his Ferrari by Robin Sharma. To be honest, I wish I could find more time for reading. I guess this is a down side of our digital era.

What’s your biggest passion or love?

My love is my wife and my Emilija – my daughter. There is nothing more beautiful and precious in life than having a family. But my biggest passion is still coffee. I’m also crazy about watches, music, photography and travelling. There is simply not enough days in a week to cover it all.

How and what do you do to unwind? Maybe you have a tip for our readers? Do you have a mantra you live by?

First of all – a long sleep. Time with myself only and my hobbies. And be disconnected for a while from the “MATRIX”.

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