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Coffee and a chat with Domas from Taste Map

Read about Domas who owns Taste Map in Vilnius, Lithuania with his wife Ieva. Find out about the two most important things in his life and the story behind the name Taste Map.

How did you come up with the company name?

We wanted to create a name which could reflect the idea of our roastery. We wanted everything in coffee from a taste perspective. And when we started, at that time, the specialty coffee scene in Lithuania was not very well developed, there was an attitude of drinking coffee for the stimulation and because of the caffeine. We wanted to change this perspective. Also Taste Map is the synonym to “tongue map” which is also about how you perceive taste.

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

We (my wife Leva and I) have been in the coffee business for almost 10 years now. Just after finishing our studies we felt that we loved the job of the barista and that coffee is the endless pursuit of perfection which really suited our personalities. I can’t stand the idea of office jobs and the routine of it so I couldn’t work an ordinary job. So we worked behind the bar for three years, then started entering barista championships, we won some titles, went to origin and decided that we wanted to move even further and got out of our comfort zone and started Taste Map coffee roastery. The beginning was really difficult but we’ve put a lot of hours of hard work in and that helped. We are lucky that we started as a couple, it was a lot easier, when one of us was down, other was up and full of ideas and energy and vice versa.

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

That everything is so close and easily reachable, the mentality of people in Vilnius. And of course, you know, that feeling of home.

Which is your favourite coffee / origin and why

I love African coffees but at the moment what is most interesting to me and pushing me forward are outstanding Brazils (not with a classical Brazil profile) and El Salvador coffees.

What’s your favourite brewing method?

Aeropress. But I don’t like to stick to only one favourite.

How do you take your coffee?

Black, without any additives, of course!

What’s life outside roasting like for you?

It’s pretty simple. I am happy that my work is my hobby so coffee is also where I can relax. I am kind of a workaholic in a good way. I also read books and the most important and enjoyable moments for me are with my wife and son.

What would you be doing if you weren’t roasting? 

I don’t have a plan B, it’s always about coffee, maybe working as a barista. To be honest I have a great colleague and roaster at the moment Lukas which helps a lot during everyday roasting and this way we manage a lot of the new things we do. Also I am passionate about developing new ideas and making new things and projects (like opening cafes and helping other people to reveal their potential) that gives me feeling of fulfilment.

Where was the last place you travelled to?

Dominican Republic, we visited some developing coffee plantations there and we’ve just come back from Copenhagen where we had some inspirational time with the guys from Loring.

What was the last book you read?

Carlos Castaneda books and Jo Nesbø Hary Holle detective series

What’s your biggest passion or love?

Family. And coffee.

How and what do you do to unwind? 

I read books in silence and play games with my one and a half year old son and wife. I think that’s one of my biggest inspirations in life.