Almost inconspicuous and yet not to be overlooked, with its gaudy orange colours, Nicolas Sihombing has set up his Coffee Bar in Dresden's Neustadt. With a broad sympathetic smile, he stands in the small space between the various coffee machines and varieties, he is in his element.
The native Indonesian came 7 years ago as a non-coffee drinker to the small town of Döbeln and has now fulfilled a small dream with his own coffee bar. We met for our Macher:innen interviews with Nicolas for a coffee and asked him where he gets his drive for his work from.
The story begins at the Berlin School of Coffee, where Nicolas discovered really good coffee for the first time. At that time he also began to take action against the unfair working conditions in the coffee trade, which are still commonplace in his home country Indonesia. He believes that together we can make a difference.
With these thoughts he landed in Döbeln, a small town in the middle of Saxony. He speaks again and again of a divine inspiration and draws much motivation from his faith. He also needed this motivation to assert himself against the entrenched opinions of the small Saxon townspeople. Because for him, good coffee is not only delicious, but also sustainable and fair!
So Nicolas, together with his wife, founded a coffee roasting company and coffee bar with its own seal of justice and has been importing his coffee directly from Indonesian farmers ever since. He has been there himself, has spoken personally to the workers and owners of the coffee plantations and knows where his beans come from. Later on, his customers can also see this on the coffee packaging, because there is a small picture hidden there with information about the respective farmer, information about his actual salary and the origin of the bean.
It is precisely this thought that is also hidden behind the Two Kings Principle, an idea of his wife's, which Nicolas tells us about again and again with great devotion: The aim is to create a direct link between the coffee farmer and the coffee drinkers (i.e. us). In this way, not only the coffee, but also the farmer himself is to be valued - because in Nicolas' eyes he is just as valuable as his customers.
So what should we look out for over a good coffee? For Nicolas, a lot of information is important: where does the coffee come from, is it organic, what kind of coffee is it, how it is processed, what is its roasting profile?
It quickly becomes clear that he is an absolute professional in his field and advises us down to the smallest detail. Did you know, for example, that you should never use boiling water for brewing and that the water quality itself contributes a lot to the taste of the coffee? Or that some coffees taste really sweet even without sugar?
What began in Döbeln is now really picking up speed in Dresden's Neustadt and Nicolas also has new goals for the future. He sees himself as a "bridge builder" and is thinking about giving young people from Indonesia the chance to do a coffee apprenticeship in Germany.
He would like to bring the CAFFEEkostBar to many different cities and strengthen the trade relations between his old home country Indonesia and his new home in Europe and above all act as an encouragement. The list is endlessly long and impressive, just like the path Nicolas Sihombing has already left behind. He is a fighter who stands up for his dreams and goals and continues to work tirelessly. For a fair world and sustainable coffee.