Growing up in a village 100 km away from Beirut, Lebanon, coffee was considered an essential, in Ahmed Hawi’s family home. No matter the hour, coffee was always what gathered the family together.
Ahmed Hawi’s coffee journey finds its roots in Africa. Having travelled to Sierra Leone to assist his father with his trading business, Ahmed was introduced to the world of coffee and cocoa – two staple trade items – from a young age.
Nurturing his curiosity of nature and science, he would spend time in awe of the blossoming cocoa trees which is what ignited his coffee fascination.
Having left the trading business, Ahmed returned to a post-bellum Lebanon. Without fear of challenge, he made his way from carpentry and mechanics to painting, before falling for coffee.
It was whilst he was studying towards his Biology degree that Ahmed applied for a barista position at his favourite coffee shop, in Beirut. It wasn’t long till he fell madly in love with the coffee industry.
“I started working at café Younes early 2016 and, I knew I was stuck. I loved seeing all those magical seeds being processed, I never knew how those green beans reached a stage where they become so delightful.”
Confident in his passion, Ahmed took it upon himself to learn more about coffee traditions and the emerging scenes within the industry. He was quickly given the role of barista trainer and went on to enrol as Quality Controller and Training Specialist, in 2018.
Though his budding coffee career is still young, Ahmed remains grateful for the people who have helped him get this far.
In imparting his own coffee wisdom, he has learnt the depth of knowledge left to acquire.
“When we start to teach what we know, we prove to ourselves how little we know”