Our approach is basic: fastidious selection of small estate and micro-lot coffees, hand-roasted by mindful artisans to accentuate every origin's unique nuances. With this approach we showcase brilliant clarity in the cup, with the hope that every single sip is truly memorable. As the Eastside's oldest micro-roaster, we have been pioneering the Direct-Trade model of sourcing since 2001. One of our core values is connecting directly with growers, so that together we may produce the best possible coffee.
Our approach to managing coffee has always been built on one fundamental, unchanging truth: The coffee you will get out of the roasting drum is only as good as the green, unroasted coffee that goes in to it. True, you can ruin great coffee with poor roasting or bean development technique. But it is absolutely impossible to start with mediocre raw coffee, wave a wand, and end up with something extraordinary. To that end, since 2001 Caffè Lusso has been a pioneer in what is now in the industry called "Direct Trade," or having a closer, direct, personal relationship with the farmers. Traveling to origin, meeting with, and sharing meals with our growers, and ensuring a direct financial benefit to the farmer for better coffee produced has been a distinctive characteristic of Caffè Lusso that we will not compromise.
Craft coffee is not formulaic; it is an art form. Sure you could try to make it so, but anytime you have a crop - something coming up out of the ground, it's always going to be changing a little bit, season to season. That's just the nature of, well, nature. So when we say it's not formulaic, we mean that in some sense, we are always courting coffee - an elegant dance mingling experience with discovery.
There is no computer guided program or profile we use while roasting, everything is all done by hand using all five senses to ensure we obtain a consistent, well developed flavor profile that is true to our brand.
"Stop drinking coffee and start tasting it." Our founder, Philip Meech, began encouraging people to take this approach as a sort of mental canvas very early on in Caffè Lusso's history. The basic idea was to put the world on hold for five minutes, turn off the noise and distractions, and just have time with the beautiful coffee. One might be setting the tone for the day, or perhaps a brief reflection. In other words, coffee would not be something to just drink up like background music, but rather to bring to center stage, allowing it to have all of your attention, for a moment. Smell, sip, and savor. Roll that elixir around your palate like it's the first time and the last time, and be in awe of such a beautiful emulsion of flavor.
Our promise: Caffè Lusso means a luxurious coffee, and we will never compromise that.
Philip Meech learned to appreciate coffee from his grandfather when he was 8 years old, and you might say it stuck. After working at several high volume retail coffee bars, an encounter with a small micro-roaster in 1997 forever altered his vocational trajectory from focusing on medicine to pursuing all things coffee. Now with over 25 years of professional coffee service on the Eastside, including more than 500 baristas trained, he dedicates his time to overseeing Caffè Lusso's development and direction.
On the weekends he dabbles in classical French cuisine, continuing wine education, keeping a close watch on the Seattle Sounders FC, and staying connected with several nonprofit organizations including Rescue:Freedom International and Orphan Relief and Rescue.
Sean Harwin began his coffee career in 2009 by working in a cafe while living in Colorado. After moving to the greater Seattle area he discovered Caffè Lusso and what a beautiful artisan craft looks like. After 3 years of being an apprentice, he became the Director of Roastery Operations in 2013. His competitive nature helps drive him to ensure the quality of coffee that is produced is unmatched.
Sean was born and raised in Santa Barbara, CA and lived for the next swell to surf! Sadly, since waves are hard to find in this area, Sean can often be found behind the lens of his camera, backpacking, training for his next triathlon, or jumping out of a perfectly good airplane as a licensed skydiver.