It was a refreshing cup of coffee accompanied by a delicious homemade honey cake that my palate indulged at this cozy local brew house. I was introduced to the place through my friend chef Sereen Al-Kurdi over meetings for her Local Table project. It was not until the day that I met Yana, the coffee-passionate owner of Kava that I really wanted to know the story behind this amazing brew house. It was the last few days for me in Amman and I had very little time to meet with Yana. I promised with a skype meeting to feature her venture on Taste of Jordan as in my humble point of view; it is Amman’s most original brew house.
Since she has moved to Jordan, Yana was struggling with her search for elegantly brewed coffee in Amman. “Despite the origin of the coffee beans, I consider the coffee served is not fresh. It is pre-roasted, packed and shipped to Jordan, where it loses much of its essential flavors, oils and taste,” explains Yana. This triggered Yana to develop a passion for coffee and to stat a journey in exploring the world of coffee. “I wanted to learn the best techniques from the best specialists in that field. I have searched the internet and found out that Ukraine is a home for some of the world’s best brew houses”.
The dedication and Yana’s investment in both time and knowledge allowed her to gain extensive experience in coffee roasting, brewing and serving. Her first adventure as a barista was at Dom Kofe, a busy coffee house in Kharkov where she had the opportunity to train on the hands of the best barista in Ukraine, one of which is the champion of the Ukrainian Latte Art Championship. A year later, Yana participated in a coffee cup competition to distinguish one cup out of 3 groups of 8 cups with only smelling and tasting the coffee with a spoon. Yana was very close to winning the completion if it was not for one simple mistake she admits committing. “It is a very intense and difficult competition. I was honored the third place after the champion of the 2013 competition and an experienced coffee merchandiser,” Yana adds.
Coming back to Jordan armed with the knowledge to start her own specialty brew house, Yana set her choice on the place that soon to be Amman’s favorite coffee house: Kava. The simple New York style 40-meter square was inspired by Yana’s Pinterest research and her vision of what Kava would look like. It all finally came to reality in January 2015, when Kava served they very first cup of espresso for their first customer. “The long journey and hard work paid off!” says Yana.
During their operation, Kava started supporting the local community that started to emerge beginning of 2015. “We try to source all of the ingredients used in the brew house from local producers. Our cakes and desserts are homemade with passion and love,” says Yana with a smile. Fresh bread from Boutique Bakery- an Austrian bakery for artisan bread, organically grown vegetables from Botma, artisan cheese from my favorite artisan cheese maker Mistaka, Kava is bringing all those producers together to serve their customers a one of a kind and unique experience. With more local producers to be added to the list soon enough, Yana is dedicated to serve her customers the true taste of Jordan.
*Pictures courtesy of Kava Espresso and Brew Bar