Take 5 With: Usman Khalid

We were lucky enough to chat to Usman Khalid, founder of Haven Coffee and our September box partner.  
We spoke about why the arts are so important to Havens mission, why a cappuccino made him fall in love with coffee and how the coffee helps support events like their comedy night Laff-Ucino ! 
So please Take 5 to get to know an inspiring and wonderful business. 

Can you tell us how Haven Coffee got started? 

I came to this country back in 2007. And couple of things which I fell in love with in this country, one of them was the coffee and the coffee culture in this country, the culture of having small cafes, independent coffee shops, where you get speciality coffee, and I really loved the taste of the coffee and the smell. So from there, I had an idea to have my own cafe one day. I got my refugee status in 2015 and after getting through the detention when I finally came back into life, I then started pursuing my goals. One of them was to have a business of my own. And I started working towards a coffee shop or coffee enterprise of my own, but because of my own past experiences, I added the social mission to to the idea. We are a social enterprise where we serve fair trade, organic, ethically sourced speciality coffee to the communities, but we do have a social mission on the site, as well. And the social mission is to break the false narratives in the society, around refugees through arts and culture

How is coffee and art linked at Haven? 

Art is a backbone of a society, on which our society prevails, on which our society is known to the other societies, how a society or a country differentiate from the other clans, other societies and other communities. So, the importance of art is very much relevant when we talk about anything, when we talk about having a business or when we talk about starting a life in a country and the coffee, like i mentioned, the coffee is part of that culture. And art is also part of a culture. So they are both part of a culture of the UK society. So that’s why I bring bring coffee and art together, while having a social mission of working with refugees, because people sit together over a cup of coffee, and talk about different issues. So that’s how I see the relevance between coffee and the communities and art. I already mentioned that art as art is universal language spoken and understood by everyone around the globe. Anyone around the world can enjoy music, anyone around the world enjoys a nice piece of art or a nice joke, regardless of which country they’re from.

What happens when someone buys coffee from Haven?

We run different art events, both visual and performing art events. We already organise comedy gigs under the head of Laff-Ucino, where refugee performers perform on the stage. And of course, the money spent on those events are generated by selling of the coffee. So it’s a it’s a business model in which we sell the coffee and then the part of that sales. The money we generate from the sales go to do these different events.

How do you take your coffee?

So my favourite coffee drink which led me fell in love with the coffee is a cappuccino. I love the drink and I love how you make the drink!

Can you tell us a bit about the coffee going into this months box? 

The one which we are going to include in the in the box is from Honduras Central America, which is Arabica coffee and coffee itself is very, very, very delicious. It has a mellow-ish chocolatey taste with a case notes of if you go into the specifications, it has a taste notes of spice citrus and herbal taste and it’s a very, very refreshing coffee.

To get try this delicious coffee and other treats sign up to our ‘Perfect Blend’ Box. Get 40% off using the code FLOW40

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