Our Story

heart’s doors opened in 2009 with the idea that a great cup should highlight the distinct fruit flavors that are found in coffee. Built from the love to innovate and create an exceptional coffee experience, heart is owned and operated by Rebekah & Wille Yli-Luoma. With 3 retail cafés and a roasting facility located in Portland, Oregon, we strive to provide a comfortable and progressive workplace for our employees. We feel that a positive and supportive work environment is necessary for providing excellent customer service and hospitality.

Direct Relationships

Over the last ten years, we’ve been building direct relationships with producers in Kenya, Ethiopia, Colombia, Honduras, Mexico, Brazil & Guatemala. We visit our farming partners throughout the year to maintain a healthy working relationship built on open communication, trust and respect. Our goal is to provide financial stability to our farming partners, so that our relationships will last and be mutually sustainable. heart is in it for the long-run and we want to be sure our partners feel good about their relationship with us.

 

Seasonal Coffee

We secure green coffee during its peak time of the year. This is referred to as ‘seasonal’ or ‘fresh crop’ buying. Being an agricultural product; there are specific growing, picking and processing seasons for each type of coffee. We believe the coffee's vibrancy is most apparent when it is fresh. heart travels to origin during and at the end of harvest times to show support, assist with quality control and select the best crops.

 

In 2018, while the market price for commodity coffee topped out at $1.24 per pound, heart’s average price per pound FOB was $3.65. Read our detailed Transparency Report.

Coffee Purchasing

Producing a high quality product requires high quality ingredients. heart has a reputation for sourcing some of the best green coffee in the world. In coffee purchasing, the term FOB stands for “Free On Board,” and refers to the prices negotiated by us and the producers in-country. FOB includes services such as milling, packaging, and anything else until the coffee is ready for export. We take these costs into account when negotiating prices with our producer and export partners. The cost of coffee on a global level is dictated by the Commodity Market or “C-Market.” The quality of coffee that heart works with is not affected by C-Market pricing.

 

Product

Our goal is to roast consistent, user-friendly coffee, so that brewing is easy and enjoyable. All of our offerings have a specific roast profile that highlights the clarity of flavors within each coffee. During the roasting process, we focus on even development throughout the bean to maximize perceived sweetness, without over-roasting or baking the coffee dry. This style of roasting results in pronounced fruit tones and richness with a juicy finish. Every bag of heart coffee is tagged with a roast date and batch number. The batch # directly relates to a specific roast in our database, which was tested for quality. Any roast batches that do not meet our standards of quality are donated to the local food bank. We do not compromise quality, so that you can enjoy the best we have to offer.

 

BREWING AND CONNECTING

Improper brewing is the most common mistake resulting in an unpleasant cup of coffee.

Here are a few tips to making a good one:

• Freshly roasted coffee
• A burr grinder (we do not recommend blade grinders, as they produce uneven grounds)
• Filtered water
• Digital Scale
• Proper coffee to water ratio (1 to 16)
• Oxidized coffee filters (we do not recommend brown filters, as they taint the flavors of coffee)

See brew recipes

RELATIONSHIPS

Without relationships, we would not be in business. Our relationships include those at origin, those who roast, test, and package the coffee, those who serve the coffee and those who drink our coffee. These are the people who make it possible for us to produce the product we offer. The love we have for coffee and being able to share this with you is what it's all about.