The story behind unbound coffee roasters:
From hurdler to hurdle champion
The genes and the little rebel
Florian Mayrhofer or simply Flo - sometimes called Flootschii by some affectionately or with a sarcastic undertone, founded unbound coffee roasters in 2017.
But why exactly do you start a coffee roasting company when the coffee market already seems to be discreetly overcrowded? We can tell you right from the start: it was definitely not the direct route, but a path over hill and dale and the odd detour - unbound, that is.
High-quality food has always been part of Florian's life, especially his father Günter paid a lot of attention to quality and preparation. On his travels through Austria, Flo did not buy wine from a Tetra Pak even in his youth, but was already interested in tasting the variety, tastes and aromas of local wines at that time - which may not have prevented various crashes, but certainly enhanced the taste. Papa Günter, meanwhile, as the sales manager of a large Italian coffee company, was jointly responsible for the spread of Italian coffee culture in western Austria. At that time, Flo didn't know very much about coffee. However, it bothered him even then not to find precise information about origin and processing on the packaging of his parents' coffee. However, he slid into a pubescent family crisis with his interest, because after all, their coffee was "the best coffee there is" - and there's not much questioning at all.
Once a (10) fighter - always crazy
Florian's ambition and his willingness to always give 120% are based in competitive sports - as a 10 fighter and 400m hurdler, there's not much else to do. During his sporting career, Flo also met his later partner and co-founder Alois. They were united not only by the joy and ambition of sports, but also by the desire for independence and the banal thought of making the world a little bit better and more beautiful with their actions - attention: tearjerker alert! Sustainability and creating awareness are not only fulfilling for them on a personal scale, but a goal they want to communicate to as many people as possible within their reach.
Just quickly save the world...
After his business studies, Florian made his long-standing dream come true and traveled for several months through South America and subsequently through South-East Asia. On this trip, he repeatedly visited local coffee farms and learned firsthand about the conditions under which they produce their product on site.
We traveled through Colombia by motorcycle. Florian specifically sought out conversations with coffee farmers and was able to taste a wide range of varieties and experience how the cultivation and processing processes affect the taste of coffee. Campfires, the smell of coffee beans freshly roasted over the fire - okay, we'll let you dream for a little while.
In his conversations with the local people, however, he also learned about the dark side of the coffee business, about exploitation, underpayment and difficult infrastructural conditions. With all this input, he then continued on to Panama.
In the hammock you get the best ideas? Absolutely, otherwise you wouldn't be sitting there with a cup of the best unbound coffee. On the lonely islands of Guna Yala, Panama, Flo had a lot of time to let his impressions from Colombia take effect and to think about his future life after the trip. The desire to start his own business, with all the values that are important to him - and became increasingly important during the trip - took concrete shape. "I want to start a coffee roasting company " -this sentence did not let him go so quickly.
Back to the roots - re-entry for advanced learners
From South America back to Austria - let's just say there are easier things. It took Florian a while to get used to home again. He was particularly struck by how differently values are lived out in different cultures. Consumption and security are high on the staircase in our society, and this is often at the expense of the local producers in the respective countries.
Although awareness of regionality is increasing, there is often a lack of understanding of quality and fairness in products that cannot be produced in one's own country.
Flo wants to bring this process closer to his customers, to show them what a long way a coffee bean has to go before it ends up as a cappuccino at our breakfast table. After his return, he worked intensively on his own understanding and knowledge of coffee. He completed barista training courses, attended roasting courses and special trade fairs for third-wave coffee all over Europe and thus, little by little, acquired his knowledge and experience. During his master's degree, he developed the unbound coffee roasters brand as a study project - a brand that has sustainability and transparency as its primary goal. His small kitchen looked more like a secret meth lab at the time, but it was doing its job.
So Unbound coffee roasters is more or less a kitchen company, not a garage company. And without Flo's athletic career, lugging the 60kg bags up to the 3rd floor would probably have been a bit more difficult.
Wait a minute... And why unbound?
Sports, nature, adventure, freedom and travel - these are the life contents that unite all employees at unbound. Unbound - meaning unbound, free - means enjoying coffee wherever you want it, whether that's at the top of a mountain or in your upgraded bus while surfing... but also when you're just sitting in the office sipping your coffee and dreaming of your next vacation. Freedom with the knowledge to support sustainable projects and create fair working conditions for farmers - freedom with values, that's unbound.
That was our little story about the creation of unbound, the not-so-classic coffee roastery. We hope you enjoyed it and in this sense: Once upon a time - and for a long time to come - there was a coffee roastery called unbound.