Jordan Dabov – uncompromising perfectionism
Who is Jordan Dubov – musician, barista coach, coffee hunter, or an admirer of the perfect cup of coffee?
Born in Pazardjik, he emigrated to Prague while still very young, and built his life from scratch in the capital of the Czech Republic. He studied the jazz trumpet at the Prague Conservatory and was one of the most sought-after jazz trumpeters in the Czech Republic and Europe. He recorded music, participated in concerts, but in the meantime, he worked as a bar manager in an Italian hotel chain in Prague.
Change of direction – from jazz to coffee
Things changed though when from a manager of one of the bars he was promoted to Food & Beverage Manager of the entire chain. This is how he started to get to know coffee as part of the chain products portfolio. In 2007, Jordan enrolled in a barista course. This course has not only changed his ideas about coffee but his life as well. His appointment as a Food and Drink Manager was a step forward in his career. It has led him to study International Economic Relations at Metropolitan University in Prague, but he has not graduated because a year later he moved back to Bulgaria.
For a better cup of coffee
The year is 2008. While in Prague, Jordan became familiar with the specialty coffee culture that has started to flourish there and even though he spent 12 years in the Czech Republic (which was almost half his life) he has decided to return to Bulgaria and start offering the Bulgarian market a better cup of coffee. His mission – a better cup of coffee every day, day after day, stays always in his mind while he makes different decisions on a daily basis.
Step by step towards the perfect cup of coffee
When he arrived in Bulgaria, he realized that the Bulgarian consumers were still not ready for a better cup of coffee. He understood the need to provide a constant training for baristas, restaurant managers, and even coffee lovers.
In 2009, he passed the SCAE exams and was certified as a barista coach. Since then, he has enriched the coffee culture in Bulgaria and the region, holding numerous courses, seminars, tastings and training for everybody who is interested. Jordan knows that teaching and sharing his knowledge to quality coffee fans is not enough.
To brew a better cup of coffee, one needs the right equipment. Jordan started distributing the products of some of the world’s best coffee making equipment companies – espresso machines Kees van der Westen and Crem International, and coffee grinders Anfim (now part of the Hemro – Mahlkonig and Ditting group), which revolutionalized the Bulgarian coffee sector because they grind coffee on demand. At the same time, the demand for specialty coffee in Bulgaria was also growing and Jordan decided it was time to find his own way. It was not enough for him to be only a coffee distributor and in 2010 he opened his roastery specializing in the search and roasting of specialty coffees.
And if for the roasting Jordan has found a solution betting on Probat and Loring – two of the best roasting machines in the world, in order to find specialty coffees, he headed off to the best place for it, Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE). ACE has a goal to organize an annual competition at a high international level in each country to find and promote the best coffees for the year. ACE has become the best partner for Jordan and DABOV Specialty Coffee providing access to unique coffees.
That is why in 2013 Jordan became a member of the association, and in 2014 he visited for the first time Cup Of Excellence competition. The bar was high, but since he has passed through it and from an observer has become a judge, he started traveling every year to different parts of the world to choose the best coffees for his clients.
This is how in 2015 for the first time in Bulgaria came winner of the Cup of Excellence – the coffee is from Costa Rica; the farm is Dona Ileana. DABOV bought their entire quantity and have been selling it for two years. Then, in 2016, Jordan took a cardinal decision to buy the best coffee from Guatemala (ranked second best in the world!) by beating in an auction the most powerful Asian and US companies. And he succeeded! The victory was not only for Bulgaria but for Europe as well, because until then, Europe has never welcomed a whole batch of a number one coffee from a Cup of Excellence auction. So far, Jordan has succeeded in adding 9 COE coffees to our catalog, with 8 of the coffees being in the Top 10 in their respective country!
His participation in Best of Panama – the competition for Panama’s specialty coffees, is another great success because a juror from Europe has not taken part in it for years. In 2018, Jordan Dabov was part of the prestigious jury, among Asians, Americans and Australians. And only one European – Jordan Dabov. In 2019, he was invited for the second year in a row to be among the jurors.
Once Jordan has secured the highest quality coffees, he is sure he can offer a better cup of coffee every day, day after day. He then directed his efforts to build long-term relationships with more and more farmers so that his coffee supply could be constant and predictable. Even though he has begun to buy directly from farmers in 2010, he has realized that it is not easy to reach the best farmers who are motivated to produce high-quality coffee every year. It is not easy to convince them to sell to DABOV Specialty Coffee since they have established connections with Asian buyers. Winning renowned farmers in the specialty coffee industry is a long and continuous process, where everyone should get to know the other and learn to trust each other step by step, year after year.
Jordan’s enormous motivation to offer better coffee every day, day after day, is the engine that never fails to drag him forward. To this day, he spends months far away from his home and family, searching for the best coffees in the world. Because the better cup of coffee infuses his day with a smile and makes it more cheerful and colorful. And a day filled with smiles, joy, and colors extends life …
Read Jordan Dabov’s interview on the occasion of DABOV’s 10 year anniversary.
Learn more about coffee from this video with Jordan:
Jordan reveals some coffee secrets here:
And more here!