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Tuesday, December 5, 2023
Dec. 5, 2023

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Food & Drink: Kafiex celebrates global coffee village

Roasters’ lab aims to educate, brew up fresh love for drink

8 Photos
Inside Kafiex Roasters Coffee Lab.
Inside Kafiex Roasters Coffee Lab. RACHEL PINSKY Photo Gallery

Seidy and Matthew Selivanow, owners of Kafiex Roasters, opened the Coffee Lab so they can share their love and appreciation for coffee.

“Matt and I have said all the time that coffee is like wine or beer, but there’s not that much information about what happens before with coffee,” Seidy said. “Some people have never seen a coffee plant in their life.”

That desire for education is what drove the decision, and the name.

“We needed more space if we wanted to educate people about coffee and share more of what we love to do. That’s why we call it a Coffee Lab,” she said.

The Selivanows plan on having roasting tours, cuppings and classes. They also have a small library of coffee books people can read while chilling in the bright space on Esther and Eighth streets in downtown Vancouver. Patrons will soon be able to watch Matthew roast coffee in his new, baby blue Diedrich roaster through small windows to the side of the Coffee Lab.

A vibrant mural by Dallas artist Nikki Cade fills the wall behind the coffee counter. The swath of land known as the coffee belt is highlighted in red and pink. This whimsical representative of the global coffee village seems like a tool that an imaginative elementary school teacher would use to explain where coffee is grown.

The company’s name is a nod to a coffee growing region in Africa. Seidy explained, “We wanted something related to coffee. Kafi is the way to say coffee for a small tribe in Africa. We added the ex to make it sound futuristic.”

Kafiex Roasters began in the couple’s kitchen.

“The way we started was roasting beans in a pan,” Seidy said. “Then we started traveling, going to different countries and getting beans. Matt started roasting and giving them as Christmas gifts to friends.”

Soon after, the Selivanows turned their hobby into a thriving wholesale business.

“Our passion turned into a business and that’s why we’re here,” Seidy said.

All of Kafiex’s coffee begins with certified organic and fair trade beans. Suppliers include Sustainable Harvest, Terra Negra (Guatemalan only, certified organic, naturally processed), Atlas Coffee and Vancouver’s Cafe Feminino — a coffee bean supplier that supports women farmers throughout the world. A red Cafe Femenino sticker marks every bag of Kafiex’s coffee that includes Cafe Feminino beans.

The Coffee Lab serves espresso drinks (including a Mexican mocha), coffee (prepared in a V60, Chemex, siphon or batch brewed), Maya Tea’s loose leaf tea, golden turmeric latte, matcha latte and Prana chai. In addition, there are pastries (such as conchas, cruffins and pumpkin rolls) from Dos Hermanos in Portland and Donna’s macaroons in seasonal flavors (currently, apple pie and pumpkin).

Rotating menu

Pressed Australian sandwiches called jaffles are offered on a rotating menu. On one visit, the jaffles were a green goddess (spinach, avocado, mozzarella and garlic aioli) or prosciutto basil (prosciutto, basil, mozzarella and apricot jam). Another time they were caprese or turkey, fig and bleu cheese. These pressed sandwich triangles are served with plantain chips and pumpkin seeds with smoked paprika and colorful flower buds in purple, yellow and burnt orange sprinkled on the plate.

This year, the second day of Day of the Dead coincides with First Friday in downtown Vancouver (Nov. 2). That night, from 5 to 10 p.m., Kafiex Coffee Lab will be transformed into a Day of the Dead celebration complete with Day of the Dead bread from Dos Hermanos served with coffee and hot chocolate — and decorations that Seidy’s sister is bringing from Mexico City.

Seidy grew up in Mexico City and fondly remembers celebrating this beloved holiday. She explained, “It’s believed that on these two days, the souls of the dead return to mingle and be around everyone again.”

Families of the departed welcome their loved ones back with altars lovingly decorated with bright yellow and red flowers, as well as their favorite food and drink. “It’s about love,” Seidy said, and after talking to her, it’s clear this same emotion flows into everything she does.

Rachel Pinsky can be emailed at couveeats@gmail.com. You can follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @couveeats.

If You Go

• What: Kafiex Roasters – Coffee Lab.

Where: 720 Esther St., Vancouver.

Hours: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

Contact: kafiex.com

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