Husein and Carly Noorani
Roaster (Husein), Co-founders
Between Friends Roasting Company
What other coffee jobs have you had?
Husein, better known as Hus, was a barista at Cafe en la Esquina in Sayulita, Nayarit, Mexico and, more recently, at Melodies Cafe in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. Carly fell in love with coffee at age 16 as a barista at Delancey Street Bagels in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. Mostly we both just relied on our daily cup of coffee every morning of our seven years teaching middle and elementary school.
What’s your favorite part about working in coffee?
We love meeting and hearing from our customers to learn about their individual tastes and attitudes toward coffee. Brewing a cup is a daily ritual for many people and it is fun figuring out how to appeal to different tastes and become a part of our customers’ routine. You can’t please everyone all the time, but we enjoy having the chance to give people the experience that they are looking for or a pleasant surprise.
Where do you ideally see yourself in 10 years?
As career teachers we see ourselves working in education in some capacity. We would like to grow our partnerships abroad, like with the Brosimum Conservacion y Cultura in Mexico, which provides educational workshops to indigenous communities to protect biodiversity through reforestation and sustainable harvesting. In building toward that goal we are actually headed to a conference in Mexico this March and have paid the travel expenses for this organization to come together with government officials, botanists, and forestry experts to help cultivate plans for the future.
Who and what inspires you?
The staff at the Sustainable Business Network of Philadelphia are an inspiring group of ambitious and hardworking people. SBN is a good example of what many Philadelphians are doing: supporting local businesses and promoting sustainable practices. Through SBN’s network we have been able to forge important relationships as well as look inward to how we can become more “green.” The result is fairly traded and environmentally friendly coffee offerings, backyard compostable packaging, composting of all chaff and grounds, and a strategic plan to use alternative energy to power our roaster. SBN is an important piece to bringing progress to many pressing problems facing local businesses and the planet.
What are you drinking right now?
Currently we are drinking our Brew from Peru, which comes from the Sol y Cafe Co-op. It is a versatile coffee as we enjoy it at many roast levels. Although we have roasted it at Full City + for some, we personally prefer it on the lighter side and slow its development to give it a sweet and balanced flavor of chocolate, almonds, and subtle apple.
Crazy/memorable coffee experience you’d like to share?
Carly: It was on our second date that Hus confessed his desire to open a coffee shop one day. Six years later, the first time Hus roasted coffee was in our unfinished basement. When I walked in on him, there were beans all over the floor and he was laughing out loud to himself. Once he turned around and saw me standing there, he smiled with a mouth full of ground Ethiopian beans from munching on a fresh roast. “This is amazing, it tastes like grapefruit!” he said. Hus gets swept up into things easily and it was then I knew we were in for a new adventure.
What do you do when you’re not doing coffee?
Carly: Hus is an avid fly fishermen and backpacker, and I enjoy writing, illustrating, and yoga. These days with our small business picking up, it is hard to make time for play so we look forward to simple things like taking walks with our new little baby, Hafiz who is 3-and-a-half months old. One would think we are actually grooming Hafiz to be a roaster as Hus sometimes roasts with Hafiz. Parenting tip: The white noise of the roaster puts a fussy baby right to sleep.