For Christian Galindo, his current coffee endeavor started with farmers markets and in Guatemala.
Galindo has extended family in the Central American country, where he obtains coffee beans to roast. Being someone who enjoys roasting and drinking coffee, he decided to start selling it at the markets—which eventually turned into starting a coffee shop in Rancho Mission Viejo’s Village of Esencia.
“I’ve been drinking our coffee since I was a child,” Galindo said. “My uncle started producing what’s known as natural coffee, and I was able to taste a distinct quality in that coffee—a lot more complex, more beautiful, more interesting.”
The coffee shop is known as Blue Hummingbird Coffee and opened on April 7. Galindo said the customer reception has been positive so far, with lines that stretched for a half-block after the opening.
The RMV location is Blue Hummingbird’s second, with the first operating in Irvine.
“We started about six years ago offering a wide profile of high-quality coffees, mostly sourced from the farmers in Central America or partners in other regions of the world focused on fair trade and sustainable coffee,” Galindo said.
People started clamoring for the coffee he brought back from Guatemala, so he decided to turn it into a business.
“Why don’t we do tastings at the farmers markets and offer our coffees and explain what these beans are about?” Galindo said.
Coffee, according to Galindo, can be as complex in its flavors as wine. There are different regions it’s grown in and farming methods—which extends to the taste. Blue Hummingbird’s offerings can have hints of blueberry, for instance.
“The beans, over here, we roast. We roast weekly,” Galindo said. “Our espresso bean currently is a Guatemalan bean from all women-owned farms. It’s a good espresso bean to mix with milk and do lattes and all that.”
Other aspects of Blue Hummingbird’s operations are similarly precise.
“In our coffee shops, we focus on providing exceptional drip, which here—at this particular facility—is made by a state-of-the-art machine called a ground control,” Galindo said. “That is a precision coffeemaker that extracts the coffee in the base, and then suctions it up so it doesn’t go through the traditional dripping-through process.”
Galindo is driven by a passion to showcase “good coffee” and showcasing what various regions of the world offer.
“We typically have two Africans. We might have a Sumatra,” Galindo said. “We always have offerings from Central America, from South America, but I don’t just go and buy a Brazil because I have to have a Brazil. I’ll put a Brazil in our portfolio if I fall in love with the bean.”
Business has been steady at the Irvine location as word of mouth spread, which Galindo thinks will be the same for the RMV coffee shop.
“We’re still new to Rancho Mission Viejo,” he said. “We are getting to know the locals and what their needs are. They want half-and-half. We’re cashless, so a lot of people came with cash, and they didn’t know they needed a credit card. Little things about getting used to each other.”
Blue Hummingbird Coffee’s address is 75 Esencia Drive. Visit bhbcoffee.com for more information.