The brains and passion behind the beans

Mahmoud Maatouk Mahmoud Maatouk was born in Beirut, in 1931.

The young enthusiastic Mahmoud Maatouk put the cornerstone of his promising business while still only 18 years old in Azareih, down-town Beirut. Success has accompanied him since that launching moment.

1960 was a remarkable date as the business was witnessing efficient growth that went hand in hand with the growth and prosperity of the charming city where it grew. Being an intellectual capital of the Arab world, a financial center for the surrounding Arab countries, and a major tourist destination, Beirut showed immense popularity for coffee at the time when young Maatouk first ventured into the business. Needless to say, it was also a highly-prized commodity, with Brazilian coffee beans being the source. Hamra and Central Beirut were the main coffee drinking hubs, where all the journalists, writers, and artists gathered. Coffee drinkers preferred their brew medium to dark with plenty of froth. Although many names were prominent at the time, Maatouk distinguished its brand by introducing various mixes from many new and unusual origins. The secret lied in the choice of beans of finest quality, imported from only the best coffee-producing countries, such as Colombia, Ethiopia, Brazil, and Kenya, among other countries.

As days passed by, Mahmoud Maatouk followed his heart: the scent of the coffee trail. He traveled to Brazil, Columbia, and Ethiopia to explore the cultivation of the beans. He toured Europe and particularly England, Germany, and Italy where he experienced the evolving tastes and flavors as well as the developing trends in manufacturing and branding. The Khaldeh shop he established in the mid 70's is a live theater for bean roasting and grinding.

In 1979, with the civil war breaking out in Lebanon, he founded a coffee factory in Hayes, Middlesex, in the UK. Shortly after, Maatouk hit another coffee-loving country, Germany, where success was right at his doorstep in a roastery.

The 90s marked the return to the roots. The family decided to settle in Lebanon for good. Perhaps it was this calling desire to be close to his birthplace and the wish to spend the twilight years of his life in the land closest to his heart.

In 1996, Mahmoud Maatouk left this life, leaving behind a priceless tradition and a legacy of values for his children.