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Marty's Spiritual Journey

Dear fans, just a heads up, this is not a scholarly article related to coffee-making skills.

At Torch, we constantly try to develop a larger variety of valuable content for our readers. We hope you will enjoy this new column.

Have you ever stayed awake and restless in the middle of the night, contemplating if you should give up your dream?

Have you ever had moments of doubt when you were unsure if the efforts of pursuing your dreams would turn out to be worth it?

Fret not, you are not alone. There will always be someone else in this world who is having, or has had the same experiences as you.

Let’s find out what’s Marty’s life is….



A spiritual journey 


“ I came to China on somewhat of a spiritual Journey. I was praying and felt led to go to China. After that a lot of things happened in my life to confirm that going to China was indeed what I should do so.

In February of 2008 I moved to Qinghai Province to start learning Chinese. Back then you could not even find good coffee in Beijing or Shanghai much less out in the middle of no where Qinghai but that didn’t bother me since I was not a coffee drinker at all. When I moved to China I quite driving coffee in an attempt to be more Chinese and less western in my new home, little did I know that I coffee would become such a big deal in China in such a short time.

I was working on finishing my BA in Chinese language and culture when my wife had a dream one night about starting a bakery that would employ deaf high school graduates. I thought this was a crazy idea since at the time I was a full time student, we had no money at all and we didn’t know how to bake or Chinese sign language. All the same we prayed and asked God if the dream was from Him than He should work it out, we didnt tell anyone about it and when on about our lives not thinking much about it. 

The next day Samuel called me and said that they where planning to open a bakery for the coffee chain he was running and that he wanted to hire some deaf young people and that he thought my wife would be the best person to run it and asked if she would be interested. I was shocked to say the least and told him yes she would take the job and the story about the dream. That is when my path starting to cross with specialty coffee 


Why Coffee? 


When I realized how big of an industry coffee is I felt so drawn to it, I love traveling to new places and meeting new people and since coffee is either produced to consumed or both in pretty much every country in the world I thought this would be the perfect industry to be in and it has worked out amazingly. I have had the great honour and privilege of getting to work with coffee professionals from all over the world and have been able to travel to some awesome places to like Yemen and India all for coffee.  

I have often taken time to think about if all this effort and flying around the world and spending all my time and money just to learn about a little green seed that we roast, grind, brew and drink Is really worth it. I mean in the end coffee in just a drink after all, but then I realize its so much more than that. Its the community of people that are all working so passionately to find new and better ways to grow, process, ship, trade, roast, store, package, market, brew, serve and understand this so simple yet some complex thing called coffee. It is an industry that touches so many layers of a society from Subsistence farmers in Africa to Bently Driving Cafe goers in Shanghai, coffee touches connects us. Also if I didn’t work in the industry I would go broke supporting my addiction.    


A fair trade in Coffee Industry


I hope that through working with both retail side coffee professionals  and Farmers we can make a change in the way coffee is traded around the world and that things would be more equitable. I also hope to work with coffee farmers in conflict areas like Yemen and Northern Ethiopia to see financial stability come to communities that would help bring about stability in other areas too. The last thing I would like to see changed is less pretense and pride in the industry I think being nice is a good idea.


If no one drink coffee anymore, what would you do?

I dont think this will happen but if does maybe I would join the circus. I have thought about EMT or Nursing. I like helping people and hands on stuff.


What do you do during your free time?


I am a pretty boring guy after work I just like to go home and hangout with my family or play with my 3 girls at the park. Talk to friends, Go meet new people, go to a cafe, thats about it.  

The route chasing towards your dream usually won’t be easy, you might hit the nail, bump into good peoples, or opportunities. But we believe that, while you are busy chasing after your dream, you shall never forget to enjoy the moments of joy. 

Live life to fullest, and appreciate every little things in life.