I grew up in a home

with bridge at its heart. A gallery of colourful personalities has passed through it. The players, shrouded in cigarette smoke, would talk about rubbers and colds all the time. I didn’t understand much of it, I never caught the bridge bug. My dad gave me one lesson and decided that I better take up handball.

The meetings were sometimes accompanied by alcohol,

which my parents enjoyed with their guests. However, they avoided drinking ordinary vodka. They brought back bottles of cognac and brandy from tournaments abroad. They tasted them carefully, with pleasure. It was then that I got the idea of cultural drinking.

The golden age of Polish bridge has passed,

leaving behind an interesting trail leading to Italy – coffee. I was eighteen and entering adulthood with a packet of coffee. In fact, there were plenty of them: in the boot, in the garage and everywhere else. The only thing missing was customers.

People drank ordinary, cheap coffee, sometimes Turkish coffee.

Convincing them to reach for a better product was like banging your head against a wall. Failure followed defeat. However, I held on to one thought: quality will defend itself. It just needs time.

The meetings were sometimes accompanied by alcohol,

which my parents enjoyed with their guests. However, they avoided drinking ordinary vodka. They brought back bottles of cognac and brandy from tournaments abroad. They tasted them carefully, with pleasure. It was then that I got the idea of cultural drinking.

The golden age of Polish bridge has passed,

leaving behind an interesting trail leading to Italy – coffee. I was eighteen and entering adulthood with a packet of coffee. In fact, there were plenty of them: in the boot, in the garage and everywhere else. The only thing missing was customers.

People drank ordinary, cheap coffee, sometimes Turkish coffee.

Convincing them to reach for a better product was like banging your head against a wall. Failure followed defeat. However, I held on to one thought: quality will defend itself. It just needs time.

A quarter of a century has passed and I know that I was right.

Today, the market for good coffee in Poland is thriving. The number of conscious coffee lovers is increasing. You can taste my coffee in Alchemia, Nowa Prowincja and Mleczarnia pub cafés in Krakow. It has been there since the beginning, that is for over 20 years. In the catering industry, that's an eternity.

What do I do here?

I got inspired by a conversation with Tomasz, who has been trying to restore the splendour of Polish craft spirits. I want to support him in this difficult task, even if I have to break down the wall with my head once again. What is wrong with the vodka that is widely available in the market? And what was wrong with pouring boiling water over coffee? Nothing. There are simply better ways to drink them with taste. I would like to invite you to our world of good alcohols. To the world of Lumberman’s Distillates.

Piotr Żurek

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