Stephen Hurst has been in the coffee business for more than 35 years. He spent the first 11 years of his career as a commodity coffee trader for the J Aron Division of Goldman Sachs group, who were at one time the fifth biggest coffee trading company in the world. In 1996 he founded Mercanta The Coffee Hunters and migrated into the emerging specialty coffee world.
Stephen spent over a decade as a board member for the Alliance for Coffee Excellence, which runs the Cup of Excellence programme and has served on numerous Cup of Excellence juries around Central and South America since 2000. He has also served on the board of the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe (2002-2006).
In 2004 he founded Mercanta’s sister company, the London School of Coffee, with the aim of educating and informing consumers and the wider industry about specialty coffee.