It’s an unseasonably warm winter day in Istanbul when I get off the metro at the Sanayi Mahallesi station. Sanayi Mahallesi means “industrial neighborhood” in Turkish, a name whose accuracy makes up for what it might lack in creativity. The district is home to a somewhat grungy assortment of garages and warehouses, with the occasional office park that’s crept in from the neighboring financial district in search of lower rents.
I follow a zig-zagging street downhill—one is always either walking uphill or downhill in Istanbul—past the Kağıthane State Hospital, before spotting a triangle-shaped logo in front of an otherwise unmarked storefront. I ring the bell and am soon greeted by one of the best coffee brewers in the world, Aslı Yaman, who welcomes me into Kimma Coffee Roasters’ new roastery and training lab.