Ani Harutyunyan: “I have realized all my projects in Dilijan”


I realized three of my projects in Dilijan. It all started with Caffeine Coffee Roasters 6 years ago. Then there were also Arm Food Lab research kitchen and Ootelie bakery. I am from Yerevan, but it was extremely important for me to fulfill my idea outside the capital. And when we just started thinking about the first project for high-quality coffee production, which was Caffeine Coffee Roaster, the choice fell upon Dilijan.


Honestly speaking, it was a very spontaneous decision, without planning much. But now I’m thinking that we did a great thing! Dilijan lived up to my expectations. I really fell in love with this city, and for the last 6 years, my activities have been closely connected with it.


All three of my initiatives combine the approach, principles, and focus on research work. In particular, this concerns the Arm food lab project, since it is a unique laboratory not only for exploring Armenian cuisine but also for regional products.


By education, I am an art historian, and research is a very important aspect of my profession. This helped me in the implementation of the initiative. Here we carry out historical research and study the traditions of Armenian cuisine, as well as all those products that are produced and grown on the territory of Armenia. Arm food lab has a digital archive, which provides information about edible plants and herbs in Armenia, and special attention is paid to the rules for gathering plants. I would really like to develop a culture of conscious gathering. After all, we have plants that, although edible, are listed in the Red Book. In the digital archive, they are listed with a special label.


Now I am trying to answer the following question: ‘what is Armenian traditional cuisine like?’ I do all my research work myself. This is inexhaustible and tremendous work. Therefore, I would really like to build up a team, preferably young people from Dilijan, who will do what interests them. Perhaps, some will be interested in research, some in photography and gathering, and others in cooking. And I am so hopeful that one day I will manage to do it!


Ani Harutyunyan, the founder of Caffeine Coffee Roasters, Arm food lab, and Ootelie projects.


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