As I trawled the internet, looking at the various beauty products available, something started to jump out at me....Coffee!? ....Coffee face mask....coffee body scrub.....The more I looked, the more I saw. Coffee coffee coffee. Wow, I thought, who knew?
Coffee, coffee, coffee!
I am that type of person that, once I have an interest, likes to really get into the detail of the topic..(I can feel my friends and team frantically nodding at this point :) ). So there I was, page after page of internet info about coffee in beauty products: the benefits; natural skincare ingredients that work well with coffee; how I could prepare ingredients for my own personal skincare....and then it happened ....light dawned! If I would like to be able to prepare my own personal skincare products, using natural ingredients and get them just right for me, other people would probably like to do the same. In that way, the product can be perfect for the individual’s need.
Those of you who know me will be aware that it’s not as though I have plenty of time on my hands. With a busy business career, that has periods of international travel, a long commute and running The Garden Roastery, there is plenty to do. In amongst all of that I also try to fit in family time and exercise.
However, as always this autumn, I’m in planning mode. So what’s next? Where will my passion take me? One of the things I love about having my own business is the ability to be agile and try new things. When you own the risk, the possibilities are endless! So my latest musings are on new coffees and new products but as always, without the hype.
What many of my customers don’t realise is that I have a day job. I have a busy role in a engineering company, with a fabulous team and daily positive challenges which I love, but roasting and my coffee business are truly my passion. I found a hobby later in life and now it’s taken on a life of its own. From day 1, with a £5 note in an envelope, to a growing client base, both local and further a field. I am truly humbled to have my speciality roast coffee recommended by my customers to their friends, and I regularly receive new enquiries and orders. From one off gift purchases, to over one third of my business from repeat customers, I love what I do. I get so much pleasure from chatting to customers and understanding what type of coffee they like to drink. Importantly I also get to support local people and charities which is close to my heart.
So I have to share this with you. As you know at The Garden Roastery I am all about great coffee without the hype #yourcoffeeyourway. A little while ago I was looking for a straight forward brew method for my Mum. Well, we can’t have the mother of a coffee roaster not being able to drink fabulous coffee, can we? ;)
Whilst my mum has several methods to make coffee when she has visitors, she didn’t have a way to make a good cuppa just for herself. There are clearly several options. As you will have seen in my last ‘back to basics' blog, the one person cafetière is great, but my Mum already has a larger cafetière for guests. I took a look at a single dripper/filter top for a mug. Whilst they are good, they really need a goose neck kettle to pour the water evenly, and then I found something better ..... drum roll please ..... A pour over coffee maker with its own water tank.
Having been so impressed with this innovative product I sent one to my lovely mum and thought nothing more about it, until last week when I visited. All I can say is ‘wow’. Whilst I am admittedly biased about the great coffee itself (Mum uses a little micro roastery .....) the Pour Over worked brilliantly. I was so impressed, I bought myself one just to write this blog!
Whole Spiced coffees are available in The Garden Roastery bags, tins and gifts sets.
At the roastery, I prepare the flavoured coffees separately to single origins. I use my new Wilfa Grinder, which, as with my Drogheria Eureka grinder, the Wilfa can be set for the appropriate grind size for whichever brew method you prefer.
So, it seems only fitting that someone who runs a coffee business should support the World's Biggest Coffee Morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.
100% of the profits from orders placed for The Garden Roastery coffee bags and coffee tins between 28th September and 6th October will be donated to this worthy cause. Just place your order through the button below and I will send it straight to your door.
The Garden Roastery will be donating the coffee for the World's Biggest Coffee Morning to be held by my friends at LKHair Bromsgrove on 5th & 6th October 2018. Thanks to Karen and Lou for organising that.
So, whether you have experienced cancer, or been lucky enough not to, we'd love to provide you with some great coffee and help a worthy cause at the same time.
Thank you so much for reading this blog....
This one's for you Dad xxx. .......
I often get asked about different ways to brew coffee. So once you’ve chosen which beans you like, and whether you prefer a lighter or darker roast, how are you going to make your drink? So in this series of short blogs I’m going to take those new to coffee through some of the absolute brewing basics. This time it’s the turn of the good old Cafetière or French Press .....
If you fancy brewing your coffee in a Cafetière, but don’t have one, check out the gift sets in The Garden Roastery shop.
So it's roasting day. This is how we do it at a micro-roastery....
So I’ve taken a bit of time out over the last few weeks, and it’s got me to thinking. I set up the Garden Roastery after I became increasingly interested in speciality coffee, I learnt a lot, and I am still learning. But before all that training and developing my knowledge, what did I know? I knew that I loved coffee, I was fascinated by the hundreds of ways that you could make and drink it, but I didn’t know the difference between a latte and a flat white, the difference between commodity coffee and speciality, and I’d certainly never heard of an aeropress! I guess that is the same for the majority of folks, so I’ve decided over the next few blogs to write about some of those things. I make speciality roast coffee in a micro-roastery, and I want people to not only be able to drink my coffee, but to know how to make it the way they like it #yourcoffeeyourtime, so let’s learn about coffee together...
Hey coffee lovers, add a comment to the blog if you have any questions or interest areas, and I will try to include these in future blogs... e.g. ways to brew your roast coffee, what’s the best grind size to use? when do you press the plunger in your cafetière? how much coffee should you use?....
I've been wondering for a while what led me on this journey to becoming a coffee roaster, and it finally dawned on me. I have had a passion for coffee for a long time, but what was the original attraction? Nowadays coffee is available 24/7, in many formats and locations, good quality and bad. The industry is in it's 5th wave, with coffee shops in the daytime, that become pop-up bars at night. But when I started working in my 20's there was a lot less choice. The first branded coffee stores were starting to appear on the high street and I could barely walk past one without wanting to pop-in. With their shiny espresso machines, dim lighting and promise of a a few moments of watching the outside world tick by while I drank my coffee - my coffee, my time. I was hooked! That was it......the ability to stop time. In those days the coffee wasn't great, and the service was patchy, but I still loved the relaxed experience of squishy sofas, newspapers and chilled music, while other people's lives rushed by.
Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it
Over the years since, the choice and quality of coffee has improved, and you can decide when you take your coffee time-out. A coffee shop, a meeting place, a bar, or at home. The speciality coffee industry has been developing since the 1970s, focusing on the whole process from farm to cup, developing the best way to roast and extract coffee, to give you the taste and feel that is personal to you.
When I was lucky enough to be given the gift of a barista training course for my 40th birthday, I loved it, but what surprised me the most was how fascinating I found the science of the development of the coffee beans themselves. Being a 'people' person it was an unusual interest for me. So, that's where it started.... and from then basic and more advanced roasting training followed. I now understand much more about the science, and I am lucky enough to run my own micro-roastery. But every day is a school day and I continue to develop the taste of coffee that works for me, my friends and my customers, to give them their coffee-time, just how they like it.
In the words of Ferris Bueller "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it"