Wednesday 23 August 2017

Coffee Stories - Gareth & Angharad from Carvetii Coffee

In the lead up to this year's Edinburgh Coffee Festival on 14 October, we're publishing regular stories about some of the people that are involved, and that make our specialty coffee scene great. They're a passionate and varied bunch!

Today's 'Coffee Story' features Angharad MacDonald & Gareth Kemble, owners and founders of Carvetii Coffee located in Keswick.

Photo: Westmoreland Gazette
Intro: We are speciality coffee roasters, though our business now includes the supply, maintenance and repair of espresso machines and associated equipment. We provide a range of training courses to both wholesale and home customers and have more recently started dabbling in loose leaf tea. Increasingly we are providing consultancy support for new start-ups.

What year did you switch on to specialty coffee? We've always been speciality coffee roasters. In fact we adhere so closely to the ethos of speciality coffee that in six years of trading, we have yet to sell a bag of ground coffee.

What attracted you to the specialty coffee business? We roast the coffee we enjoy drinking, in a way that suits our preference. It just happens that we enjoy speciality coffee. We don't try to be all things to all people. If we don't enjoy a coffee then we won't sell it. We also felt that the speciality sector provides a sustainable future for the industry.

What do you love most about it now? It's what we don't like that drives us on. So many in the industry seem to want to out-do others, and in doing so I fear a large part of our sector is distancing itself   from the majority of coffee drinkers. We are a coffee drinkers' speciality roaster - no pretension, just well developed, accessible coffee which reflects the origin from where it was sourced.

What tips would you give coffee lovers? It's been said so many times, but it is probably the best tip we can offer - invest in the best grinder you can afford. Also stick to hand brewed coffee for home use and leave espresso to your favourite coffee shop.

What tips would you give people considering a career in coffee? Work your way through the ranks and don't try to run before you can walk! Get as much experience as possible across the whole spectrum of the industry. We spent a year working for a coffee chain before opening our business. Ok, the coffee wasn't great but we learnt so much about systems, workflow and marketing from that period.

Any other pearls of wisdom? It's not just about the roaster. When we started our business the industry seemed to   be excited about the origin. Farmers were at last elevated to their rightful place and we recognised how the flavour of the coffee was influenced at origin. While the growth in micro roasters is no doubt a good thing for our industry, there seems to be too much attention given to this aspect of the coffee chain. If you love coffee start exploring origin characteristics more - try different processing methods, or why not compare an AA Kenyan to an AB Kenyan?

The Carvetii team will be taking a stand at the Edinburgh Coffee Festival on 14 October.

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