Edinburgh Coffee Hot Shots
John Thompson - Coffee Nexus

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When did you establish your business? 
I started the business in February 2009 and have been working in speciality coffee since 1996

What’s your favourite coffee style and why?
Apart from cupping, which I think will be by far the most common style of coffee brew I’ve made in the last 20 years, I tend to reach for a chemex more often than not.  As a brewer it has a timeless simplicity and beauty to it, and can make a coffee truly shine as well.

Why are you passionate about coffee?
Speciality coffee is an ever evolving drink and there is no doubt now that the best coffee produced now is way more delicious than that of twenty years ago.  This evolving nature of coffee, from botany and agronomy, through to roasting and brewing makes it enduringly fascinating.

Coffee also offers very real opportunities to people.  At its best, the collaboration through the supply chain whereby people at all stages of coffees journey, from farmer to the end cup can connect at a global level and share information on an equal basis is really exceptional.  When this happens coffee becomes empowering: building knowledge, supporting communities, driving innovation and providing a platform for people to share their story.

Anything else?
People often want to know how Coffee Nexus fits into the coffee story so here’s a brief overview for you:

The company provides consultancy through the supply chain with an overall vision of improving speciality coffee quality and value.

In producing countries the company works with growers to diversify products and improve quality.   For example I was part of a team co-authoring a revised manual for sustainable coffee production in Malawi.  I also work with the Cup of Excellence programme and am a Head Judge for their competitions, usually running two country programmes a year.

Once coffee arrives in consuming countries there’s a huge range of projects carried out.  Work involves helping roasters with coffee buying, working on roasting systems and roast profiling, product development to name a few types of work.

Professional training is another central part of the business in both ethos and services.  As well as sitting on the Education Committee for SCAE (Speciality Coffee Association of Europe) I run training courses in the lab in Canonmills on sensory skills, roasting and of course green coffee.

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