We’ve had some fantastic coffees in the past few weeks, and have some really great ones lined up for the autumn! One of the best things about our job is working with great roasters, following the harvests and seeing which coffees are available and bringing our customers a varied changing coffee programme. But of course, great coffee is about much more than great baristas or great roasters. Great coffee starts with the growers. Having worked directly with coffee growers for a number of years, it’s important to me that we remember where great coffee starts, with those who grow it and the care they take over their crops. There are so many fantastic varietals, old and new, and more and more innovative processes before the beans even reach the roaster. It’s great to think that barista, roaster and grower are each taking the best care over the production of the very best drink possible from this tiny but important bean! The current movement in direct trade and speciality importers and roasters working directly with growers to improve quality and develop these processes is also inspiring.
coffee drying in Kenya, photo taken by Ruth
As baristas at Bean & Bud we are passionate about the way we prepare and produce each and every drink we make. We owe it to our customers and also to those who grew the coffee trees!
Our good friend Andy Dennis gave an inspiring talk last week on his work with Doctors Without Borders. Although the sub heading was ‘heroes not required’, I think all those who attended the talk might disagree and feel that those working for MSF under such stressful conditions are the true heroes in this world. If you missed Andy’s talk it was videoed on the night, so you can catch it here and donate if you can: your chance to make a real difference: Andy Dennis talk re Medecins Sans Frontieres
We are very lucky in our business that over the years a number of our customers have become real friends. One such is Andy Dennis, a special person and a very good friend who will be giving a special talk at Bean & Bud on Thursday 7 August at 6pm.
Andy is a nurse on the Intensive Care Unit at Harrogate District Hospital. Prior to nurse training he worked as a Royal Air Force Medical Assistant including active service in the first Gulf War and various other nursing experience. In addition to his NHS work Andy now works with Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), which in recent years has included working in Northern Uganda and twice in South Sudan. In 2013 he spent 6 months at Leer Hospital in South Sudan running the Nutrition Project caring for malnourished children.
When he is not working in the NHS or with MSF his time is spent fundraising. In 2011 Andy walked around 2000 miles from Amsterdam to Barcelona as a fundraising challenge, which has so far raised more than £37,000 for MSF. You can find more about this project at www.walka2b.co.uk.
Andy’s presentation at Bean & Bud will focus on the recent mission in South Sudan, a little background about MSF and the fundraising activity.
Please try to join us for this event. There is no need to book but it will be busy. We will be open as usual serving great coffee and tea, and there will also be a chance to donate to this extremely important cause.
As a true independent we love to work with some of the best roasters around, and to build real relationships with the roasters so that we find out the best beans, how to get the best from each coffee etc. We are really excited therefore to be working with one of the most highly respected roasters around. The Barn in Berlin take passion for coffee to a new level. As well as paying farmers top prices for their coffee and creating real connections with the growers, they treat the farms like vineyards, working with farmers to bring out the very best qualities of each coffee. Coffees are not blended but remain as traceable single origins. The coffee is then roasted with great care and attention, either for espresso or filter. Here at Bean & Bud we always order coffee from roasters who roast to order, so the coffee is fresh. We then rest for 7-10 days to allow the coffee to de-gas and to develop the optimum flavour. The coffee is then prepared with equal care and passion in the shop: espresso on our La Marzocco Strada, or filter coffee on Chemex, V60 or Aeropress.
For our first two coffees from this great roaster we have two wonderful Africans. On espresso from next week we will have the gorgeous Hunkute from the Sidamo region in Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee. This coffee from mixed heirloom varietals is washed and then dried on raised beds. It produces rich notes of honeysuckle and nectarine. On slow brew we have the wonderful and complex Kenya Githiga. On filter it shows the typical blackcurrant notes of Kenyan coffees but with a silky mouthfeel and hints of vanilla.
We hope this will be the great start of a relationship with another great roaster, and that we will be able to continue to bring you an even greater range of fantastic coffees that are sourced directly, ethically and with a view to the very best quality.
We took a few days off(!) to make a couple of changes to the shop and also have a couple of days R&R. Everyone seems to have missed us, which is good to know!
We’ve reopened with a slightly updated look. We’ve replaced our counter top with a gorgeous piece of sawn oak and opened up the counter space for a more open and inviting look. We think it looks great! Also in honour of Le Grand Depart we’ve installed another great print from Sheffield artist Pete McKee (our fifth!) purchased from our friends at Redhouse Originals, Harrogate’s own contemporary and modern art gallery. Everyone loves our new bright look.
One thing that won’t be changing is our commitment to bringing you the very best coffee from the best growers and roasters around. In the next few weeks we have some really exciting coffees coming up, including working with some fantastic new roaster partners. So watch this space!