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January 2018 Issue 8


A CUT ABOVE Over Under’s north-south fusion




Interview with the Laynes Espresso founder

Saving the planet, one coffee at a time

We speak to Fabio Ferreira of Notes

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y the time you read this, your Christmas dinner will be long forgotten and you’ll be back on the grind, caffeinating the post-Christmas shoppers taking advantage of the early January sales. It seems I say this every month, but it’s a busy period for the high street, and in turn, for independent coffee shops. Although January is traditionally the month when people tighten their purse strings and commit to an ill-fated health kick (lasting... all of a month), coffee shops can really take advantage with a healthy breakfast and lunch menu, complemented by an equally healthy and warming cup of the good stuff. I was once told that coffee is naturally calorie, dairy and sugar free – so why don’t we, as an industry, play on this idea for January?

Issue 8

Onto this issue: in our main interview, we hear from Dave Olejnik of Laynes Espresso in Leeds. We spoke with Dave in our Leeds regional focus a few months back, and he was so captivating and knowledgeable that we wanted to hear more of his views and opinions. Leeds is becoming another city with a great independent coffee scene, so it was great to hear about it from one of the city’s frontrunners. We also have our first article in an upcoming mini-series on social enterprises. This industry does everything it can to give back to the community, both locally and worldwide, and we thought we should highlight a selection of the coffee shops, roasters and suppliers that are doing great things in different ways. We’ll be making a change to The Blend next issue – upping our number of pages, and adding a new section all about technology within the industry. Let us know if you think we should be covering something that we aren’t already – we make this magazine for you, so we want to make it the best it can be. See you in February,

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Joe Wilkinson Managing Editor

Printed by Pensord Press Ltd, Gwent, UK The Blend is published 10 times per year by Eljays44 Ltd. The 2017 subscription price is £95.00. Subscription records are maintained at Eljays44 Ltd, 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA, UK. Articles and information contained in this publication are the copyright of Eljays44 Ltd and may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publishers. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for loss of, or damage to, uncommissioned photographs or manuscripts. Whilst every effort has been made to maintain the integrity of our advertisers, we accept no responsibility for any problem, complaints, or subsequent litigation arising from readers’ responses to advertisements in the magazine. We also wish to emphasise that views expressed by editorial contributors are not necessarily those of the publishers. Reproduction of any part of this magazine is strictly forbidden.

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NEWS Our roundup of all the latest industry news


LIFE IN THE FAST LAYNE Dave Olejnik of Leeds’ Laynes Espresso talks independent ethics and expanding business




OPENINGS We profile four exciting new coffee shops opening around the UK


OUT & ABOUT Keep up with what The Blend team has been up to this month


How to start making your business more people and planet-friendly



GIVING BACK: SQUARE PEG COFFEE HOUSE How the Swansea-based social enterprise is supporting its local community


LEARNING CURVE The founder of Bristol’s Full Court Press on the importance of educating customers


THE BLEND LIVE Introducing The Blend Live – our very own event, featuring an exciting line-up of seminars tailored to the independent coffee shop owner


MARKETING: TOP TIPS Need a refresher? We break marketing down, to help you with your next campaign

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A CUT ABOVE We talk going the extra mile for customers with London coffee group Over Under


REGIONAL FOCUS: BIRMINGHAM Speaking to some of the people behind Birmingham’s burgeoning coffee community

Refill is tackling plastic pollution by facilitating free water refills


Our pick of the best sustainable food and drink, plus eco-friendly packaging



LATEST PRODUCTS Espresso beans, machines, and hot chocolate


MEET THE ROASTER Discussing flavour profiles and single origin coffee with London-based roaster Notes


LITTLE INTERVIEW Quick-fire questions to the people who make up our industry

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ward-winning day-to-night hospitality brand Grind has announced that it is returning to Crowdcube to fund the next stage of its growth, and has signed an exclusive new agreement with

SSP to launch Grind café-bars in airports and train stations around the UK and Europe. In partnership with SSP, a leading operator of food and beverage brands in travel locations

worldwide, Grind will launch outlets at two major London travel locations within the next 12 months, with additional locations in both air and rail under discussion. “Grind has always been about serving high quality coffee and cocktails to busy Londoners who

demand the best – and we’re incredibly excited to be partnering with SSP to bring Grind into airports and train stations nationally for the first time,” said David Abrahamovitch, founder and CEO of Grind.



“Grind is an outstanding brand and we are delighted to be able to include it our brand portfolio,” commented Simon Smith, CEO of SSP UK and Ireland. “The concept is great for the travelling consumer looking for excellent coffee and food, as well as for locals who want a meeting place to grab a drink or a bite to eat. It is the ideal complement to our other coffee brands.” To fund this next phase of growth, after the success of its £1.3m ‘Grind Bond’ in 2015, Grind will return to Crowdcube on Thursday 23 November, allowing members of the public to buy shares in the

he Speciality Coffee Association (SCA) has

company for the first time.

awarded all three of Matthew Algie’s training

centres with its prestigious Premier Training Campus accreditation, making Matthew Algie the first roaster to have accredited training centres in both the UK and Ireland – and the first in Europe to hold multisite Premier Training Campuses. Located in Glasgow, London and Dublin, each of the training centres has consistently



esearch based on 200 studies worldwide says that the benefits

of frequently drinking coffee include reducing the likelihood of developing a number of health issues.

demonstrated compliance with the SCA’s

People who drink three to four

standards of excellence, in terms of their

cups of coffee a day are more likely

provision of educational and learning

to see health benefits than problems,

environments, high-end training equipment

experiencing lower risks of premature

and facilities.

death and heart disease than those

“The best operators understand the importance of investing in a barista’s coffee

who abstain, scientists have said. The research also found that coffee

journey,” commented Caroline Carter, head of

consumption was linked to lower risks

training at Matthew Algie. “They know that great

of diabetes, liver disease, dementia

coffee requires more than just great beans and

and some cancers.

equipment. Our training courses help baristas

Three or four cups a day confer the

to develop a sound understanding of sourcing,

greatest benefit, the scientists said,

production, taste and brewing. To date, we have

except for women who are pregnant,

trained over 50,000 baristas and we look forward

or people who have a high risk of

to taking the next step in our training evolution

suffering fractures.

together with SCA.”

6 The Blend January 2018

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new café in Merstham will use supermarket-donated food to create part of its menu. The Merstham Mix opened on 17 November, and is aiming to tackle food waste and food poverty in the area. The café will use donated supermarket and local businesses food – consumables that are still good to eat but are, for one reason or another, destined to go to waste. Anna Rooke, front of house and volunteer manager at the café, has been planning the café’s opening for around a year, and is excited to have it open. “It mixes up two things really,” she said. “On one hand, we have this big food waste problem in the UK, and a huge amount of food gets wasted every year. About 7m tonnes


from UK households is wasted, and about £17bn worth of food is wasted around the UK. “On the other hand, we have the problem of food poverty; there are a lot of people in this country who are accessing food banks and are classed as being in poverty. “Reigate and Banstead District is considered to be a fairly affluent area, but Merstham is considered an area of deprivation. Quite a lot of people use food banks here.” To begin with, the café will be open from 9am-3pm and, along with Anna, will have a chef and a front of house assistant.

Four ways to spruce up a coffee cocktail menu Espresso martinis remain the pinnacle of coffee-cocktail perfection, but, over time, regular customers begin to want something a little different. We share the top four ways to spruce up coffee cocktail menus, to set a cafébar apart from the crowd.



hell and bio-bean have announced that, together, they are helping to power some of London’s buses, using a biofuel made partly

from waste coffee grounds. The B20 biofuel contains a 20% bio-component, which contains

Eight must-know facts about Colombian coffee The year-round yield of Colombian coffee

coffee oil. The biofuel is being added to the London bus fuel supply chain and will help to power a

remains a favourite of roasters, providing a well-

portion of London’s fleet of buses, without the need to modify them. Biofuel decreases emissions,

balanced, consistent base for espresso blends

providing a cleaner, more sustainable energy solution for buses across London’s network.

with light and sweet fruit and nut flavours. To

“Our Coffee Logs have already become the fuel of choice for households looking for a high

shed some light on this beloved coffee nation,

performance, sustainable way to heat their homes – and now, with the support of Shell, bio-bean

The Blend lists eight must-know facts about

and Argent Energy have created thousands of litres of coffee-derived B20 biodiesel, which will help

Colombian coffee.

power London buses for the first time,” said bio-bean’s founder Arthur Kay. “It’s a great example of what can be done when we start to reimagine waste as an untapped resource.”



erlin-based Benckiser Stiftung Zukunft is funding a four-year

This season’s five most sugary festive drinks

technical assistance programme for Ugandan coffee farmers,

Medical experts recommend that the daily sugar

with the goal of achieving a 50% increase in coffee yields among

intake of an adult should be no more than 30g.

approximately 60,000 farming households. The social investment organisation has enlisted Hamburg-

Many chain coffee houses, including Starbucks,

based Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung and Technoserve to implement intensive, practical agronomy

Costa and Caffè Nero, didn’t seem to get the

training for 30,000 coffee farmers, with additional support from New York-based Enveritas.

memo, cramming enough sugar into their

For a period of 18-24 months, farmers will receive practical and participatory training in the field,

Christmas drinks to send festive drinkers into a

covering such strategies as pruning and rejuvenation, fertilisation optimisation in relation to soil

frenzy. We name the brands that are serving the

conditions, integrated pest management, and basic business and farm management training.

most sugary drinks this season.

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8 The Blend January 2018

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ELK Burwell, Cambridgeshire

FLAT WHITES Winchester, Hampshire Winchester’s famous Flat Whites coffee cart is moving to a more permanent residence – all the better to serve its loyal customer base. “We would like to thank the people of Winchester for their continued support, and helping us achieve our dream,” says owner Abbey Ewer. “One step closer to world domination.”

Elk Espresso Café is the heart and hub of the Burwell neighbourhood, providing the most ethically sourced and delicious coffee possible in a relaxed and friendly space. Elk is about harnessing community and great coffee. The goal is to make Elk an awesome place to meet, chat and buzz with friends and family with a coffee that tastes amazing – at a sensible price. Owner: Chloe Griffin

Manager: Abbey Ewer Covers: Around 20 Design inspiration: Cosy and homely Roaster: Guests Machine: La Marzocco Flatwhitescoffee

Covers: 30 Design inspiration: Simple but effective – black and white, with a splash of tan Roaster: Hot Numbers Coffee Machine: La Marzocco Linea 2AV Grinder: Mahlkönig



Hove, East Sussex

Baldock, Hertfordshire

Bringing the café-bar concept to Hove, Hixon Green combines comfy chairs with marble surfaces and coffee from Grind. The outlet for the brand, locals can enjoy brunch, nibbles and drinks all day. Manager: Casey Ruse Covers: 100 Design inspiration: Laid back, comfortable and stylish – a place to linger Roaster: Grind Machine: La Marzocco

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Taking us back to the Eighties, Stylus is a record store-cumcoffee shop with a feel for the retro – including its policy of asking customers to lock away their phones while they visit. Manager: Jason Kitchener Covers: Around 35 Design inspiration: Record store Roaster: Campervan Coffee Machine: Conti styluslounge

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O ut & about


This month, The Blend's Max and Michelle were lucky enough to visit Milan with Cimbali; The Blend team also visited the Union and Square Mile headquarters, and some of the latest additions to the speciality coffee scene.

A charcoal latte to go at Farm Girl, Portobello

Lovely hot chocolate at the new Under Over, Soho

Inside the Cimbali M100

Christmas at Hixon Green, Hove

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Quarterdeck, Chichester

The Attendant, Fitzrovia

A trip to Small Batch to try out its Christmas menu

We spotted this jersey at the Square Mile offices

The Faema showroom at Gruppo Cimbali, Milan

Checking out the roasting facilities at Union

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It’s the freshest and most relevant show for the UK’s independent coffee business


It’s not watered down by consumers


It’s the perfect place to meet with peers and suppliers


It sticks to The Blend’s ‘business first’ principles


It features a fantastic seminar programme


Industry leaders will be sharing their knowledge


It’s focused on coffee with the extras, rather than the extras with coffee


It will feature the nation’s top coffee roasters


Eljays44 has a proven track record in hosting business-to-business events


Collectively, The Blend LIVE team has more than 60 years of experience in branding and events

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14 MARCH 2018 10AM-6PM PRINTWORKS, LONDON SE16 7PJ The team behind The Blend, the leading businessto-business publication in the independent coffee shop sector, will be bringing the magazine to life for a business event, featuring the leading suppliers and the most relevant seminar programme available in the market. The Blend LIVE is a one-day event that will bring the industry together for a fantastic programme of live debates, informative talks and brilliant products. It’s about inspiring, informing and educating independent coffee shop owners in a positive and passionate environment, with quality coffee and quality preparation placed centre-stage.

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Location, location, location Choosing the right site at the right time

Coffee and design: The perfect blend Why is the coffee industry such a creative place, and what does it add to the market?


PANEL: Expanding your business A panel of three coffee professionals share their experiences of taking your business to the next level

The secret to happy staff An HR expert shares their tips for creating a thriving and loyal workforce


LIVE INTERVIEW The Blend interviews a key industry player on business, expansion and the future

Sustainability and direct trade Why sustainability and direct trade should be at the top of your agenda


Growth doesn’t always mean expansion Is it possible to grow your coffee business without ‘taking over the world’?

Social media Best practice for handling your business social media pages to create custom


What can you expect from a coffee: A flavour masterclass An expert talks through the nuances in coffee and what you can expect from each coffee growing region, roast profile and processing option

Is your offering right? How can you make sure that the needs of your customers and potential customers are met?


PANEL DEBATE: The future of the independent coffee scene


DEMO AREA The Demo Area will be a place for attendees to sit and relax, while finding out first-hand about the newest technologies, the nuances of the different coffee regions, and so much more. You may even get to partake in a cupping session or two. Nestled in the roasters’ zone, the Demo Area is bound to be bustling with those who are trying to get ahead of the competition and better the industry as a whole. Want to know exactly what it is that makes the best espresso machines so good? Curious about what’s going on in the direct trade market? The Demo Area is the place for you.


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www.theblendlive.c BlendLive_DPSadvert.indd 14

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For more information about The Blend LIVE please contact Michelle Molloy

01903 777 570 BlendLive_DPSadvert.indd 15

18/12/2017 14:59


MARKETING: TOP TIPS Mark McCulloch, founder and CEO of WE ARE Spectacular, gives his top ten tips on how to master your marketing strategy

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aving spent the last 20 years working across industries, I hope that I’ve learned a few things that may help you when you’re planning your next marketing push. I have had things go terribly well and I have had things go… well, terribly – but I hope I can give you some guidance on what to do, and what not to do, when executing your next marketing campaign.


What’s your story? Who are your customers? What are their motivations? What are your USPs? Take all the information you have gathered and put it into a statement on why you exist, what you do and who you do it for, and try to sum up the statement in two words.



Most clients come to us with a one-store issue. This means that you have to revisit ‘low rent’ and personal methods. You need to create relationships and meet people one by one by one, every day. Go out and personally sell your business.



This is the key thing that so many marketers don’t think about. We are only here to help you sell stuff. When I was at YO! Sushi, it was drummed into me that every penny spent had to have a return. This helps you get super strategic in your thinking.



Many marketing managers are told that they have to, for example, raise sales by £5k per week, but that there is no budget to do it, or only £1k. My advice would be to enter the lottery or put that £1k on a horse, as you will have just as much luck turning it into a return.



If you know exactly who your audience are, the next step is to figure out where their attention is. If the media channel that gets the most attention is the punchline, then all you need to do is write the joke.



Something we continually come across is clients wondering why sales are down since the last campaign they ran. Campaigns should never end. Marketing is a constant fight for attention, and you need to keep winning the fight.



If you’re simply an order taker, then you are replaceable. Don’t just do what your board wants. Most marketers compromise to keep their job, but many CEOs aren’t as up-to-the-minute on marketing as a practicing marketing manager or marketing director.



The level of underappreciation for digital marketing is staggering. Having a website is great, but you should be spending 10 times what you spend on the site each year on content, search engine optimisation and pay-perclick advertising.



So many marketers fall into the job by showing aptitude for it, but have no training or previous experience. This is fine, but having a foundation in marketing is a must, and it is the responsibility of the company to ensure you have the proper training and support.



Due to the nature of the job, marketers tend to find themselves behind the desk a lot – but pushing out what you want your in-store teams to do doesn’t work well. Spend time creating relationships with instore teams and talking to them.

Mark McCulloch,founder & group CEO of WE ARE Spectactular Mark has 15 years’ experience in brand, marketing, digital, social and PR. He worked in agencies before working client-side at, then moved to senior positions at Barclaycard, YO! Sushi, Blinkbox Music & Pret A Manger. WE ARE Spectacular has worked with leading pub, food, beer and wine clients including Fuller’s Inns & Hotels, Small Batch Coffee, Gail’s Bakery & Costa Coffee. Twitter/Instagram: @spectacularmark

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LIFE IN THE FAST LAYNE Laynes Espresso opened in 2011 as an espresso bar near Leeds station. The Blend speaks to founder Dave Olejnik about the evolution of the business, his independent ethics, and his work with some of the coffee industry’s key players


used to balance two jobs – I was a stage manager and I also worked in Louisa Henry’s shop, Opposite,” says Dave. “It was Opposite that really allowed me to understand coffee – why some are good and why some are bad, and so on.” After working with Louisa, Dave took a break to go on tour around America as a guitar technician. “I stayed really keen on the coffee thing, so I used the opportunity to travel and go and find coffee shops,” he says. “I saw a lot of places; there was one place in Seattle where the coffee wasn’t great, but the space and the staff kept me going back. After three visits they were like, “Oh English Dave, how’s it going?”, and I thought, I want one of these.” Following four years on tour, Dave returned to Leeds and met Paul Meikle-Janney, founder of the coffee training facility Coffee Community. “I knew what I wanted to do, but I needed something in the middle before I was there,” Dave says. “Lou from Opposite introduced me to Paul, and with him I started studying graphs about extraction and learning what happens. Because we were helping start-ups, I learned how to start a business.”

Photo © Tom Joy

The extension In January 2017, Laynes Espresso was extended, becoming more than twice its original size. “When we first opened, the intention was to be a fast-paced espresso bar by the train station, serving the commuter run,” Dave explains. “It was set up around people walking in and seeing the menu straight away. Speed of service was important – get them in, get them ordered.” ➝

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Photo ©Tom Joy


Now, the business has shifted, and there is more of an emphasis on food sales. Where before the shop had 15 covers, it can now cater for between 45 and 50 people. The extension involved knocking through into the unit next door and ripping out the remnants of what was there before. “We removed the staircase and found lots of badly done supporting floorworks, which apparently were never legal and were highly dangerous. The building that we’re in is around 140 years old, so as soon as you start knocking down walls and removing things you find a world of trouble – but you also find great things, like the cast iron supports. It was one great big messy job of knocking down walls, resetting floors, installing a new open plan kitchen on the ground floor and trying to make it look as tidy as possible, as quickly as possible.” The design As with every aspect of Laynes, Dave was handson with the extension and did a lot of the manual work himself. Having always been interested in

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interior design, he took the opportunity to work on the design drawing and create an image he was happy with. “The joke has been made plenty of times that opening a coffee shop was just an excuse for me to do interior design,” he says. “I’ve always been interested in a certain look: bare bricks, filament light bulbs. It’s not a big deal anymore – lots of places are doing it – but when I was travelling, the places I was comfortable in had that style. “I’ve always had a fascination with Japanese art, and the theory that in art nothing can be everything at the same time. I wanted clean cut lines and for it to be simplistic, so it’s quite stark but it’s not uncomfortable.” The food Dave had worked in kitchens from a young age, and had always enjoyed the buzz. When extending the business, adding a larger kitchen and expanding the food menu was an obvious choice – particularly with the independent coffee scene’s increasing focus on food.

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“We weren’t ever going to fill up 50 covers with coffee and a small cake offering,” he tells us. “I saw the opportunity and I hoped that the city would trust us to create good food, knowing that we were already doing a good job with coffee.” When sourcing food, Dave places emphasis on using local products and supporting other local businesses. It uses a local company called That Old Chestnut for vegan cakes, and other local businesses for bread and cakes. “Independent businesses survive best when they’re part of a network of other independent businesses – I think that’s really important,” Dave says. “I’ve always had a bee in my bonnet about people who wave the flag for independents, but then go to the big brands for everything. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the big brand retailers, but if your shop is just an outlet for a major retailer then how independent are you?” Musical influences Laynes’ DIY attitude is influenced by Dave’s time in the music world. “What I look back on as being part of the learning curve that helped me put Laynes together is the attitude that I embraced with the music scene,” he says. “If you’re having a look around and you think something’s wrong, you get up and try to fix it, or you become motivated to try and create a better scenario. “You’ve got to create what you want. If you want something better, create it and surround yourself with other people with the same goal. I needed that attitude of sticking two fingers up at the mainstream and saying ‘there is an alternative; it’s better, it’s more ethical, it’s based around the community’ – and being part of that music scene lends itself to this beautifully. It’s about having that motivation to know that if you put the graft in, you can actually create a really awesome community.” Customer satisfaction The clientele at Laynes is mixed, and Dave told tells us that it’s always been important for him to cater to a diverse crowd. “One of the reasons I wanted to open by the train station is that everyone uses public transport, so we have all sorts coming through,” he says. “I didn’t want to be exclusively targeting one demographic – this is for everybody. ➝

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“I like that coffee, even premium coffee, is still totally normal and affordable to most people, and remains in the realm of ‘normal people’. I like that you can make it really well but it’s still accessible.” Keeping customers happy is at the forefront of what Dave does, and his best tool for promoting his business is still customer service. “You can’t buy cups of coffee over the internet – this is still an industry that’s based around people walking through the door and experiencing everything face to face. There aren’t many industries that are completely untouched in that way. The best thing we can do is make them feel like they’ve made the right decision by being here, and then they take that back out into the world and they tell people.” Happy staff When employing front of house staff and baristas, Dave opts for customers who have expressed an interest in working for him. “It’s really good because you don’t have to explain to them what you’re trying to achieve, what your standards are or what you expect by way of customer service – they already get it, they already see it and they’ve already experienced it.” Laynes has a high level of staff retention, and those who have left have done so because they’ve left the city. Dave prides himself on being a living wage employer, giving people the opportunity to pursue being a barista as a career. “When I worked with Paul, the idea that you could make being a barista a career option was a big subject. The only way we’re going to maintain quality is by having people come into the industry and staying in the industry. You can’t come in for four months and then leave, because you’re going to take all that investment, training and the skillset away. I’m a living wage employer, I’ve got staff on decent salaries and they’re sticking around because the financial option is there.”


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Photos © Tom Joy

What lies ahead? One year since the extension was completed, Dave explains that the new food-focused side of the business has found its rhythm and is going well. In terms of the future, he’s not sure of his next step. “I’m all for the idea of opening other places, but I’m not sure at the minute – I might just have a holiday first.”

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SQUARE PEG COFFEE HOUSE Over the next six months, The Blend will be highlighting social enterprises across the coffee scene. This month, we talk to Matt Crome and Josh Pike from Square Peg Coffee House in Swansea, about how they use their influence to better their local community and beyond


quare Peg has been trading since March 2015,” says Josh. “It was set up as a way for us to give back to the community.” Square Peg Coffee House is a Community Interest Company (CIC), a type of company introduced by the UK government in 2005 under the Companies (Audit, Investigations and Community Enterprise) Act 2004. It was designed for social enterprises seeking to use their profits and assets for public good. Square Peg is a not-for-profit business, and is closely monitored and audited to make sure its practices are in line with what it says it will achieve: giving back its profits to the local community and working with charities. “It really helps to build community,” Josh says. “I do think there is space for chains in the coffee industry, but I saw them exploding and thought, whose pocket does all this money go into? Why can’t there be a business that’s done differently? The money that comes in could be shared and used to develop community. Giving back is a big way for us to build community and build trust, and that’s why a lot of our customers have stayed with us and become our friends.”

Safe haven One of the charities that benefits from Square Peg is a Christian homeless centre in Swansea, called Zac’s Place. Over the years, Zac’s Place has earned a reputation for providing a safe haven and an environment of proactive care

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and concern for some of Swansea’s most alienated people. Another charity that gets a cut of Square Peg’s profits is Kenya’s Children, another Swansea-based charity. “It works in Nairobi, taking kids from the street, finding their families and rehabilitating them into society,” explains Josh. “They’ve just rescued their 1,200th child, and they’ve only been going a few years.” The business is not just about where the profits go – it’s about bettering the lives of the local community surrounding them. “We give back in three ways,” explains Josh. “The first way is through our profits going to local charities; the second way is to provide the best quality we possibly can, whether that’s the coffee itself or the experience in the shop. The final way we give back is love.” Relationships are a key component of Square Peg’s business. “All our staff are trained up and made aware that we’re all about relationships, whether that’s with our customers or the delivery driver who drops off our orders,” says Matt. It’s this local community that benefits most from the endeavours of Square Peg. Everything they do is driven by engagement with the people around them. “One of the things that I was reflecting on when we set up the CIC was that I was fed up with meeting lonely people. I wanted to create a home away from home that welcomes people and accepts them for who they are – but is also a place where you want to go.”

Sharing stories Square Peg’s coffee offering also matches up with its ethical stance. “Direct trade between our roaster and the farmers was an important factor for us,” says Matt. “We use Clifton Coffee as our house blend, which is brilliant, and that excellent quality lines up with the fact that the coffee is direct traded for the fairest possible price.” The company also likes to get creative with its guest coffees, shipping in London’s Ozone and Square Mile, or slightly further afield from The Barn in Berlin. Why did they decide to use coffee as the vehicle for their social enterprise? “I’d had enough of drinking bad coffee that was overroasted and burnt,” Matt says. “I couldn’t offer a product whose ethics I didn’t trust. You have to pay a bit extra for that, but I really believe the

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industry is changing and consumers are getting more switched on to what tastes good.” “At first, people always asked what was meant by ‘direct trade’, or ‘light roasted coffee’, but now we’ve got returning customers from different generations who tell us we’ve ruined the way they used to drink coffee, because they’re so much more aware of the quality on offer,” Matt says. To drum up custom, Matt and his team host events at Square Peg, the most popular being ‘PEG Talks’ – similar in premise to TED Talks. “We started the PEG Talks with some friends of ours – it’s a platform for people with an inspirational story to just tell it to the community,” says Matt. “Swansea has this tag of ‘the graveyard of ambition’ and nobody bothers setting anything up or fulfilling their

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dreams. We see our PEG Talks as a good platform, and we’ve had talks from community farms, the guys from our charity Zac’s Place and more. A lot of networking happens too while people drink our coffee, so it’s a winwin. We can get 70 people in our shop and it has a real positive community feel.” As a relatively new concept, CICs and social enterprises are often misunderstood. “The biggest drawback is that no one understands what a social enterprise or a Community Interest Company is,” Matt tells us. “They don’t know whether we’re a business or a charity, and you feel like you’re not either. You don’t have the magical charity number and you can’t get all the grants. People’s mindsets are tuned in to the concept of a charity but they think we’re a business, and because

we’re in this middle ground it’s a hard sell – particularly if we’re trying to raise capital. We had to get imaginative – we managed to set the coffee shop up by crowdfunding.” Matt and Josh both believe that they are making a difference to the lives of people who need it most. “The best thing about running a business like this is seeing people’s stories and their lives changed. There are a lot of mental health issues in the UK at the moment; we have one woman who has come into the shop every day for six months, and the fact that she’s made it out of bed and sees this place as a refuge is such a big deal. There are countless stories of people going to the hospital nearby and using this place as a safe haven after cancer treatment or similar, just chatting to someone. It’s great to share life with people.”

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LE “

The Blend speaks to Mat North, national coordinator for the Speciality Coffee Association and founder of Full Court Press in Bristol, to discover how he educates his customers and why it’s important to do so


n any industry, the idea that the customer knows more than the business is blatantly untrue,” Mat says. “The goal is to provide context, to educate them so that they are able to make an informed decision. While some shops tell people what to do, Full Court Press simply makes recommendations. “The problem with telling people what to do is that it’s an imperative – you’re not actually giving them any knowledge so that they can make an informed choice.” Mat and his team explain how their coffee is made using the analogy that you wouldn’t turn a great wine into a spritzer, or add a mixer to a single malt whisky. For this reason, they don’t recommend an Americano at Full Court Press; Mat explains to customers that he only serves single origin coffee and brews light, long, delicate shots with a balanced acidity, and that adding water would tilt that perfect balance. While they are happy to make Americanos, Full Court Press recommends a filter coffee, lower in intensity but more balanced in flavour, which they make a lot of – working with roasters from all over the UK and elsewhere in Europe so that the coffee changes weekly. Speaking up A customer recently left a negative review on Full Court Press’s Facebook page, having been advised against choosing an Americano. “We never tell people what to do, but sometimes, with our approach, people get the wrong end of the stick,” says Mat. “In any walk of life, someone’s going to know more than you and someone’s going to give you advice; whether you follow it is your choice. “We often know more, but we’re just afraid to say it – in that respect, it’s our job to educate,” he continues. “We have people who have been coming in

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for years, and when they first visited they didn’t want us to educate them. Now they’re actively engaged every morning; we’ve worked with them and we’ve recommended things to them.” Sharing knowledge Full Court Press offers brewing courses for those interested in learning more about speciality coffee, catering to groups or individuals. He splits the sessions in half, covering both theoretical and practical elements. “The practical side is mainly sensory – we want people to understand what they like and what they don’t. For me, if the customer can say ‘that’s good – I don’t like it, but it’s good’, that’s perfect, because they know it’s well brewed and they recognise the quality, but they can separate that from their personal preference. “It’s really cool when someone has picked up knowledge from being here. One reason we don’t do marketing is because places like this are a long-term marketing plan, and that is through education. Every day someone comes in and brings somebody else, or visits because they’ve been told that this is the place to go. We’re only at that point because people have come in and learned something, and that means more to me than someone coming because of a discount code.” Mat understands that negative reviews online do put some people off going into the shop, but also knows that it sometimes works the other way, with people thinking ‘it can’t be all bad’. “I don’t think too much about what’s on Trip Advisor – I’m not interested,” he says. “I think Google is the place that people go to for reviews, and if people search for speciality coffee in Bristol, we’re on the first page.”

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Combining influence from New York and New Zealand, Over Under Coffee is a fusion concept delivering third wave coffee to Earls Court, and more recently Soho. The Blend met up with founder Ed Barry to discover the roots of his inspiration


y mum is Kiwi and my dad is English, so I’m a fusion of the north and south – which is where the name Over Under comes from,” Ed tells us. Before opening the first Over Under outlet in February 2017, Ed had spent time living and working in New York as a nanny. While there, he fell in love with the city’s coffee culture, and this, along with his experience working at various London shops on his return, helped create the model for Over Under. The second store, in Soho, opened in November. For Ed, customer service is at the forefront of the business. “Working in different areas of hospitality when I came back, I learned what I liked and what I didn’t. Customer service is the big focus for us – the coffee and food are great, they’re amazing, but if you go to a place and the staff are rude and dismissive, you’re not going back, regardless of how good the product is. “Here, we’re all about the people. We’re lucky to have a team who really enjoy what they do, and we take what we do very seriously – but we don’t take ourselves too seriously.” New York “In New York they’ve got these tiny little cafés with great music and great vibes, and I’ve tried to recreate that here – it’s a very small space,” Ed explains. “I learned a lot from my time in New York. They do service so incredibly well over there because they’re earning a lot of their money through tips. They’re very on the ball.” Working in hospitality on his return to London, Ed remembers that nobody ever told

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him how to greet customers – which is why it’s important to him that all his staff greet customers as soon as they enter. “We have one rule, and that is when somebody comes in you say ‘Hey! How’s it going?’ and smile. It’s amazing what you can do when you just smile or engage in conversation with someone. That’s what the hospitality industry is about for me.” New Zealand “The thing about New Zealand and Australia is that they’ve got a wider appreciation of what good coffee and good service is, because it’s been ingrained into their society for the past 70 years,” Ed tells us. “People there go out of their way to find good coffee, whereas here in the UK there are still a lot of people who think a coffee’s a coffee. I would like to think that the UK is on the right track towards having a coffee culture like New Zealand’s. I didn’t have to open on the high street because younger generations, like people in New Zealand, will search online for a coffee shop, find the best one and go looking for it – they won’t just settle and go for the nearest one because it’s convenient. For that reason, we have to take our online presence very seriously.” Ed also takes inspiration from New Zealand for the design and interior of Over Under, styling the small space in a simplistic but not stark manner. “In New Zealand, they’re breaking down the barriers of coffee and design. Design in coffee has grown and everything’s got to look cool, but it’s got to be practical. It can’t be so minimal that it looks like a hospital. It’s hard to get that balance, but it’s something they do well.”

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The Steam Room

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irmingham’s up-and-coming coffee scene is spread out across the city centre and its outskirts. The Blend explores the city by speaking to those at the top of their game to discover how they plan to continue building coffee appreciation and growing the scene. Quarter Horse Coffee opened in Birmingham in 2015 following success in the city of Oxford. Nathan Retzer and his partner moved up to Birmingham, which he describes as having ‘not much of a coffee scene’. Greg Heap opened Cranked Cycle Café in January 2016, which he and new business partner Robbie Woodward have converted into Seven Sins Lounge; a café bar in the popular Custard Factory, the lounge opened in November 2017. The Steam Room was set up by Terry Donovan in February 2017, and he employed head barista Gary Dyke early in the planning process. Gary has been in Birmingham’s coffee scene ➝

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Quarter Horse

since the very early days. Alasdair Houston and Tim Paine opened the doors of Bloom in June 2017 – the shop makes the most of each of their skillsets, Alasdair as a barista and Tim as a chef. The scene in the city “The coffee scene in Birmingham is very much up and coming,” explained Alasdair. “There are more places popping up all the time and everyone’s got their own little twist. Ours, we hope, is that we’re a brunch destination.” Nathan told us: “The scene is growing and people are becoming more aware of speciality coffee, which is great. It’s not like London and there’s not really a 'centre' where you'll find everything. Here it’s about finding neighbourhoods where people want to spend time, and opening there. I lived and worked

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in London for a while and everyone there is in a hurry, whereas here everyone drives, and when they’re stressed you don’t see them. By the time they’ve made it here they’re already relaxed – they know they’ve got time.” The Steam Room agrees, and has also noticed the locals becoming more aware of speciality coffee, and increasingly interested in why the coffee at the local independents is better than what they get at the chains. Gary said: “Consumers are spoilt for choice now. I think they appreciate speciality coffee even though they don’t know it's speciality. We do try to educate people if there’s time, we don’t like to push it on people but a lot of customers are genuinely interested.” At Seven Sins, Greg and Robbie have noticed the coffee scene growing, but believe that it doesn’t have the reputation it deserves

because it’s previously been behind cities like Manchester. Greg said: “It’s always been a bit further behind in terms of being progressive, but now is a really exciting time for the coffee scene in Birmingham, we’re all really pushing it.” Robbie added: “The thing is, it’s very spread out here. In the other big cities you get an area where good quality coffee congregates, whereas in Birmingham it’s all over the city and the suburbs. People will travel for a good coffee shop.” The clientele Alasdair explained that, today, the coffee shop acts as a modern pub for people to use as a meeting space. “It’s very much the neighbourhood ideal and that’s something that’s grown organically – we haven’t tried to do it.” The clientele at Bloom varies, including

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Seven Sins

The Steam Room

“PEOPLE LIKE TO TAKE PICTURES AND POST THEM ONLINE, AND THAT’S OUR ADVERTISING, SO WE WANTED THERE TO BE NATURAL LIGHT AND FOR IT TO BE BRIGHT AND PHOTOGENIC” parents with young children, freelancers coming to work, students and the elderly. Alasdair said that since opening they’ve gained a great reputation across the city, so they do get people coming from further afield as well as the daily locals. Similarly, at Quarter Horse and The Steam Room, the neighbourhood locations mean that the regular customers are locals, with different parts of the day correlating more or less with a certain type of person – students, families or the elderly, for example. The design The design of the coffee shops in Birmingham is vastly different across the board, with some opting for bright, light spaces, others going for something more industrial and some choosing a more cosy, luxurious vibe. The new look

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at Seven Sins is designed around the brand and the idea of the seven deadly sins. Robbie explained: “With the design and branding I looked at the senses. How does it make you feel, what does it sound like, if it was a person who would it be? We created a really cool, sophisticated place with luxurious fabrics and textures and we also incorporated local ideas with the use of reclaimed materials.” At Bloom, Alasdair opted for a minimalistic space: “We wanted a very clean space, which when we’re busy is a challenging idea. We wanted to have a simple design and it was always going to be reflective of the property that we found. We stripped it back and sanded down the floors. People like to take pictures and post them online, and that’s our advertising, so we wanted there to be natural light and for it to be bright and photogenic.”

Nathan takes inspiration from Scandinavia for the interiors at Quarter Horse, and the shop is decorated in white, with wood and clean lines. He said: “When we saw this unit it already had the wood floors and white walls, the high ceilings and the big windows so a lot of it I didn’t do. For the other parts I worked with Marty Latham from Square Mile and then a local company called MJ Bespoke.” At The Steam Room, the talking point is the floor made out of 1p pieces. Terry explained that the décor was inspired by things he’d seen and liked, which he combined to create the shop’s relaxed look. They also incorporate the art work of their tea sommelier on the walls and have a large garden at the back which they plan to grow their own produce in, as well as expand to allow for more seating in the warmer months. ➝

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The Quarter Horse

Seven Sins


The future Nathan predicts that the coffee scene will grow, and believes the current scene is lagging behind the demand. He said: “I think the introduction of the Birmingham Coffee Festival demonstrated that there are a lot of people interested in coffee, and perhaps not enough places to go.” Greg believes that there’s room for growth in the coffee scene, and suggests that as people become more educated and the area gets more exposure it’s only going to get bigger. He said: “The regeneration of areas like this one is setting the scene for more independents to come and try their hand. It’s taken so long for the coffee scene to take off because independents can’t afford the rent in the city centre. Areas like this are giving them a kickstart.” Gary at The Steam Room agrees that the scene can only get bigger and better, but

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worries that it will reach breaking point and some cafés will fall away. He explained: “Hopefully the future of the scene is looking good – it’s changed so much in the past few years that you never know. I do wonder if the city will reach breaking point, and if it does we’ll have to remain innovative, fresh and engaging to survive.” Alasdair concluded that the coffee scene will grow, but he sees it going in another direction and expects that more coffee shops will become food orientated. He said: “The partnership between great food and great coffee is becoming more of a demand, and some shops which have previously just done coffee are looking to add a food offering. Coffee shops were always somewhere you could grab a coffee to go or could sit and work with a laptop, and now people are spending time in coffee shops, sitting down to a pour over and enjoying some nice food.”


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Training Excellence Stuart Menges Owner of Universal Espresso Care Chairman of COFIEE

“An excellent A course, CUP truly OF professional LOVE and I believe essential if working within the coffee industry. Even if an individual does not go on to examine machines, it is certainly a great wakeup call and reminder of responsibilities.”




Call us on 01274 505255

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Sweet Violet INGREDIENTS 2 pumps/16ml 1883 Violet syrup 2 pumps/30ml 1883 White Chocolate Sauce 180ml Whole milk 1 scoop Kool Kup and cup of ice Garnish; Kool Kup Toppings White Chocolate Blossom and edible flowers

METHOD Pour all the ingredients in a blender cup. Mix until smooth. Pour in a large glass. Garnish with edible flowers and Blossom topping.

Rosie Special INGREDIENTS 5.5oz Milk 1 shot Espresso 1 pump/8ml 1883 Rose syrup

METHOD Add the syrup to the glass Then the espresso. Foam the milk and create a love heart as pictured.

1883 MAISON ROUTIN UK DISTRIBUTOR : United Coffee Distributors Ltd ta UCD Email:

Tel: 01233 840 296

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Sweet Memories INGREDIENTS 8ml 1883 Salted Caramel syrup 1 shot Espresso 100ml Hot Foamed Milk Kool Kup Topping Caramel Blossom Curls

METHOD Add the syrup to the glass. Then the espresso then milk, garnish with the Blossom.

Cookie Ice Cream INGREDIENTS 2 pumps 1883 Chocolate Cookie syrup 1 Chocolate Cookie 1 scoop (10cl) vanilla ice cream 20ml coconut milk 10ml (a third of a pump) 1883 Chocolate sauce

METHOD Place the crumbled cookie and the chocolate sauce in a small conical glass (about 150ml). Blend the ice cream, syrup and coconut milk, mix quickly and place mix in the glass. Place a spoon in middle. Put in freezer until set. The result can be turned into a cone or enjoyed as a frozen milk shake.



SUSTAINABILITY Who says resolutions are only for people? With January upon us, it’s the perfect time to set some sustainability goals for your business. From direct trading to compostable coffee cups, we look at some of the ways your coffee shop can help both producers and the planet


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CONSCIOUS CHOICES By showing customers that you’re making an effort to be more sustainable, you’ll encourage them to do the same. The Blend speaks to those already mastering sustainability in their coffee businesses to explore the many ways you can do your bit, all the while maintaining a successful and profitable business

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By running a local, independent business you’re already working towards a more sustainable society, creating vibrant, walkable town centres and neighbourhoods and encouraging people to shop local, which in turn is essential to reducing sprawl, vehicle use, habitat loss and pollution. More specifically to a coffee shop, you can create a sustainably sound business in a number of ways… Direct trade If you choose a roaster who buys coffee directly from the farmers, you’re involved in the journey of the coffee you serve – from field to flat white. Direct trade builds lasting relationships, rather than working through a middleman. It also means that the farmers involved are paid a fair price that is reflective of their work and expertise. “True direct trade, buying from the farms and villages, is good for three reasons: it offers full transparency, it’s all about the relationship and caring about who we work with, and it assures us of the quality we're buying,” says Ian Meredith of Ethical Addictions Coffee. “It is no doubt harder, but it's worth it. It doesn't mean every other model is wrong, but direct trade in its truest form gives authenticity to what we say and confidence to our customers.” Waste not, want not The UK produces around 500,000t of waste coffee grounds every year as a by-product of its coffee culture. Bio-bean is a company that diverts the grounds away from landfill by recycling them into ‘coffee logs’ – carbon neutral briquettes for wood burners, which perform better than wood and other fuels.

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You could also allow customers to take used coffee grounds home to use in their gardens as a fertiliser, bug repellent or pH level stabiliser in compost. Coffee grounds can also be used to unclog drains or as an odour neutraliser. Aside from the coffee grounds, it’s also important to recycle the packaging that the beans come in. “We pack the coffee in compostable bags that are designed to preserve the coffee, but not sit on landfill for years like most foil-lined bags,” says Robin Sibley of Wooden Hill Coffee. “Where possible, coffee is delivered in reusable wooden crates, and we calculate that this has saved more than 2,000 cardboard boxes in the last two years. We also plant a tree at a local regeneration scheme for every 100kg of coffee we sell; in our first two years we've planted 200 trees.” Robin also prints the labels for his retail bags on seeded paper so that, when the bags are composting, wildflowers will grow. To keep or to compost “There is a general acceptance that unsustainable consumption cannot continue unabated,” says Mark Brigden, technical director at Biopac Ltd. “Plastic waste such as bags and food cartons often end up in landfill sites or discarded on the street, so it’s no wonder there’s increasing consumer demand for more responsibility in materials that are used and the way packaging is designed.” Every year, 2.5bn takeaway coffee cups are thrown away in the UK, with less than 1% recycled. This is because most cups and takeaway packaging have a polyethylene coating that must be separated before recycling. As a business owner, you can opt

for 100% recyclable takeout packaging or, even better, packaging that is compostable. Mark and the team at Biopac have taken a leading role in research and development to establish high performance alternatives to oil-based and unsustainable materials. Their solution is to use biodegradable disposables and packaging items that decompose naturally, and with no harmful effects to the environment. Unlike conventional plastics, which take 400 years to break down, biodegradable packaging can be composted and turned back into soil in less than 12 weeks. “The importance of using 100% biodegradable products is paramount with the environmental concerns and regulations we face today,” says Mark. “These problems can be faced head-on by using biodegradable food packaging. These innovative products do not harm the environment, as they can be fully composted alongside food waste – ideal for caterers and food service outlets.” You can also incentivise customers to bring their own reusable cups by offering, for example, a small discount. That way, they’re helping to build a more sustainable future while saving on their daily caffeine habit, and you’re using and therefore buying less takeaway cups. Another way you can make your business more eco-friendly is by eliminating the use of single-serve sachets for items such as sugar and sweetener, instead opting to keep these products in refillable pots. It’s also recommended that you only provide straws on request, and use paper straws at that. You can also encourage customers to bring their own reusable metal, glass or bamboo straws.

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BEATING THE BOTTLES Each year, 8m tonnes of plastic finds its way into the oceans. Refill is a scheme working tirelessly to reduce that


efill is a free water refill scheme that began in 2015. Spurred to action after seeing images of baby albatrosses that had died because of plastic in our seas, Natalie Fee founded City to Sea – a non-profit organisation focused on saving the oceans from plastic pollution, with an emphasis on stopping it at the source. By the end of its first meeting, two clear campaigns had been identified: one, Switch the Stick, targeting the plastic cotton bud; the other, Refill, targeting throwaway plastic bottles. Natalie and programme manager Gus Hoyt designed Refill to be as low-impact as possible, utilising Gus's 12-plus years of experience running professional kitchens and cafés. A shop that wants to be a part of this scheme just has to add itself onto the app, and if it is located within an organised scheme, it can display stickers in the window, telling passers-by that they are able to go in and refill their water bottles for free. All a coffee shop needs to do to be part of Refill is provide free drinking water to both customers and non-customers on request, and let people know that this is encouraged for a healthier, happier, more hydrated population. Anyone can add their establishment onto the app by touching their location and adding the information required. Visit

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: T A W O N E V I R D T S E T R U m O o c Y . k K u O o m O B re n a s . w w w

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INDIE BAY SNACKS Pretzel bites Sustainable USP Donations are made to charities and foundations with every purchase Price £1.20 per 26g bag; £3 per 160g bag

UGLY DRINKS Flavoured sparkling water Sustainable USP 100% recyclable aluminium can; made and sold in the UK Price £0.99

SNACT Apple & Cinnamon Kick banana bar Sustainable USP Each bar saves one banana from going to waste and is packed in home compostable packaging Price £1.39

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EAT GRUB Cricket powered energy bars Sustainable USP Made from sustainable cricket protein powder Price £1.59-£1.89

TEAPIGS Everyday Brew biodegradable tea temples Sustainable USP ‘Tea temples’ are made from biodegradable corn starch Price £9.95 per 50 tea bags

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LONDON BIO PACKAGING Palm leaf plates Material Naturally shed areca palm leaves Price Range from £21.07

VEGWARE 2oz double wall brown kraft cup Material Sustainably-sourced card with plant-based lining Price £4.97 per 50, £58.40 per 500 89mm CPLA hot cup lid (fits 10-20oz cups), available in black or white Material Plant-based CPLA Price £4.25 per 50, £49.43 per 1,000 EDENWARE Compostable cups Material Board and PLA lining Price £71 per 1,000 cups

LONDON BIO PACKAGING Sustain Brown Bio-Boxes Material Fully recyclable and compostable recycled waste box with plant-friendly aqueous formula lining Price From £44.31 per 450 units

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trading with


Xanthe Galanis-Hancox, communications mana

As the government continues to wage war on disposable coffee cups, The Blend speaks with Xanthe Galanis-Hancox of Vegware to learn about the company’s green ethos and the products it supplies

When was the company founded? The company was founded by Joe Frankel in 2006; he was an academic working in California when his wife came back from the market with a spoon made of potato starch. This inspired him to bring a company with an environmental focus to the UK, and so Vegware was born. Our head office is in Edinburgh, but we have recently opened another office in California, and plan to continue pushing the company on a global scale. Can you tell us about the products you supply? One of our bestselling stock lines is our coffee cups – helped by the increasing media attention about the way that the oil-based linings in standard coffee cups have a negative impact on the environment. Unlike the industry-standard units, the lining of our cups is made from a plant-

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based material called polylactic acid (PLA). Our bagasse takeaway boxes are also highly popular, made from a waste product of the sugarcane industry, heat-pressed to make environmentally-friendly packaging that rivals polystyrene. As it is a natural material, bagasse is breathable, which stops condensation from building up and making food go soggy. Have you anything new in the coming months? We are continuing our research into new methods of creating products in a more environmentally-friendly way. We’re also developing a new range of bowls with paper lids that can be used for hot food dishes, as well as starting work on a line of paper straws. One of our intriguing new launches is the ‘sandwich sofa’ – yes, sofa really is the technical term – which is used for bloomer sandwiches to-go.

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tions manager, Vegware

What is the next step for the brand? We are growing at an immense rate in the UK and Europe as customers here are very receptive to our brand values, so we want to further improve consumer awareness of the issues that plastics present. We will continue to work with our clients to ensure they are disposing of their waste as effectively as possible, and educate them in commercial composting. In Scotland, we have a great initiative called Close the Loop, where we help our clients by collecting and processing all their recyclable materials – this is something we’d love to continue doing. Can you name some of your top coffee shop clients? We work with national and regional distributors who supply to high profile coffee shops such as Tin Can Coffee and The Flour Pot Bakery. How do you help your customers market their environmentally conscious choice of Vegware? We tell our clients to highlight that they’re using products made from plants, not plastic. It’s a simple, marketable message, as people understand that plastics have an immensely negative effect on the environment. We look to educate our customers and help them understand the common confusion around terms such as biodegradable, recyclable and compostable.

CONTACT Telephone 0330 223 0400 Twitter @vegware Website

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Nuts about real Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate Melts are so versatile: with the addition of flavour syrups and toppings your customers can embark on a taste adventure. A firm favourite is a Milk Hot Chocolate Melt combined with hazelnut syrup, topped with lashings of whipped cream and chopped hazelnuts. Then there’s the Caribbean, a tropical combination of White Hot Chocolate Melt with rum and coconut syrups. Or how about Banoffee? Add banana and caramel syrups to a Milk Hot Chocolate Melt and top with cream and mini fudge cubes.

Marimba Hot Chocolate

Request our flavour brochure or see it online. It features all of our favourites – but the possibilities are endless!

Ecuador dark and sugar

Request a free sample pack or a £50 starter pack

Melts are made from 40g of flakes of real singleorigin chocolate, available in Dominican Republic white, Venezuela milk, free dark varieties. Tel: (01279) 714527



HOT CHOCOLATE KOKOA COLLECTION Organic tablets (available in Darkest Madagascar, Dark Haiti, Classic Ecuador, Smooth Venezuela, White Ivory Coast) Cocoa percentage Darkest Madagascar – 82%; Dark Haiti – 75%; Classic Ecuador – 70%; Smooth Venezuela – 58% Price £16.25 per 1kg

GUITTARD Grand Cacao drinking chocolate Cocoa percentage 53% Price £6.99 PIP’S REAL HOT CHOCOLATE CO. Real Hot Chocolate coins – Dark (available in Midnight Mint, Obsidian Orange, Black Gold 96, Nocturnal Nut, Pitch Black Forest) Cocoa percentage Minimum 96% Price £12-£15 per 1kg for cafés

SEPHRA Belgian Drinking Chocolate (available in Milk, Dark, White) Cocoa percentage Milk – 27.6%; Dark – 50.1%; White – 20.6% Price Milk and Dark – £6.99 per 1kg; White – £7.99 per 1kg

DAVINCI GOURMET Luxurious Hot Chocolate Powder Cocoa percentage 30% Price £

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NOTES Libertad Tasting notes Toasted hazelnuts, milk chocolate, marshmallow and stone fruit Origin San Rafael, Costa Rica Roast profile Medium Price £12 per 250g

VAGABOND Finca La Lomita Tasting notes Bitter orange, caramel and cacao finish Origin Finca La Lomita, Colombia Roast profile Medium-light omni roast Price £9 per 250g

HESSIAN COFFEE Espresso No. 1 Tasting notes Sweet, smooth body with a citrus finish Origin El Salvador, Costa Rica and Colombia Roast profile Medium Price £12.65 per 1kg

MIKO COFFEE Hand Roasted in Scotland Tasting notes Espresso 2 has fruity tones, a honey-like sweetness and a nutty, chocolate caramel bite; Espresso 3 has a bright and fruity flavour with a toffee and chocolate finish Origin Espresso 2 – Brazil; Espresso 3 – Colombia Roast profile Light-medium Price From £16.10 per 1kg

BEAN SMITTEN Classic Blend Tasting notes Chocolate, hazelnuts, smooth and sweet Origin Fazenda Pantano, Brazil; Finca Altos de Erapuca, Honduras; Lake Takengon, Sumatra Roast profile Medium Price £18 per 1kg

UNION HAND ROASTED Equinox Blend Tasting notes Green apple, marmalade and tangerine, with a smooth chocolatey feel. Bittersweet finish of marzipan with an orange zest Origin Guatemala, Rwanda and Brazil Roast profile Light Price £17.90 per 1kg

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CARAVAN COFFEE ROASTERS The Daily Tasting notes Cocoa, brown sugar and biscuit Origin Guatemala, Brazil and Colombia Roast profile Light-medium Price £10 per 350g

OZONE COFFEE ROASTERS Empire Tasting notes Nougat, malt and orange Origin Brazil, Guatemala, Colombia and Ethiopia Roast profile Medium-dark Price £9 per 250g

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FRACINO P.I.D. The P.I.D. comes equipped with hot water outlets that are fitted with anti-splash nozzles and steam tubes for frothing milk – each group with its own independent boiler. An array of controls and diagnostic features allow the user to adjust and fine-tune various elements of the machine. Most features are controlled by an LCD display mounted on the front panel. Available in gloss white, burgundy, black and stainless steel, featuring an illuminated back panel. Price 2-group – £5,292, 3-group – £6,426

LA CIMBALI M100 The M100 is ideal for creative baristas, who can use the integral pressure profiling system to experiment with brewing cycles, maximising aromas and flavour characteristics. Options include the self-adjusting Bluetooth PGS, SmartBoiler for optimum hot water performance, a thermal system based on a 10L boiler with individual temperature control for each group head, Turbosteam Milk 4 milk management system, plus a userfriendly touch screen interface which can be customised on set-up. Price £10,000-£12,000

FAEMA E71 Hydraulic circuit with GTi infusion control system and independent group head boilers guarantees high-precision infusion, temperature control and exact coffee brewtime regulation. Smart Boiler technology optimises hot water and steam levels. Equipped with cold touch steam wand featuring a purge function, temperature controlled hot water outlet, a flush system, energy saving options, remote Wi-Fi technology, and the ability to connect with Faema grinders via Bluetooth. Price 2-group – £9,947

LA MARZOCCO Strada AV Equipped with volumetric controls and offers consistent results over high volumes. Delivers a stable brewing platform due to its thermal stability system and individual coffee boilers. Performance Touch Steam Wands improve ergonomics while remaining cool to the touch. Easy to change settings, program the machine and update the firmware by USB. Patented Auto Brew Ratio technology is available to ensure a precise dose in the cup and program in pre-set brew ratios, providing the exact water level for the coffee weight. Price: POA

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Clean Caffeine Experience the versatility of Kuka online Blend-mag-advert-Nov-AW.pdf







Ads_JAN.indd 11 +44 (0) 1223 884540

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MEET THE ROASTER NOTES The Blend visits London-based coffee roastery Notes to talk with director Fabio Ferreira about its single origin coffee, the company’s future, and the desirable flavour profiles that in-store customers keep coming back for


abio Ferreira, Robert Robinson, and Marion and Alan Goulden founded Notes in November 2010, with Fabio and Robert having previously run Flatcap Coffee Co. They began by setting up coffee shops in busy areas such as Westminster, and, over the past seven years, have expanded to nine stores, all in prime locations. Notes started out serving Square Mile coffee, but in its second year, when it had three stores, the directors decided that they had the right scale of business to start roasting their own. “After we’d showcased our own coffee in our stores, other cafés began to buy from us, and now there is strong Notes brand recognition across London,” Fabio tells us.


Meet the Roaster Jan.indd 49

Broadening the offering With most coffee shops lacking their own roastery, at least when they start out, there are consequently a lot of coffee shop owners who switch between suppliers and offer guest roasts, in order to keep their range interesting. “Notes supplies to a range of customers, frequently appearing as a guest roast and, in many cases, becoming coffee shops’ new house coffee. Our regular clients include Colicci, Craft Coffee and Bread Ahead, as well as our own Notes stores. “The cafés that join us receive the same training as our baristas at Notes. We run through the theory and the practical side of coffee, with refresher training for existing and new staff – all free of charge.” In order to keep up with the demand of their own stores, as well as others across London, Notes made the significant investment into a Merlin 15kg roaster by Loring. “As we grew, we moved from our roaster in King’s Cross to a bigger space near Canning Town, and upgraded to a Loring S35,” Fabio says. “This helped us to maintain our roasting output of over a tonne a week. We

are also currently investing in the wholesale roasting side of the business, as we see that our proven coffees have a high demand in the marketplace,” Fabio explains. Selective sourcing Notes is highly selective with its sourcing, roasting only single origin coffee that predominantly comes from its direct partners in Brazil, Colombia and Guatemala. “We only offer light to medium roasted coffee, mostly from these three countries as they best fit the flavour profile that Notes customers are after – this being predominantly chocolate and nutty tones,” says Fabio. “The reason we only roast single origin coffee is that it’s far simpler to use behind the counter, in terms of dialling in the grind size and creating a consistent product. This helps create more of an identity for each of our coffees.” Where does he see the future of the market going? “Speciality coffee is not going away any time soon. People are saying that the market is becoming saturated, but I don’t think this is true. From my perspective, commodity coffee is becoming saturated, but speciality coffee is something that is going to continue to thrive and grow.”

CONTACT Twitter @NotesRoastery Instagram @notescoffeeroasters

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” INTERVIEW We gain a small insight into the people who make up our industry. To take part email

NATHAN PROSSER Head roaster Heartland Coffee Roasters

Favourite coffee region? Africa! The fruity, light brew you generally get from African coffees really does it for me. I was originally a total brewed coffee lover and I remember my first experience of what filter coffee could be. It was a Burundi Kayanza and I was hooked on the light, fruity, tea-like flavours from then on.

Best moment in your career so far? Developing the recipe and process for the Heartland Nitro on tap. Favourite coffee-based beverage? Espresso-based, has to be a cortado. But I’m an Aeropress fan through and through.

Most inspirational coffee shop? Providero Tea & Coffee House, North Wales. Jon at Providero is almost wholly responsible for me getting immersed in the coffee community. Trends in the industry over the next five years? A lot of things are becoming automated. Roasting, brewing – I think a lot of people will be moving towards automated. I’ll be staying traditional. Favourite sandwich filling? Whichever is the biggest.

specialty focused burrs, etc.).

RYAN PAGE Founder Espresso Solutions Favourite coffee region? Ethiopia. Best moment in your career so far? Processing the first ever Espresso Solutions order back in 2012! Favourite coffee-based beverage? Cortado.

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Little InterviewJAN.indd 50

Most inspirational coffee shop? It’s hard to say, there are so many greats, but one of my favourites is my local café Cocoa Loco because they do amazing chocolate too. Trends in the industry over the next five years? More third party manufacturers producing precision parts and components (precision screens,

Karaoke song of choice? Nothing Else Matters by Metallica. Who would play you in a film of your life? Robert Downey Jr. – if he’s good enough for Iron Man… Favourite sporting memory? Being presented with the jersey for playing my first game for Yorkshire rugby union as a 16 year old. What’s top of your bucket list? To swim in the ocean with whales.

What’s top of your bucket list? Skydiving in New Zealand.

Favourite sandwich filling? Smavo (smashed avocado). Karaoke song of choice? Living on a Prayer – Bon Jovi. Who would play you in a film of your life? Steve Carell. Favourite sporting memory? My first Crystal Palace game when Steve Staunton scored from the halfway line against Tranmere and Crystal Palace won 3:2.

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RYAN SCHALKWYK Head barista & manager Presuming-Ed’s Coffeehouse Favourite coffee region? Burundi Kinyovu.

The ‘Africano’, which is an Americano, only here we’re using a single origin African bean.

Best moment in your career so far? Branding and licensing ‘Truly Grounded Café’, my mobile coffee business, in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Most inspirational coffee shop? Lineage Coffee, owned by South African coffee geek Craig Charity. I have to also mention Steampunk Café run by Michael Goddard – absolutely top notch stuff that man is doing and brewing.

Favourite coffee-based beverage?

What’s top of your bucket list? I aim to work in conservation back in Africa and South America.

Favourite sandwich filling? Hummus all day mate. Karaoke song of choice? Toto by Africa. Who would play you in a film of your life? Seth Rogan in James Franco’s




Ground Espresso Bars Ltd Trends in the industry over the next five years? Shorter drinks with more emphasis on quality rather than quantity.

Favourite sandwich filling? Chicken, rocket and pesto

Who would play you in a film of your life? Gary Oldman.

Most inspirational coffee shop? Workshop coffee shop/ roastery. Favourite sporting memory? West Ham FA cup. Trevor Brooking’s header! What’s top of your bucket list? To see my son grow up.

Worldswildlifewonders /

Karaoke song of choice? David Bowie, Wild is the Wind.

Favourite coffee-based beverage? Still a cortado.

Little InterviewJAN.indd 51

Favourite sporting memory? Winning my first MMA fight via triangle choke, back in 2009.


Best moment in your career so far? Meeting a coffee farmer in Peru was inspiring.

body. Yeah, I’ll claim that.


Favourite coffee region? South American (I married a Peruvian).

Trends in the industry over the next five years? More cold brew on the shelves; less brands and more indies.

Trends in the industry over the next five years? Filter coffee brewed with extra attention to detail will gain a serious presence. Quality of beans is going to keep rising and the demand for sustainable processes will become almost essential.

Favourite coffee region? Honduras. Best moment in your career so far? We’ve just opened our 20th store in Northern Ireland and Ireland and we are progressing into Scotland in 2018 – so the best is yet to come! Favourite coffee-based beverage? Cortado. Most inspirational coffee shop? Established, based in Belfast, is a favourite of mine.

Karaoke song of choice? I’m not getting tricked into this one! Who would play you in a film of your life? Sue Pollard – my life is a bit manic and we share the same ‘bad hair days’. Favourite sporting memory? P7, victory in the egg and spoon race. What’s top of your bucket list? Diving with sharks.

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Each group has optimum temperature control.

Lever espresso machine. Fracino’s 1, 2 or 3 group Retro lever espresso machine evokes the 1950’s coffee bar buzz. Finished in highly polished stainless steel, its Design and Function is very much for the modern coffee bar.

Our stunning P.I.D. – the fusion of technology and contemporary design; the individual group boilers and state of the art electronics offer precision and control to fulfil the expectations of the most discerning barista.

Retro is available in Electric or Dual Fuel powered versions – perfect for espresso on the move. Lever groups provide the barista with lots of control during the extraction process for creating their own perfect espresso.

Available in 2 or 3 group versions, the P.I.D. features temperature controllable hot water dispense and boasts all the power, technical qualities and reliability synonymous with Fracino products.


W / E / T / +44 (0)121 328 5757

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The Blend January 2018  

The Blend January 2018  

Profile for eljays44