16 October, 2014

Behind our great Coffee

Master Barista Loise tells us about the inspiration that sits behind her great coffee

"I came from Kenya, and was brought up on a farm in the Central Province. My parents owned the farm and the cash crop we grew was coffee. We grew coffee amongst other things, but coffee was the main thing. And, as children we used to pick the coffee. We had other workers help us, but as children we were expected to pick the coffee as well. We'd still get paid some pocket money. I was about seven or eight years old when I started filling sacks.

"Coffee is green beans and then it goes to an orange colour and then a red colour. You have to know the right beans to pick and my father would show us. You can eat the coffee beans. They are sweet, rather like grapes. But for coffee, you dry the beans, wash them and pulp them. You really do dry the beans for days and days.

"Now I'm doing coffee. I love it. I don't like tea. It's funny because people in Kenya can't afford coffee, so we used to buy instant. Now I am here, I can afford to drink real coffee every day.

"Now I am training people, so now I tell them about where I come from. I want to bring in some beans from home. I want to educate people about where they are from. So, the beans are roasted in Scotland, but I want to tell them about why our beans are so special. I want to them about why the beans are organic, that they must be grown in organic soil. And when you tell these stories they are really proud, and they spread that story.

"When you do this, you get feedback from managers. That's great. It gives you the confidence to do it and then I feel I can do more and more and more. It makes you feel you can do it, and it encourages others to do it as well.

"Every day when I see the customer's face is the best part of my day. I feel proud that customers used to wait a bit longer to get their coffee just from me. But it is simple, it all comes through training. The latte milk should only be used twice. Don't use excess milk. Just use what you need. This makes better coffee. And now we have shared the secrets to making coffee with the team, the customers don't mind who makes their coffee."

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