At Country Creatures we carefully select all our suppliers to provide us with the very best of products: British companies with the highest regard for sustainability, animal welfare and attention to detail to produce the highest quality food, drink and everything else we use across our inns and pubs. We wanted to showcase some of these companies through our Country Creatures Supplier Series to share some of the highest level of producers engaging in non intensive and traditional techniques to create some of the best tasting and highest quality products around.
For part two of our series we are shining a spotlight on Extract Coffee. Based in the heart of Bristol, Extract Coffee are passionate about coffee. There simple mission is to make coffee better. Sourced ethically and responsibly from farmers around the world, they roast with both a passion and respect for the raw product, believing that great coffee should be available to everyone. Their vision is to provide world-class coffee that will be a part of your daily life. They are also dedicated to sharing their expertise and all staff at Country Creatures are trained regularly by Extract Coffees’ baristas to ensure that their great coffee is shared by you, our guests, as well.
We caught up with Oliver to tell us a little bit more about the company.
I have been working for Extract Coffee Roasters for 3 years now, but I have been a fan for much longer. I feel very lucky to be able to work for Extract, it’s being picked to play for your favourite football team! I look after our wholesale customers with the ultimate goal to ‘Make Coffee Better’. This involves barista training, consulting on equipment, choosing and tasting the right coffee, little bits of engineering (anything serious and we get our amazing in-house technical team involved), marketing support, among lots of other things. It’s a fantastic job and I’m lucky to be able to work with some amazing businesses like Country Creatures.
Extract began in 2007 with one simple mission; make coffee better. Make coffee as good as it possibly can be, throughout the whole process, from ethical sourcing and better roasting, to working with our communities and ultimately brewing a better coffee. The founders quickly outgrew the garden shed where they initially roasted coffee, and continued along a ‘built not bought’ ethos, stripping down and repairing old roasters and eventually making them much more efficient and sustainable. Bertha and Betty are two of those old roasters that now form the beating heart of Extract and will be roasting the majority of the coffee you will be using. The Roastery is based in Bristol, with further training and education centres in London and Manchester.
We strive for excellence when it comes to quality and sustainability throughout the whole supply chain. To begin with, we pledged to make life better in coffee growing communities. By purchasing speciality coffee using our Direct Impact method, we are able to pay way above fair-trade prices whilst receiving an extremely high quality product. We have built amazing, long-term relationships with farmers over the years and have seen communities benefit from things such as new housing and medical centres for employees, or new processing plants allowing farmers to constantly improve on quality allowing them to generate more work and income for themselves and the communities.
Secondly, we want to make coffee production better for the environment and the workers. Betty has had many upgrades over the years, one of which was fitting an afterburner to remove VOCs from our emissions meaning cleaner air for our community. Another was to custom build a sound-deadening box for the loading fan to reduce noise levels for the roastery team.
Thirdly, we want to play an active role in improving our community, hence the reason for starting Grounds Up – a collective of grass-roots charity partners and projects within the Extract Coffee Roasters Community. By using coffee as a vehicle for change, we have helped ex-rough sleepers in London, young people from deprived communities across the South West and vulnerable groups in the Cotswolds, among others.
We are constantly working hard to make coffee better for our world.
Many processes are involved in the production of coffee, and each one is vitally important for quality and ultimately flavour of the final cup. Coffee cherries are hand picked on farms to ensure only the perfectly ripe cherries are processed at the right time. There are a few methods of processing these cherries, each of which create different flavour profiles. For example a washed coffee will produce a lovely clean tasting coffee with bright acidity, but a natural coffee will be a bit more bold and fruity. The role of the roastery team is to then figure out how to bring out the best of these coffees by roasting them. They will roast and taste many batches before they are happy, to make sure you only get the best. Coffee roasting takes years of experience to master, a little too much heat or too much time in the drum can completely change the flavour of the bean. By using technology and experience we are able to ensure consistency and quality with every roast.
In my humble opinion, there is no one perfect cup of coffee. And whilst it does take skill, practice and patience, the best coffee you can make as a barista is the one you or your customers love the most. For budding home baristas, there are a few things to keep in mind that will help you get the most out of each cup of coffee which we refer to as the 6 Golden Rules.
One of the beautiful things about coffee is the variety in flavours you can get, by using coffees from different countries, different brewing methods, or adjusting variables. As a barista you have to be constantly learning about how to extract the best flavour from a particular coffee, as well as addressing the needs of the customer, no easy feat.
However, by using speciality coffee that has been treated with care, love and respect from the farm to the roaster to the trained barista, you have a very good chance at making someone a fantastic cup – they may even call it perfect!