I was told once that coffee is the second most traded commodity on the planet after crude oil. On occasions it seems to me that I have been given a cup of the latter rather than the former! There is not much worse than a bad cup of coffee and I take the sourcing of our coffee for Gliffaes Hotel seriously.
We use two blends of coffee at Gliffaes; one for breakfast and daytime use and then a second blend, darker roasted for evening coffee for after dinner. Our coffee is blended and roasted by a small roaster in Dorset, Read’s Coffee of Sherborne.
I recently went down to Sherborne, to watch how Giles Dick-Read blends and then roasts his coffee. All roasters, much like whisky blenders, have a secret recipe of the type and quantity of beans needed for each particular coffee (our evening blend uses three types of beans for instance) they blend. The real skill then comes in using the coffee roaster correctly. Times and temperatures are all very carefully measured and logged. Giles roasts his coffee in small batches of around 10-12 kilograms at a time to ensure the quality of each roast is perfect.
Giles is a true perfectionist and chooses his coffee beans from individual estates from across the world’s coffee producing countries; Sumatra, Brazil, Jamaica, Ethiopia, Kenya, India and Cuba. He even goes to Tilbury docks to collect his beans to ensure that everything is in order.
We try to do his coffee justice by serving it as fresh as we can by grinding the beans straight into the cafetière as each order is placed. In the near future I hope to be able to offer smaller 250 gram bags of coffee for guests to take home with them should they wish.
Giles Dick-Read – master of the coffee roaster.