Meet The Roasters – the backstory of a @planetbeancafe coffee bean

On 20th September we will be looking at how to properly roast great coffee beans so that their magic can be tasted and enjoyed. But that taste starts with the grower and harvester. 

This 5 minute video (from Fairtrade company Planet Bean in Ontario, Canada) tells the story of their growers, pickers and dryers.

Thanks to them for sharing. For more on Meet The Roasters click here

Keith

Meet The Roasters. Brock, @badgeranddodo

Brock kicked off in 2008 and I have been a consumer of his beans for a couple of years (or longer). I do stray from time to time but keep coming back to his fair-trade and organic bean: Sumatra Aceh – Gegarang village.

He started at the front end of the trade (as a Barista and now a judge for the Irish competitions) and moved to roasting. Like our other two roasters at Meet The Roasters he’s proud of the end product and equally proud of the roasting that is part of the process that leads to an outstanding cup of coffee.

Here he is on his roasting machine…. “DOCTOR O”

Our customised cast iron, 30Kg roaster. Roasting entirely via a soft fluid bed of hot air, gives a smoother richer flavour. We coupled this a state of the art modulating profile system which allows us to develop ideal ‘roasting recipes’ (ie profiles) for every bean type. This profile system ensures precise repeat-ability – right down to the degree and second. In an industry where ‘consistency is king’ this is a vital piece of technology.

More information on the Saturday 20th Sept event and bookings here.

K

 

Meet The Roasters – Ferg, @roastedbrown

Back in 1996 I learned HTML in a premises on Curved Street in Temple Bar. I can’t remember if coffee was a thing for me then – I suspect it wasn’t and couldn’t have been given the lack of roasters and good coffee shops in Ireland.

It is now. And Curved Street is home to Roasted Brown, a small scale coffee roaster and coffee shop too. I’ve never met Ferg who is the owner/roaster so I’m looking forward to that on the 20th at Meet The Roasters.

Right now (and as far as I can tell from their Facebook and Twitter feeds, no website?) they roast for Love Supreme, Grove Road, The Happy Pear and Bias all in Dublin.

And a video of Ferg via The Happy Pear :-)

More on the event on the 20th here (which also features Brock, Badger & Dodo and Jennifer, Ponaire)

Keith

Theatre of Food – a lot of fun during Electric Picnic. Thanks to @McKennasGuides

This is a little different from my usual run of posts here. I was given the opportunity to help Sally McKenna out with the Theatre of Food element of MindField this year and jumped at the chance. Given that I enjoy running events (food most recently and non-food previously) it was an opportunity to see a 3 day packed schedule in action.

I enjoyed it so much and it was a privilege. Sally (and John, who plays a background role in this one) have, over the years, put together a team of people who are professional supportive and focused in their delivery of this event. Fun too :-).

For me, because I focus so much on food products and producers, this was a chance to see so many chefs in action and that was a real learning. 

I’m not going to name anyone here with one exception because I’m lousy at names and I’d leave far too many out. Exception is a thanks to Sam McKenna for working alongside of me on a/v for the weekend – he was great to work with :-)

This is a short video extract of bits of TOF.

Keith

Meet The Roasters – Jennifer Ryan, @ponaire

Jennifer is one of only a few female coffee roasters in Ireland (could be the only one, we must ask her :-). She is one of 3 roasters with us on Saturday 20th September

She is also one of the few roasters in Ireland with a formal certification for fair-trade beans and those beans, together with many of her non fair trade ones, have netted Ponaire 14 Great Taste awards over the years. They are available to buy from Dunerana, Donegal to as far SouthEast as Wexford town and as far SouthWest as the Dingle Penninsula. 

 

And finally a clip of Jennifer in action in 2012

For more information on the event and on Brock (Badger & Dodo) and Ferg (Roasted Brown) click here.

Keith

@riotrye and the Common Loaf

Back in January we hosted Meet The Bakers and one of the 3 was Joe Fitzmaurice

He had an itch and you could sense it. Or hear it if you listened to him carefully :-)

He has scratched it and brought it forth. 

Screenshot 2014-09-01 20.53.26 IMG_8432

Its all about helping everyone to be able to bake #realbread at home. He shared his vision (video underneath), he showed us his locally grown rye (above) and he gave us a live demo of his bread recipe. 

Find out more at www.riotrye.ie

Keith

#foodsummerschool2014 : The Artisan and the Consumer – Getting The Message Across

Presentations from:

  • Professor Raymond O’Rourke, University of Ulster
  • Andrew Bradley, Bradley Brand & Design

Floor Q&A Discussion

John kicked off with the hijacking of english language by large food co’s who happily use terms like artisan.

Raymond O’Rourke started.

Food Labels – major ways of getting message across? Ways of improving for the artisan sector:

Mandatory – name, ingredients, QUID, allergens, best before date

So where is there flexibility? 

Country of Origin – we should move to bring in country of origin for lamb, pork, goat and chicken before they are made mandatory by the EU – France has already done something like this. There is a bill in place introduced by Fergal Quinn to do this. This move would help the issue of substantial transformation – where ingredients grown and produced overseas are imported, processed and labelled as Irish. 

Next Raymond moved to the terms ‘artisan’ ‘farmhouse’ ‘natural’ – Starbucks Artisan, Dominos Artisan…. FSAI have drafted a code on the use of 

  • Artisan/Artisanal
  • Farmhouse
  • Traditional
  • Natural

Provenance – PDO’s/PGI’s

We have too few of these – they require active cooperation between potentially rival businesses. The upside is strong legal protection and a good marketing boost to traditional foods from an area/region.

Local Food

His take on this – 75% of food products sold by Carrefour come from local suppliers (that maybe specific to some stores or countries) so there is major room for increasing this share in Ireland.

Andrew Bradley

He reckoned that the hijacking of the terms (mostly artisan) is an opportunity, not a threat. An opportunity to differentiate. You can’t take on the Starbucks on their use of the term(s) but you can own the ‘art’ in artisan – that can’t be copied.

So take that idea and understand the benefit of that – what does that ‘art’ do for the consumer? Get specific in terms of the target market – give your marketing a focus and narrow your brand appeal. 

When you have that target market in place then understand your benefit in the context of their lifestyle? What is your relevance.

A brand is not a name, a logo, a reputation. Andrew suggests that its a promise and that is what you package up. A brand helps margin and the value of a business.

He gave example that Keelings brand was premium priced in Tesco and sold accordingly. Tesco’s removed it and strawberry sales dropped 30% that year. They brought Keelings back.

He now compared Janet’s Country Fayre – gift packaged. Next to that is Wild – more attitude and a different relevance. 

Now Kerry Green Irish Whiskey Marmalade – an undifferentiated brand and label.

Next up he shared photos from Bloom. Looked at Goodness Grains with a little bit of fun together with gluten free. He wasn’t keen on O’Donnells Crisps – not so sure what they stood for. A little impotent.

The Little Milk Company – he did not know what it was about (he was right, not a great stand). 

Keogh’s BBQ Pack – I can BBQ potatoes, clear messaging and could promote an impulse purchase. Against Sam’s Potatoes Heritage Range – whats the benefit, whats it about?

Farmers to Market – Irish Free Range Chicken – no clear benefits for the consumer, not clear why there is a price premium attached to the range/product.

Glenilen – the successful creation of a sub brand for kids. 

He finished with an example of a rebrand of a small butchers (4 stores in Dublin). They moved to The Scarlet Heifer as a business and brand name so that they could begin to stand out and be notable. 

Moved to Q&A

Darryl from Newgrange Gold asked what they can do as a small brand. Andrew said they need to understand how they are different and stand over that. John teased out the benefit of speed for small business and the channels available to get messages out. Andrew asked about their use of social media and Darryl admitted that it is underused (Keith – it is 788 tweets which is basically no use of Twitter at all). He also tried to get Darryl to explain the benefits without using jargon which he was struggling with!

John brought in Kevin Sheridan here – asked him about their marketing. Kevin said that fundamentally they should go back to a market stall and they talk to people. But that can’t be done as you scale – however you can hang onto the building of relationships between consumers and the people within a small food business. Interesting discussion here on story telling and how that can be undermined by its adoption by larger businesses.

Piece by Dermot from MD Bakery in Waterford, part of a PGI group. He reckoned that anything helps you differentiate is extremely valuable – so a 2.5 year process is well worth the time to invest in it. (nicely put). John asked about the difference in the reaction to the blah – and Dermot said that from the time the application went in there was a steady increase in interest and sales because of it. 

John tried and failed to get suggestions from the crowd on other PGI possibilities. But a discussion ensued and a body of work identified as required – do a listing/survey of possibilities and identify people/businesses/groupings who could lead new applications. 

Marian Byrne from the Dept shared a couple of instances where applications on an all Island basis failed in Europe – she and the Department have a dedicated team available to support applications and there are about 10 applications or potential applications in the works right now. 

John summarised. Strength lies in PDO’s/PDI’s combined with the strength of the individual brands.

/keith