A few years ago we went on the hunt for a new 'partner in coffee'. We did not want to just buy some good quality beans but wanted the opportunity to work with a group of like minded people to try to make our coffee experience at CWTCH perfect.
After hunting around London's migration of new shiny roasteries, we found loads of new and interesting coffee but something was missing. I was told I should call up a guy called Grant in Southampton who ran a coffee company called Mozzo. After a visit to their little site on the docks and sinking many, many, many coffees, we knew the search was over. Their perfect blend of unbridled passion for coffee with not even a hint of pretension was just what we were looking for and the coffee they were producing was balanced perfectly and we thought it was delicious.
A few years down the line we have a fantastic, loyal group of cwtchers (just made this up if you are wondering where that label came from) who visit the kiosk to drink the coffee we make in partnership with Mozzo. To keep our coffee just the way cwtchers (see - its catching on now) like it, every new team member gets the chance to go to the roastery and sit down with the aptly named Mozzo Masters. We learn and chat about coffee away from the fast and 'ever so slightly' mad pace of the kiosk environment and try and cover a range of coffee related things: steaming perfect milk for a flat white, debate how many grams of coffee we should use, or learning how coffee was first found by a Ethiopian man and his dancing goats (as legend would have it).
Last week Freddie, Saskia and Jordan made the trip to meet with the Mozzo Training Master - Danielle (as the job title hints she is a little like a Jedi Knight of coffee). They spent time learning some more of the theory behind brewing a great cup and got to play with all the machines and grinders they have next to their office and above the coffee roaster downstairs.
After this we all get a chance to take a short coffee exam, which, is part of the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) diploma. Danielle is one of only a handful of qualified SCAE trainers in the UK. Although there is no alternative for learning while making coffee at the kiosk, the SCAE course means we make sure everyone at CWTCH has the same structured knowledge to help them make decisions when calculating how best to make your cup of coffee.
As you might expect ... there is also lots and lots of coffee tasting. It can be quite a challenge - we have had some casualties in the past (I have to put my hand up on this one). We tried coffee from Brazil, Columbia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Rwanda and Honduras. Interestingly, also an Indian coffee from the "black sheep of coffee" Robusta bean (the Arabica beans poor cousin). This coffee might start to clear up Robusta's reputation, however, as it has been R graded as a speciality coffee three years in a row.
If you visit the kiosk this week don't be surprised if you get a little more coffee chat than usual - and don't be afraid to throw out some awkward coffee related questions yourselves too.
The weekend is not far away - so enjoy (if you enjoy a little too much come see us and we will fix it).
Pete from CWTCH