What is your role at Coffee Scotland?
My role is that of coffee specialist, to bring direction to all things coffee and ensure quality throughout our network of coffee roasters. I am also involved with the strategic direction of the business, working closely as a team with everyone involved with Coffee Scotland.
Why did you start Coffee Scotland?
The idea to start Coffee Scotland initially came from Ross McLean, who then approached David Porteous and they then pitched the idea to me. I thought it was a great idea. It’s a way we can help people discover the incredible ever-changing range of fantastic coffees' people are roasting right here in Scotland.
I regularly meet people who are newly discovering these freshly roasted coffee from our roasters and they are blown away by the difference from their “standard” coffee. To see their enjoyment and appreciation for the products we provide is hugely rewarding.
How do you make your coffee?
I brew my coffee many different ways however my preference is through an espresso machine however, most days I am also using either a cafetiere or pour over such as a V60 filter. When I am comparing coffees and carrying out a sensory analysis, I will be sampling the coffees by a method called cupping.
- Cupping is where course ground coffee is steeped in water. After 4 minutes the coffee grounds are removed, then at roughly 10 minutes (once the coffee has cooled) the coffee is slurped using a spoon and the flavours and aromas of the coffee are recorded. This is something anyone can do at home.
What kind of coffee do you like?
In the morning, my preference is for an espresso-based drink with some steamed milk. Later in the day, I generally drink black coffee. I mostly enjoy medium dark coffees however I also like light roasted coffees. Every day is different and it depends on where I am and what I am doing.
What is your favourite memory with coffee?
Several years ago, I sampled (cupped) coffee’s which I had helped to roast in an incredible roastery which is also a museum on Vashon Island. The roastery has been going since the 80’s and to sit there with the roasters discussing the coffee’s and soaking up the experience was brilliant.
Tell us something interesting about you
I can play the spoons! This normally happens as a tradition on Christmas Day each year.
*ok, I’m told I need to clarify this; when I refer to playing the spoons I am referring to the art of using cutlery (spoons) as a percussion instrument.