When I started the company six years ago, it was with the intention to bring a small scale coffee roasting operation to Hull. To provide people with a selection of small batch roasted coffee, mainly through this website and a few market stalls that I did – Beverley Market, Humber Bridge Market etc. Roasting coffee was a hobby, an interest, but no thought was applied to wholesale coffee roasting. Why? Hull’s coffee scene was in its infancy.
Admittedly, it has only been since early 2011 that I have concentrated solely on roasting speciality coffee for Hull and the East Riding, but I have seen an upward trend in more quality focussed establishments. The city has an awfully long way to go yet. But we can now see a number of coffee shops considering their approach to coffee, beyond which milk based drinks to have on a menu. There are shops willing to invest in RO (Reverse Osmosis) water systems, temperature controlled espresso machines and grinders that grind on-demand. There is at least one shop distributing tasting notes with their beverages and an increasing number serving single origin filter/Aeropress brews. This makes me very happy.
Where to next? I see this trend continuing as we move towards 2017 and City of Culture status – an increasing number of coffee shops considering where and how they source their roasted coffee. Some may even take part in bespoke blend development or form a buying cooperative for certain micro-lots. I’d like to see greater understanding of coffee – the bean varietals, processing methods, altitudes etc and how these along with brewing techniques, will effect flavour in the cup. This will come in time.
The Hull coffee scene is by no means mature, but it has begun its journey towards what is expected in other major UK cities.