As we enter the last few hours of 2013 it seems an appropriate time to look back over the past 12 months and to consider how far we’ve travelled as a business. It’s also a nice time to think a little about what the future might hold.
We began 2013 with a determination to improve our brand and spent the first six months of the year on a roller coaster ride of emotion before finally deciding on what is becoming a well recognised logo in Cumbria. We’re really pleased by how it looks and have some exciting plans to utilise it more in the coming months.
Early in 2013 we were invited by La Marzocco to take part in the Artisan Cafe at the London Coffee Festival. It was an amazing experience and a great way of introducing our product to the capital. During the Festival Angharad took part in the UK Brewers Cup, an experience she thoroughly enjoyed, despite being the lone female in the competition. Gareth’s venture into competitions took the form of the UK Barista Championships. Again it was a great experience, and possibly one to build in in 2014?
Our coffee roasting took huge leaps forward in 2013 and we customised our roaster a little bit more. Better gas flow, more accurate dials to improve heat control and the introduction of better logging software have all helped us improve the quality of the coffee we produce.
And on that note it’s worth mentioning the coffees we’ve used this year. Nyawira AA from Kenya was Angharad’s firm favourite, with its bright passion fruit flavours. For Gareth it has to be Koakaka from Rwanda, with huge blackcurrant notes, especially as it cooled. Colonia Taypiplaya from Bolivia, was Angharad’s Brewers Cup coffee, and BUF Cafe Remera from Rwanda also hit the high notes with its fruity, jam-like flavours. Incidentally we’re expecting the new season BUF Cafe to arrive in early January.
Taste Cumbria Food Festival was a huge highlight this year. We were rushed off our feet for the entire weekend, with a buzzing stall on the street, Masterclasses and supporting Simon Rogan’s pop-up restaurant. We gave away over 1,500 coffees and raised over £1,200 for Eden Valley Hospice.
This was quickly followed by the CN Business Awards. We were absolutely thrilled to win the New Business Award and still have very little recollection of walking down to receive the Award. The whole evening was a great experience, and we were overwhelmed by the kind words from some many people in the days that followed.
There was still time for one final highlight before the year ended – we were featured in Cumbria Life, as part of an article on coffee in Cumbria. Aside from the obvious benefits to ourselves, we hope the article helps raise the profile of coffee across the County.
And finally we have to mention our customers, both wholesale and retail. We meet so many people in our roles, we have the opportunity to work with passionate members of staff and we are often engaged in conversation by members of the public who have a genuine interest in coffee. These are the people who make running our business so worthwhile.
And so we look to 2014. We really want to build on the education side of our work. We’ve been offering workshops for a few months now but want to build on this in 2014. Our workshops give people the opportunity to spend time at our Roastery learning how to improve their home coffee brewing skills. 2014 will see the introduction of our home barista workshop. We’ll also be utilising our website as a platform to learn more about coffee and will be adding content to enhance the use and enjoyment of our product.
We’ll also be keeping our eyes out for more delicious coffees from around the world. We’re currently looking at coffees from Bolivia and are eagerly awaiting the arrival of samples from Colombia. There are some origins we’d like to explore – Burundi and Tanzania might find their way onto our list in the coming months. In 2013 we used a natural processed coffee from Brazil and would like to make more use of coffees processed in this way.
To all those who have enjoyed a cup of Carvetii Coffee in 2013 we thank you for your continued support. Last year was amazing and we’re determined to make 2014 equally as good. We’d like to wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year.
Gareth and Angharad
Carvetii Coffee Roasters