Ask the Roaster - Chris from Neighbourhood Coffee
How was the Roastery founded, what was the inspiration?
Ed & Chris both worked for a green coffee trader (Schluter, now Olam Specialty Europe), based in Liverpool, travelling the UK helping small roasters get going. We talked about setting up a roaster in Liverpool for a good few years, and then circumstances conspired tin 2014 which meant we had the chance to do it. The name Neighbourhood came from making links between growers and consumers – with our experience in the coffee producing and trading world, we’ve always tried to be as transparent as possible, and to join the two up. Kind of a global neighbourhood of coffee lovers.
What's your favourite part about working at the Roastery?
The people – the Neighbourhood team who strive every day to be the best they can be. Our wholesale customers, when they realise that serving amazing coffee in their venue is well within their reach. Our online and retail customers, whether they’re just starting to buy coffee, or are now our friends because they drop by every few weeks to pick up another few bags.
What's your proudest accomplishment?
We entered the Great Taste awards this year for the first time – each of the coffees we entered won 2 stars, marking them out as “outstanding” in the eyes of the judges (a group of our industry peers and food journalists). That was amazing, but we get as much pleasure from people taking the time to email in/comment on a post, or to let us know that they’ve really enjoyed our coffee, or our service, or both.
What three words best describe your Roastery?
Fun - Authentic - Growing!
What’s your favourite place to enjoy a coffee, and what coffee would that be?
The Aregash Lodge in Yirga Alem in Sidamo, Southern Ethiopia. You sit amongst the coffee trees at sunset, watching the traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony occurring in front of you, the hyenas being fed, and Colobus monkeys running through the trees above your heads. It’s beautiful.
Finally, what Dog & Hat combination would you choose?
A German Shepherd in a Fez!