This week we sat down with our Head Barista, Cal for a chat about all things coffee and The Meadow!
Hi Cal! So first of all, how did you get into coffee?
After graduating I got a job in a café in Frome, where I learnt the very basics of coffee making, then I moved back to Cardiff working in a few different coffee shops, and this was where I was introduced to the world of speciality coffee. I bought myself a hand grinder and an aeropress to use at home and have had a slight obsession ever since…
Have you noticed any change in coffee trends in your time as a barista?
There is a huge growth in speciality coffee shops popping up all over the place which is great to see. Cities like Cardiff have recently developed great coffee communities with plenty of latte art competitions and other events happening. Customers are also more appreciative of the time and effort that goes into the coffee they drink.
There is a great increase in the sustainability and transparency of UK roasteries in their trade with farmers globally meaning the small farm holders benefit from the direct trade and stronger relationships are formed between the two.
I could go on and on about the great qualities the speciality coffee world has to offer and hope it continues to grow in the direction it’s headed.
And what's special about the coffee at The Meadow?
Everything from the welsh roaster who supplies it (Coaltown) to the equipment we use and the time taken by our staff in making sure it always tastes perfect. We dial in the coffee every morning to a specific recipe and regularly check it throughout the day, making sure it consistently tastes as it should.
Our roasters are based in Ammanford near Swansea and focus on sustainable and transparent trade with small farms from across the world. Not only is their coffee synonymous with some of the best roasters in the UK, but working closely with the team at Coaltown is always a pleasure.
If you could have any drink in your cup, what would it be?
I’ve developed an unhealthy relationship with the Long Black after drinking them like water when living in Melbourne a few months back.
Do you have a tip for people to make good coffee at home? (When The Meadow isn't open of course...)
Pre ground coffee loses its flavour very quickly so the most important thing is to invest in a decent burr hand grinder to grind the coffee fresh every time they brew. I would also highly recommend the Aeropress as a beginners brew method as it is practically impossible to make a bad tasting coffee with it.
Go out and buy some whole beans from your local speciality coffee shop and have a play around with it!
You can of course get your own taste of The Meadow at home with our whole coffee beans - pop in to grab a bag!