by Milly Barr (owner of Colombia Coffee Roasters)
I grew up around my parent’s farm in Colombia, where coffee was not just a thriving business but a social hub of the community.
I arrived in Britain to study for a masters degree in commercial law and fell in love with an Oxonian, so stayed.
I now run Colombia Coffee Roasters in the Covered Market and Summertown (Oxford), which might have entranced you with its sweet aroma of freshly roasted coffee. As well as our cafe’s Colombia Coffee Roasters now supply to a few delicatessens and colleges in Oxford and we sell online.
Coffee has been part of my life since I can remember. Every morning I woke to the gentle waft of sweetly, freshly ground beans.
“My parents’ house was known as the ‘Embassy”
– a place where people would drop in to swap gossip.
“My parents’ house was known as the ‘Embassy” – a place where people would drop in to swap gossip. The coffee was a social lubricant – and it helped, of course, that the coffee tasted wonderful!”
While we in Colombia clearly loved coffee, I had a feeling the fresh, aromatic flavor of coffee was lacking from most British cups. That’s why I started 7 years ago importing beans from Colombia, to roast, grind and brew here in the UK.
The Colombian climate is perfect for growing coffee beans at an elevation of between 1,500 and 2,000 feet above sea level. “The soil and the rainfall complement each other to produce the most flavorsome beans.
The beans we import come from not just my family’s farm but those of many other small coffee plantations. As soon as the beans arrive at our coffee lab, they are roasted and delivered fresh and bursting with taste to our customers.
“I ‘m keen to set up a ‘fair trade’ style group – From Tree to Cup”
We need to encourage customers to support the grassroots farmers on whom such fabulous beans grown by generations of planters who know just how to produce the most delicious coffees. I ‘m keen to set up a ‘fair trade’ style group – From Tree to Cup – in support of Colombian small coffee farmers who are facing really tough trading conditions.
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