Slow Food Blog by Shane Holland - Smell the Coffee

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 23rd January 2017

For his latest blog, Slow Food in the UK's executive chairman, Shane Holland wants to encourage chefs to reconsider their coffee offering looking at more sustainable options that are fairer on price.

Shane Holland, Slow Food in the UK

Shane Holland,

Slow Food in the UK

It’s a foundation of hospitality that first and last impressions count more than any other, but how many restaurants regularly review their coffee and tea offer?

As chefs we are rightly fanatical about where our ingredients come from, we demand to know the producer of our ingredients and we will regularly change our dishes to reflect the changes in flavour over the season.

On that basis why are so many of us guilty of choosing coffee as much on price as on flavour? We wouldn’t dream of only offering a single cheese on a cheeseboard, yet rarely do we offer more than one blend or roast of coffee; which is all the stranger as unusual is a restaurant who will not muster five or six types of tea.

Coffee which can be fruity, have notes of caramel or banana as equally as it can be dark and bitter, all lend themselves to different after dinner (or indeed breakfast or daytime) taste experiences. By increasing our options to two or three blends, we can excite our guests by recommending a different option to accompany a post dinner whisky to someone who wants their drink alongside their chocolate pudding.

Not only does this care for the guest lead to a better dining experience, it can be incorporated to a wider concern for the environment and the growers. Coffee is one of the most volatile traded goods on the futures exchange, and small suppliers like Caffee Altro actively work with NGOs like Slow Food, to ensure that they provide coffee which is genuinely sustainable, that a true fair price is paid to the producer, and are fanatical about flavour profiles. Indeed, a good producer will supply tasting notes you could almost mistake from your wine supplier.

Take a look again at coffee this month, the small producers of Africa and Central and South America will thank you for it.

Shane Holland is Executive Chairman of Slow Food in the UK, the UK arm of the World’s largest food NGO. He frequently appears in the media and on expert panels speaking about a variety of issues. You can find out more about Slow Food at www.slowfood.org.uk

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 23rd January 2017

Slow Food Blog by Shane Holland - Smell the Coffee