It was the love of coffee that lured the crowd to a St Werburghs industrial estate at first light to celebrate a good brew and support bean-growing communities overseas.
People from all walks of life, united by a passion for caffeine, congregated in Extract Coffee Roaster’s HQ for breakfast, banter, brewing tips and to raise funds for Project Waterfall – a charity provides clean water for coffee growing communities abroad.
“The support has been amazing, it feels like Bristol really looks after us,” said one of the company’s founders Dave Faulkner, commenting on the sizeable turnout for an event taking place at 7am on a Wednesday.
“We have such a good network in Bristol so if we give people the chance to come down, they do.”
And indeed, the enthusiasm in the air – possibly aided by high caffeine levels – was obvious, as guests tucked into a vast pile of pastries and sipped their coffees in the casual, rustic and incredibly cool interior of the roastery.
“What better way to celebrate coffee than hanging out with friends and sampling good coffees?” Asked lawyer Jonathan Beck, who loves the Bristol coffee scene and jumped at the chance to peek inside Extract’s HQ.
And indeed, what better way is there to mark UK Coffee Week than with a pile of pastries, coffee on tap – literally – and like-minded folks in a room dedicated to the creation of delicious coffee?
Extract’s Gemma Screen said support for Project Waterfall goes hand in hand with celebrating UK Coffee Week and confirmed the final total raised was £351.
Gemma explained that growing coffee uses a lot of water, often in regions where it is in short supply, so the charity’s work ensures entire communities involved in the trade have access to clean drinking water.
She noted there is very little snobbery among the ever-growing Extract fan base, but – as was clear from the morning’s crowd – the brand attracts a set of people who love their daily brew and eager to learn more about the art that coffee has become.
Ashlee Eastwood-Quinn has the enviable title of head of coffee and she knows her stuff, going through a careful process of weighing and levelling each cup of espresso, while explaining a process called dialling, done in each morning to check the grinds are up to scratch.
While some breakfast-goers took the opportunity to embark on a rare tour of the expansive roastery, others were gathered into a special room – affectionately known as the bomb shelter – to learn more about the art of brewing coffee at home.
After two hours in a happy caffeine-induced buzz, suitably-sated guests pile outside, safe in the knowledge they have helped support communities in need of clean water and are a little bit wiser about the secrets behind their favourite coffee brand. Not a bad start to the day all in all.
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