Over recent years our coffee division has gone from strength to strength, and we mean business. Coffee production has increased by 370% in a five-year period. We’ve invested in top-notch technology, enjoyed success as six of our coffee beans took away Great Taste Awards and now, we’re excited to introduce you to the newest member of our team, Sadie Walton. Sadie has joined Ringtons as a Green Coffee Buyer and Quality Control Manager and this week we talked to her about all thing’s coffee…
Q: What got you into coffee?
I have always enjoyed drinking coffee and going to coffee shops with my friends. When I finished university, I really wanted to open my own café to create the perfect coffee shop for people like me! I realised my dream when I was 24 – and once I caught the bug, I never looked back.
Q: What’s a Q Grader?
Put simply, a Q Grader is the name of a person who is a formal coffee taster. In order to be certified as a Q Grader, you have to pass 20 sensorial exams over a six-day period. Once you are certified, it shows that you are part of a global organisation of people who are able to formally grade arabica coffee. There are only around 80 Q Graders in the UK and around 3,000 in the world (two of them work at Ringtons!)
Q: What do you love most about your job?
Coffee is a constant education. Its journey is so complex and touches the lives of so many people, from the tired mum drinking her instant coffee at 5am to the small holder farmers handpicking their coffee cherries in the rolling hills of Rwanda. It connects people from all across the globe and is always full of surprises.
Q: What’s the question people ask you most about your job?
“Are you constantly hyperactive from all the caffeine?” No – as a taster, although we can taste hundreds of coffees a day, our slurp is followed by a spit to ensure we don’t swallow every mouthful!
Q: Favourite blend?
I’m a single origin girl, myself and I love Ringtons Colombian. Fruity, chocolatey and caramelly – perfect!
Q: What’s the biggest thing in coffee right now?
Sustainability – the global industry working together to engage end users (or coffee drinkers, to you and me) in the importance of a sustainable coffee industry. In order to keep our java flowing, we must ensure we meet the needs of those who grow it for us.
Q: What’s the next big trend?
There’s lots of exciting new ways to drink your coffee – cold brew, nitro, supercharged. But one which has been brewing (pardon the pun) for a while is Cascara – a tea-like infusion made from the dried cherry husk which is taken off the coffee bean at time of harvesting. I think it’s time could be coming.
Q: If you’re not drinking coffee what are you drinking?
If its daytime, I love a good, strong cup of tea (Ringtons Breakfast is my go-to!). If it’s after the kid’s bedtime, you’ll find me with a goblet of Malbec.