The Producers: World Coffees
PUBLISHED: 00:16 07 February 2011 | UPDATED: 20:36 20 February 2013
Deep in the heart of Sussex lies a business with its raw materials thousands of miles away. World Coffees has been producing award-winning coffee for more than 15 years. Kate Eastman went to find out more
Nestled within the picturesque village of Lindfield is the award-winning coffee producer, World Coffees. The owner and director Jackie McGahan has been running the business since 1994 with Miranda Moolenaar whos involved in all aspects of the business, particularly roasting the coffee and PR. Jackies husband Patrick is also a director and keeps his eye on the finances and advises on the marketing and sales side of the company.
The business was founded by Jackies brother-in-law, Jeremy McGahan, who was living in New York in the early 90s just as the coffee shop revolution was happening. In spite of all the coffee shops springing up all over the city, he still couldnt get a decent cup of coffee anywhere. He eventually tracked down a coffee roaster in Virginia and had freshly roasted coffee mailed to him. He thought it would be a good business to start up in the UK, and that was the beginning of World Coffees. Exactly the same thing has happened over here, explains Jackie coffee shops have become part of our high street culture over the past ten years, but it is only recently that more people are becoming interested in the actual coffee, and looking for a better cup.
Both Jackie and Miranda are passionate about coffee, their aim is to provide customers with the freshest and most delicious coffee possible, which is why each individual order is roasted and ground only hours before being sent out.
Jackie exlains that her brother-in-law began World Coffees as a mail order business. It then progressed to supplying wholesale customers and after a short spell in a premises in Forest Row he moved the operation to our current location at The Old Forge. It was around that time that I got involved and eventually I bought the business from him. So really all my knowledge and experience has grown alongside the business.
World Coffees usually stock beans from around 15 countries and they have four house blends. At the moment they have coffee from Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, India, Java, Sumatra, Ethiopia, Jamaica, Kenya, and Papua New Guinea.
We will always carry certain coffees such as Colombia and Sumatra, but we also like to introduce different and unusual coffees on a regular basis, explains Jackie. If they prove popular we will try and stock them permanently, but it is not always possible to get some coffees, especially if they are part of a small production or they have not yet been shipped.
Jackie only roasts arabica beans. Two types of coffee are grown for commercial purposes, arabica and robusta. Robusta is inferior in taste and contains more caffeine, but is easier to grow and is cheaper. Many instant coffees and blends contain robusta. Coffee is a huge subject, you never stop learning and it is always interesting, thats really what inspires me, says Jackie.
Coffee is such an integral part of our lives now, yet very few people know anything about its origins or appreciate how much is involved in making a good cup of coffee. For example, one coffee tree will yield between 500g and 700g of beans, and it takes 7g of coffee to make a one shot cappuccino.
Last year World Coffees most popular product in the wholesale sector was their espresso blend. This blend has been developed as a base for espresso-based drinks, such as cappuccino and lattes. Personally I do not have a favourite product, she says. When we get a new coffee in, I tend to drink that for a while, but there are certain coffees which are always reliable and suited to all occasions, such as Colombia.
In the future I would like to continue supplying coffee to discerning coffee drinkers, and convert more people to the benefits of drinking really good coffee.
It really is an affordable luxury which all coffee drinkers should indulge in. As part of this move, we are now running coffee workshops, both for catering professionals as well as for coffee enthusiasts.
For more information or to purchase some coffee direct log on to www.worldcoffees.co.uk call 01444 482140 or visit their premises:
The Old Forge, Denmans Lane, Lindfield, RH16 2LB.