A new, ethical coffee roasting company that’s been trading for just a year is now supplying the coffee for Rydal Hall’s tea-room.
Red Bank Coffee Roasters from Coniston are passionate about coffee – what it tastes like, and where it comes from. They use a UK-based importer who makes sure that suppliers are treating their staff fairly and paying a decent wage.
But they also bring in the finest coffees from Africa, South America and Asia and roast the beans in their Lake Road base.
Red Bank Coffee Roasters was set up by Tom Prestwich, a former lawyer who was working for the film company, Studiocanal. Based in Soho in London where coffee fanatics can be found, he developed a taste and a fascination for the product.
“I’ve had a love affair with the Lake District since the age of 12,” says Tom, whose Uruguayan wife Fernanda is learning to make fine furniture at Waters & Acland in Staveley.
“We decided we didn’t want to stay in London, so took the chance and moved to the Lakes last year. We saw a gap in the market for a speciality provider of coffee.”
Business has grown quickly and Tom now supplies key outlets including Lucia’s Takeaway and Tweedies Bar in Grasmere, the Rattle Gill café and Stock Ghyll Fine Foods in Ambleside, More The Artisan Bakery in Staveley, The Coach House in Ulverston, Holbeck Ghyll Hotel, Brantwood, Low Sizergh Barn as well as the Old School Room café at Rydal Hall.
Red Bank roast in small-batches to ensure that the coffee is always fresh and their line-up changes regularly to make sure they are always offering what is seasonal and tasting great at the time. Their current offering includes coffees from Colombia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nicaragua, Rwanda and Congo and they supplies both blended and single-origin products.
“We’re on a mission to show you just how good coffee can be,” says Tom. “Single-origin coffees are similar to single-malt whiskies. They allow us to showcase the variety of flavours and aromas of the humble coffee bean – from the light and fruity flavours characteristic of coffees from East Africa to the full-bodied richness of those from South America.”
Tom will also be training staff in cafes to make the perfect cup of coffee. “Coffee is such a volatile drink,” he says. “It must be made correctly to get the best flavour.”
The Rev Jonathon Green, manager of Rydal Hall, said: “We always want to support local businesses and use local food providers, and we were really pleased to meet Red Bank Coffee Roasters and to learn that they care about where the coffee comes from as well as how good it tastes.”
See more – and order coffee – at redbankroasters.com
Photo courtesy of Hannah India Edwards @ hannahindia.com