Surrey Hills Coffee

Food & Flavour’s new  food blogger, Laura Scott talks to Surrey Hills Coffee on how to make the perfect cup of coffee

Surrey Hills Coffee is an artisan coffee company set up by Christer Malmcrona and Monica Simion, both originally from Sweden and based in the UK since 2010. They have been working in the coffee business for eleven years and have recently opened Surrey Hills Coffee on Chapel Street Guilford which they supply coffee roasted in their very own artisan roastery based in Forest Green, in the foothills of Surrey within minutes of the beautiful countryside surrounding Leith Hill. I have been using their coffee for some time at my supper clubs and recently paid them a visit in their newly opened coffee shop to ask them a few questions about how they got started. I also enjoyed a great flat white and bought myself some coffee to take home too in between the steady stream of local customers and fellow coffee addicts…

How long have you had the roastery and coffee shop?
We have been in the the UK since 2010 where we set up our first coffee retail outlet on the King’s road, London, (now closed) selling our coffee as well as coffee machines. Since 2015 we have owned our roastery business based in Forest Green, Surrey. Our coffee shop Surrey Hills Coffee has only been open for a few weeks so it’s at the very early stages of development. In our roastery we have our own coffee roasting machines which produce coffee not only for our own coffee shop but also for our expanding list of local suppliers such as Four Gables Food, Ruby & Kind, The Abinger Cookery School and Fuel Fit fitness studio.

What are your plans for the new coffee shop?
Our aim is to supply the local community with really great coffee. We would like it to be a place where customers can come and talk to us about what they are looking for in their coffee and we will advise them and guide them into making the right coffee choice. We offer a selection of ready packaged bags of coffee beans which we can also grind for the customers and we sell a range of coffee making kit too. Our delicious cakes are provided by a local cake company and we are looking to develop our selection of foods over the coming months so watch this space!

Where do you source your beans from?
We get our supplies from English coffee traders and we buy green beans mainly from DR Wakefield, based in London. We go and collect the beans at Tillbury Docks in a huge warehouse. We explain what we are looking for to our coffee supplier and they will send us bean samples. Then we do sample roastings, deciding which green beans we would like to purchase. Finding the perfect bean is key issue to us as a small business and we strive to get this right for our customers We will only select speciality coffee or premium grade coffee. Although we have not visited any coffee producing countries yet, it is certainly something we are going to be doing in the future.

What are your top tips for making the perfect coffee at home?
When making coffee at home, I would recommend using freshly roasted coffee beans. Some people demand coffee that is roasted just a couple of days ago, but I think coffee needs some time  to rest. But I would advise leaving your freshly roasted coffee for at least a week for the flavours to settle but I would consume it within 6 months of purchase. Coffee’s enemy is oxygen so keep the coffee in a well sealed bag once opened and drink it within two weeks. Another very important thing to remember if you use your own espresso machine at home is to keep it clean at all times as this will affect the end result of the coffee you are drinking. I have tried out all the coffee gadgets and machines on the market but nowadays I tend to use the Chemex or Clever dripper. I would recommend a keen coffee drinker to get some kind of pour over gadget like Chemex, Clever Dripper or a porcelain filter. Also, a good grinder is an investment that is worth every penny. Freshly ground coffee makes a huge difference!

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