We're massive fans of the fresh and tasty blends of Nottingham-based 200 Degrees Coffee Roasters, and so we couldn't resist the opportunity to interview them and learn more about what goes into our favourite hot drink!
R&E: Hey Guys! For those outside of Nottingham, tell us a bit about your team?
Tim: Hi, There are the two directors, Rob Darby and Tom Vincent, there is Mike Steele who is our roaster, Diane Reynolds sorts everything accounts and admin and of course there is myself, Tim Moss. I run the company, talk coffee, install machines, train at the Barista School and sell to anyone who wants to take their coffee supply seriously.
R&E: When and what made you decide to start a coffee roasting company?
Tim: Alongside working in the hospitality industry I had been roasting coffee in my garage for years, as a strange little hobby, when I met Rob and Tom. They owned a couple of café/bistros at the time and we realised that we had similar motivations, such as using fresh, quality products and doing things properly. We got chatting about coffee and roasting it locally and decided to start 200 Degrees Coffee Roasters. That was 2012.
R&E: Has much changed in the industry in the past 10 years?
Tim: Much has changed in the coffee industry in the last 10 years. We have moved on from relying on the big brands for our caffeine hit, there are now more and more speciality coffee roaster around the country really taking coffee seriously.
R&E: You have a wide range of coffees available, do you have any personal favourites?
Tim: The great thing about my job is that I get to try coffee from all over the world and in many different preparations. My current fave is our new blend that we haven’t got a name for yet. It is a blend of Colombian Agustino Forest and Tanzanian Tweega, we designed it for an espresso machine but I also love it in my Chemex.
R&E: Are there defining features/flavours for coffees from particular countries?
Tim: Coffee, like wine, takes a lot of influence from its environment, rainfall, soil content, sunlight. There are good harvests and bad, and everything the bean goes through from crop to cup has an effect on the taste
R&E: What has the biggest impact on coffee flavour?
Tim: If we are talking coffee served in a café or restaurant then the main impacts are having a quality product, freshness, and staff training. This was our main motivation for creating the Training School above our café in Nottingham.
R&E: Who or what inspires your work?
Tim: We believe in doing things properly and for the right reasons. We have all come from the hospitality industry and believe that if we create a quality product we are proud to serve in our café, other will agree.
R&E: Who would you most like to have a cup of coffee with and why?
Tim: I would love to have a coffee with Billy Connolly, I have always loved his work and it think that he is not only funny but a very knowledgeable and interesting chap.
R&E: So tell us, what’s the perfect food to compliment a great cup of coffee?
I think that is down to the individual, however I really enjoy a good strong coffee in the morning with poached eggs on toast!
R&E: You offer various educational courses through your company – would you say there’s a new trend for craft-coffee and home brewing?
Tim: Yes, I think people are starting to want to learn more about what they are drinking and the process that takes place to get the tastes they have tried in their local coffee shop. We wanted to offer our experience and skills to the general public, which is proving very popular. We run a Basic Barista Class, a Home Brew Coffee Class and an Advanced Latte Art Class.
R&E: Can you offer any advice to novice/home coffee roasters?
Tim: I found that it was mainly trial and error, but also a lot of YouTube. That and keeping it safe!
R&E: And lastly – which piece from R&E is your favourite and why?
Tim: I would have to say the Duxford Utility Parka. Growing up around Manchester I’ve always liked a parka, and it gets quite cold in the roastery so would come in very useful!
R&E: Thanks Tim! All this talk of your fantastic coffee has made us want to reach for a cup and am sure we'll be visiting your shop/café again soon!