Tell us a bit about Coffee Gems, and your story.

The tale of Coffee Gems is truly unique and sets it apart from the countless coffee stories you may have come across. While I share with you that deep and genuine love for coffee, that subtle strength it adds to our daily lives, and the vibrant communities it fosters, my personal journey with this beverage took a rather unconventional path. It all started in the remote Colombian region of Huila, where coffee beans thrive abundantly.

I grew up on my grandparents' coffee estate, and to this day, my fondest memories are intertwined with that chapter of my life. A sparkle of happiness fills me whenever I recall the sight of coffee plantations in full bloom, adorning the lush green trees in a dazzling white tapestry. The air would carry the enchanting scents of jasmine, evoking a sense of wonder that swept across the hills. I can still vividly recall my grandmother's ritual of roasting coffee in a copper pot, a process that would engulf our home in a uniquely powerful and captivating fragrance, overwhelming my senses. Even now, that same aroma has the remarkable ability to transport me back to that joyous childhood, as if I am reliving another, longer phase of pure happiness.

Despite working for large corporations for several years, I felt that it wasn't my calling; I experienced a profound emptiness in my soul. It took me a long time to discover my true 'element': the world of coffee. Throughout my life, I have always been driven by the desire to bridge the gap between the cherished memories of my childhood and the realities of my everyday life.

So here I am, and over 18 years have passed since I embarked on this journey in the world of specialty coffees. Throughout, I have maintained a special approach: to honour the hardworking farmers who lie at the heart of this incredible world. Despite grappling with significant challenges, their dedication remains unwavering. They undertake an extraordinary endeavour, producing exceptional beans bursting with unimaginable and magical flavours, so we genuinely evidence respect by paying them top prices, far higher that Fair Trade pricing.

However, my proposal too extends beyond honouring these remarkable farmers. It also encompasses cherishing the people who love the experience of tasting a unique and honest cup of coffee and the creative spaces that coffee naturally create around us.

Tell us a little bit about your role at Coffee Gems.

I am the founder, director, and the very soul of Coffee Gems. Some might even call me a coffee whisperer. Within the company, I hold a pivotal role, overseeing the most critical functions that a coffee roaster can possess.

I’m central to roasting coffee, which is far from a simple process of heating beans until they turn brown. It is a complex and challenging art that demands meticulous monitoring of time and roast temperatures, all contingent upon carefully selected profiles and origins. Mastering this craft takes years of experience and expertise.

However, even the most skilled roasting techniques cannot yield exceptional coffee if we begin with ordinary, mass-produced beans. Therefore, the journey towards excellence commences with the meticulous selection of some of the finest coffees in the world. This pursuit starts by personally visiting farmers, forging enduring relationships, often with farms that have achieved top-10 recognition in the prestigious Cup of Excellence.

Nevertheless, these two crucial activities alone fall short if we fail to perpetually evangelise. Thus, a significant area of leadership lies in conveying authentic stories to coffee lovers, devoid of unnecessary jargon or fluff. Every interaction with coffee should be a delightful, honest, and unforgettable experience that forges a deeper connection with this magnificent beverage

Tell us what people can expect from the experiences you offer at Coffee Gems.

These are a series of four immersive, hands on and fascinating tasting experiences that explore ways to elevate your speciality coffee knowledge.

From an experience where you will be learning how the V60, Stove top (Bialetti), Chemex and AeroPress used with the same beans, all produce a different cup of coffee to an experience where you will be taken on a journey of flavours around the world, pairings and sensations to discover new ways to enjoy the world of our ‘gems’. From Ca Phe Da, a traditional Vietnamese iced coffee drink to the wake-me-up Cafe Cubano and a perfect espresso martini, all paired with some of the expected and more unexpected but delicious accompaniments (I will be convincing you cheese with coffee ala Colombian style is the way to go!).

If you are interested, you could visit us at www.coffeegems.co.uk to get more information or give us a call to 075311207973.

Where are your favourite places to visit in Wiltshire and why?

I love to visit Stourhead House and Garden, these are simply magnificent, and Castle Comb village as it is a beautiful Cotswold village with medieval market square and ancient church, no doubt it’s one of the prettiest villages in the UK. 

Do you have any hidden Wiltshire gems that you’d like to share with our readers?

I love to admire the architecture of historic sites, one of my preferred is Lacock Abbey which is very detailed with lots of lovely gothic windows, rooms and doors. The cloisters are stunning and shows the history of the abbey in detail.

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