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LONDON CREATIVE: Kurt Stewart

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This week, we caught up with Kurt Stewart, the founder of Volcano Coffee Works

1. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START ROASTING COFFEE AND START VOLCANO COFFEE WORKS?

Initially it began as a natural extension to my professional culinary adventures; due to my disillusionment with the lack of any real quality and provenance that existed in coffee in London I was convinced that there was a real need to introduce speciality coffee to high end dining and the wider public.

2. WHAT MAKES YOUR COFFEE SPECIAL?

We choose from some of the Worlds top 5-7% of Arabica and only hand roast in small batches, meticulously monitoring the beans development and constantly tasting to find that ‘sweet spot’ that highlights the delicate nuances of the coffee.

3. WHAT IS THE GREATEST CHALLENGE YOU HAVE FACED AS A SMALL INDEPENDENT?

Considering the current extreme market volatility skyrocketing up the price of our raw material (Arabica coffee beans) we find ourselves Competing in the premium market with some new companies entering rewriting the definition of specialty quality. This is where it is important to stay true to our brand and company values.

4. WHY DID YOU WANT TO START PRODUCING COFFEE PODS?

For too long the coffee pod industry has been held in a strangle hold, and only offered consumers a very ‘BEIGE’ coffee experience, while also having a very negative environmental credibility. With the creation of ‘Bio-based’ (compostable) alternative, and applying specialty coffee quality principles, we have allowed Specialty coffee delivered with pod technology, to taste as Specialty should taste….and that’s brilliant!

5. WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR VOLCANO COFFEE WORKS?

I would like to see Volcano Coffee Works to build specialty coffee at scale, staying true to our ethical and sustainable principles, and getting as many people as possible to benefit and be part of that growing experience, be that employee, farmer or customer.

6. WHERE IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO RELAX IN LONDON?

My vegetable garden at home in sunny West Norwood

Website: www.volcanocoffeeworks.com

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