When you think of some of the great foodstuffs that originated in Waterford you can’t but help think of the blaa, rashers or even cream crackers. But, one of Waterford’s better kept secrets is coffee, and a Waterford company, is reviving the tradition of coffee roasting.
The Coffee Warehouse is renowned for its Ponticelli brand and has just launched a new coffee brand, Coffee House Lane, in honour of Waterford’s coffee roasting tradition. Back in the late 17th century, John Aikenhead was the visionary who first brewed and distributed coffee in Ireland, from his coffee house in the aptly named Coffee House Lane.
Mark Bergin, founder of the Coffee Warehouse, has a long association with coffee, with Ponticelli being the first brand created by the company in 2009. Then in 2011, Mark invested in a coffee roaster and exclusively roasts at its Kilcohan facility.
“Ours is a labour of love”, said Mark. “My father has been working with coffee since the 60’s and it was only a matter of time before I got into coffee too. After we acquired the coffee roaster in 2011 we knew we wanted to pay tribute to the true home of coffee in Ireland, Coffee House Lane. We have created Blend 1690, which is a medium to dark roast. The slow roasting of the beans gives a sweetness to the blend, which balances the deep earthiness of a dark roast.”
“Not many people know that Waterford led the way in coffee roasting in Ireland over 300 years ago and I am confident that it is a tradition we can revive on a large scale.”
The venture would not have been the success it has been without local and national support. “We have had the good fortune to work with support agencies such as Waterford Local Enterprise Office, Love Irish Food and, of course, SuperValu which now stocks our product in 62 stores throughout the country.”
Sourcing the finest coffee beans from around the world, the beans, which are green at this stage are roasted between 180ºC and 230ºC for 14 to 20 minutes. The length of time roasting has an impact on colour, aroma and moisture. The Coffee House Lane beans are roasted for longer, thus giving them a darker colour and richer roast flavour. The popularity of the blend is also a reflection of the evolving Irish palate.
Waterford Local Enterprise Office has backed the venture since Day One. According to Ciaran Cullen, it is a proud Waterford tradition that deserves to be revived. “When Mark approached us about investing in a roaster we heartily concurred that coffee roasting should be encouraged, promoted and nurtured in its Irish birthplace.”
“The food and beverage landscape in Waterford is one of the most vibrant in the country. Entrepreneurs and small producers are creating an exciting portfolio of high quality, great tasting local produce and at Waterford LEO we are delighted to be part of a movement that shines the spotlight on Waterford’s taste revolution.”
Keep up to date with Coffee House Lane on Facebook and Twitter.
Alternatively if you have an inspirational food idea and what to know what assistance is available to you, talk to Waterford Local Enterprise Office. Call 051 849905 or visit www.localenterprise.ie/waterford/