Our story started in 2013 when a conversation in the Cairngorm National Park led to the dream of starting a quality focussed coffee shop in Scotland’s capital city.
An ensuing visit to Edinburgh to visit an empty sandwich shop on Frederick St paved the future for Cairngorm Coffee as we know it now.
Four years later we invested in our 12-kilo Probat roaster and started a long journey of trial and error to refine not just our roasting approach, but the necessary skills to source and assess the quality of the coffee we would roast.
Every day has been a learning day, and a fun one at that!
Once a week I drove up the A9 to roast batches, before travelling back to Edinburgh.
There was a pretty blatant issue with this mileage as all of the required kit to quality control the coffee was in our shops in Edinburgh. Many times I roasted coffee blind, returned south, tried the coffee and felt dismayed that it fell short of the standards I expected.
It was certainly a return to my earlier loop of try, fail, spend all night reading blogs and try again. Those that have roasted themselves will testify that it's hard to improve as every roaster is different.
The information that's available always carries a caveat of 'but see what works for your drum', or airflow, or burners, or humidity, or coffee, or any other of a thousand variables.
Moving the roaster to Edinburgh in 2019 made the clouds part, and clarity in my mind and clarity in my coffee began to merge.
Having the two shops in the business had allowed us the time we needed to learn slowly to the point that we felt confident about the quality we could produce.