WE ASKED TONY SPEIGHT, FOUNDER AND OWNER OF WEST CORK COFFEE A FEW QUESTIONS!
THIS MONTH I’M SUPER EXCITED TO BRING YOU MORE COFFEE FROM MY HOME COUNTY OF CORK, THERE ARE SO MANY FANTASTIC ROASTERS DOWN THERE AT THE MOMENT!
1. TELL US ABOUT WEST CORK COFFEE AND WHY DID YOU START ROASTING COFFEE?
WCC are a wholesale specialty coffee Roastery, based in Innishannon, Cork. Our goal back in 2015 was to provide a high quality specialty coffee to compliment the amazing produce on offer in the West Cork region. Our customers include Master Chef winner Diana Dodog of Food Depot & Michelin Star Ichigo Ichie. Another cafe partner just won best cafe in Munster, Good Day Deli.
I qualified as an Electrical Engineer back in 2001 & after spending time in Australia, my love of coffee was developed. When I returned to Ireland in 2004, I decided to use my engineering background to build a home roaster. As you can imagine, the specialty coffee scene was non existent back in 2004, so I had to source my own green & roast for myself.
It was only in 2015 when I decided to chase my dream of opening my own micro Roastery :)
2. WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND HOW DID YOU GET INTO COFFEE?
I'm originally from Cork City but we moved to West Cork in 2004. West is best .. :)
After working & indulging in the coffee scene in Melbourne 2003, I was hooked on what specialty coffee can offer. No more instant coffee :)
3. WHAT IS THE BEST COFFEE EXPERIENCE YOU’VE HAD EVER?
My first natural Ethiopian on espresso was mind blowing! It was from the Konga Co-op, Ethiopia. So good, I ordered 3 double espressos ha! The sweetness & aromas were so foreign to my palate.
Also, WCC were invited to a Panama Geisha cupping at the World of Coffee 2016. That was very special ..
4. TELL US ABOUT THE COFFEES FEATURING IN THIS MONTHS BREW BOX?
We were aiming to provide a special Colombian coffee for our customers (we cupped 26 different varieties, I know, it’s a tough job, we found Colombian El Nivel. This 100% Castillo, washed processed coffee displayed some really interesting taste nuances.
We discovered taste notes such as;coconut, chocolate & plum. The coconut aftertaste was particularly interesting when extracted on espresso.
Finca El Nivel is located in the region of Risaralda at an altitude of 1680 – 1750 masl.
Pierre Dumont (cofounder of Flor de Apía SAS) who had recently acquired (Finca Barcelona), decided to buy Finca El Nivelin 2013. From that moment, he and his business partner, Mario Alexander, began the work of renovating and recovering unproductive and deteriorated coffee lots on the farm, and they began the implementation of a management plan for the maintenance and administration of all the producing lots on the farm.
Today, in addition to processing and exporting their own coffees, Flor de Apía buys cherry and wet coffee from 28 farmers in the municipality. The mill has 8 large capacity fermentation tanks, so they are able to keep individual lots separate, particularly where quality looks to be high. Their farmer-partners also grow a wide selection of varieties, from Maragogype and Castillo all the way to Geisha, Bourbon and Caturra.
Flor de Apía makes every effort to encourage farmers to separate their lots by variety and promote rescuing the older varieties (such as Typica and Bourbon) to improve the quality of the region’s coffee.
5. TELL US SOMETHING UNCOFFEE RELATED ABOUT YOURSELVES?
mmm , Qualified Electrical Engineer & a proud father to four kids, who like to make fun of my obsession with coffee :) Traveled the world from 2001 - 2004. Avid (slow) marathon runner. I also have a deep fascination with modern art. We support local artists at the WCC Roastery by hosting exhibitions.
I previously worked in a vineyard in Australia which created a love for wine. This developed well alongside coffee with studying varietals, terroir & origins. We work closely with The World Coffee Research org.
WCC are committed to working with the WCR (World Coffee Research Org) by donating a % of their green bean costs to help fund essential, innovative, open research to:
Increase cup quality
Sustain coffee supplies in the short and long terms
Enhance the livelihoods of coffee producers and their families
6. WHATS THE PLAN FOR THE FUTURE? WORLD DOMINATION?
We have some interesting projects coming up soon which I won't divulge as of yet. My work + life balance is ideal at the moment while working alongside some really interesting cafes/people. Life's good :)