Campbells Coffee

I first came across Campbell’s Coffee after seeing some great recommendations from the coffee community on instagram. Looking at their website the sense of a small family run business is prominent and I knew they had something special to offer.
I got the chance to try their Lady Mae blend (there is a special meaning behind the name of this blend which you can find out about later in the interview) it was really lovely blend and It certainly lived up to the hype and recommendations.
It got me curious as to what inspired the creation of Campbells coffee and what work is involved behind the scenes in creating their highly rated blends.

I reached out to Jay Campbell, one of the owners and founders of Campbells Coffee and he shared some insights with me. 

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For anyone that may not be aware can you briefly introduce yourself?
My names Jay Campbell, I’m 34, and I’m one of the owners and founders of Campbells Coffees.

How did you first discover specialty coffee?
It started out as a bit of a hobby really, we’d invested in our first coffee machine some years ago and would enjoy sampling various different coffees and blends. We would reach out to different suppliers and coffee retailers and ask them to create specific custom blends to try and taste. Our coffee pallet and love for coffee has continued to grow ever since.

What inspired you to establish Campbells Coffee?
The business came about during the height of the pandemic during 2020, I had been furloughed from my job for 4 and half months, so it seemed like a great time to start the venture and use that time to do so. We’ve always had a passion for coffee, so to transition from hobby to business was super exciting and welcomed, as its always something we’d considered on numerous occasions. I always remember sitting outside, swinging on our hammock, whilst drinking a coffee one sunny morning, then suddenly coming to the realisation that ‘We could make this into a family business’ So in a nut shell, we did just that. We wanted to be a coffee brand that supplied great tasting coffee, which in itself is so rewarding and inspires us every single day. Just like the Campbell name, we have strong roots to our Scottish heritage, so its played a huge part when setting up the business and creating the brand, some of our coffee names such as ‘Bonnie Scotland’ and the ‘The Highlander’ are all inspired by Scottish heritage.  

What does a typical day in your role at Campbells coffee involve?
Lots of admin work and website maintenance! 😊 A typical day would start with fulfilling those all important orders and getting them out the door to our lovely customers. On various days, we sample and dial in new blends and origins, especially if we’re looking to release new and upcoming products. We are constantly looking at new product releases and furthering our reach. Right now, we are fairly new, so we are continuing to focus and establish our brand, so there’s a lot of marketing and decision making going on behind the scenes and connecting with lots of different people, which is so important.

Are you involved in the coffee roasting process and if so what would be your advice for anyone who wants to start roasting?
Yes, we are heavily involved in the roasting process, we decide how our coffee is roasted, especially for our blends. We are part of a great team who have a wealth of experience when it comes to roasting. Our advice would be to first do your research, learn about the different types and variations of coffee and just give it a go, experiment and enjoy what the whole process has to offer, just don’t go burning your beans 😉

You have had some exciting coffee releases recently. The lady Mae blend is absolutely delicious! Can you give a bit of detail of how you source your coffee and what factors you take into consideration when deciding which coffee you are going to release?
First and foremost, thank you for the kind words, Lady Mae is rather special to us, as its named after our daughter Libby Mae Campbell and has rapidly become rather popular amongst many of our customers. Each and everyone of our coffees is carefully considered before sale, it goes through a tough tasting and sampling process to make sure we are happy (Which we don’t mind at all, what coffee enthusiast doesn’t like tasting coffee right?) We also tend to send out samples to friends, family and customers to gather feedback. Our coffees are typically made up of blends, so its important we get those ratios and balances just right. For example, our Lady Mae blend is made up of various single origin arabica beans.

What are your thoughts on the current coffee scene and the coffee culture within the UK?
There’s no doubt that the world of coffee has been majorly impacted by the pandemic, with the closure of coffee shops and cafes and hospitality sector, its been a huge loss over the course of the year for many. We’ve always believed that coffee is a culture within itself, coffee is more than coffee, if that makes sense? Its a way of interacting and connecting with everyone and everything around you. We’ve met some amazing people since starting the business, that’s down to coffee. Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve seen an influx in home baristas and people taking a huge interest in coffee at home, which is great to see, its been nice to be able to supply those people with great tasting coffee to drink at home, however we are excited to see that the hospitality sector is now opening back up, we hope that everyone gets behind small local business’s and gives them the support it so desperately needs. We are currently working with smaller cafes and coffee shops to provide better pricing for wholesale purchases.

Is there anyone in the coffee industry that inspires you or that has influenced you? There are plenty of inspirational people out there within the coffee community and within the coffee world, but what inspires us and influences us the most is the culture that surrounds coffee and everything about coffee. I was once told that if your home smells like coffee, its the sign of a nice, kind welcoming home, same applies for any place that offers the same.

Do you have a favourite coffee origin and what tasting notes do you look for?
Such a tough question, there are so many amazing origins out there right now, however our favourite would have to be Jamaica Blue Mountain, which boasts some beautiful cocoa, smooth and creamy notes, such a luxurious bean, however on the more pricier scale then other single origin beans. With that said, we are partial to both Arabica and Robusta beans. I think Robusta can be quite underrated, there are some amazing single origin Robusta beans out there right now which are overlooked, as opposed to arabica beans. Another close favourite would have to be Ethiopia Yirgacheffe, which is beautiful as a filter or pour over which has some amazing floral and sweet notes.

What coffee are you drinking at the moment?
Can we be biased here? 😁 Right now, we are currently switching between two of our very own blends, which is ‘Lady Mae’ & ‘The Highlander’ However we do like to visit our local coffee shops regularly show our support.

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