A coffee-loving couple are hoping to roast up a storm – with a brew named Bernard.
Husband and wife Anth and Jen Atkinson have converted an outbuilding attached to their home, in Thornbrough near Corbridge, Northumberland, to house a new roastery for their business.
And they are hoping that a colourful cast of characters will help encourage people to think more about what they drink.
“Some coffee’s have really cool names, like Stumptown produce Hair Bender, so we were thinking what could we do?” said Colour Coffee’s Anth.
The couple had spent more than a year waiting to have the gas-powered equipment connected up in the back of the couple’s Pink Lane Coffee shop in Newcastle only to be told that fuel lines could not be run in to it and having to go back to the drawing board.
“We’ve had children recently and in thinking of names, it makes you think of a certain type of character.
“Bernard sounds reliable, like someone who’d do a really good job – and it’s also the name of my wife’s grandfather.
“And so it is with our first coffee - it’s good, but its not the most fruity espresso. But that’s fine because a lot of people don’t want to be adventurous, they just want a coffee.”
Since setting up Pink Lane Coffee 19 months ago Anth, a former account manager for Glasgow-based coffee roaster Matthew Algie, has sourced beans from some of the UK’s top roasters to serve his customers a constantly changing array of filter and espresso coffees.
Each comes with its own tasting notes, with caffeine addicts offered brews that include flavours of everything from strawberry, passion fruit and blueberry to caramel and beer-like hops.
“There’s a lot of skill in roasting coffee, in deciding what you want it to taste like,” said Anth. “And when you give tasting notes you have to deliver that.
“That’s why for us Jen is the head roaster – she’s got a better palate than me and is even more passionate about producing the same roast over and over again.”
The couple are taking a scientific approach to their coffee, recording every detail of the process to ensure it can be replicated – and also looking to train people how to serve the finished product.
“We care about what we produce and want it to be the best it can be.
“We also want to control how the coffee is served. Coffee is really subjective so we want to work with people who want to make what they are offering better and serve it well.
“We’re kind of forcing training on people because we want our coffee to be seen in the best possible light.”