But first…Coffee! Visit to Costa Rica for Ely's micro-roastery Silver Oak Coffee to see where their beans are grown
It was a trip of a lifetime to Costa Rica for Ely's Silver Oak Coffee owners Bruce and Susanne who got to see first hand where their Arabica beans come from.
The independent micro-roastery fuels coffee lovers across the Fens with hundreds of cups every week from their flagship double-layered rig at Ely Market.
Bruce and Susanne Garside, from March, were eager to find out more about where the beans for their espresso come from - so visited Aquiares Estate coffee farm in Costa Rica.
Lead roaster Bruce was invited on the trip by Diego Robelo, owner and business manager of the estate.
“We got to see the coffee that you drink being carefully grown, meet the pickers and even did some coffee cherry picking ourselves,” Bruce explained.
“We learnt that our high quality coffee attracts a salary of double the hourly rate for the pickers, as they need to take exceptional care of the plants and pick only the ripest cherries.”
The part of the farm in Costa Rica that grows the beans for Silver Oak is at a high altitude of 1,400m that is needed for speciality coffee.
There is also a processing mill on site.
Bruce continued: “It was great to see first hand that the farm meets Rainforest Alliance standards, carbon neutral standards and we saw work going on with the World Coffee Research team.
“We knew the team cared about the same things we do and work hard to recycle, reuse and repurpose.
“It was wonderful to see piles of coffee hulls to be reused as fertilizer, to see old coffee trees drying in huge piles that are used to fuel the processing plant and the tiny little shop that encourages local people to sell goods made out of coffee and natural local resources.
“We loved staying at the lodge with Diego and he is now starting to run tours, so if you are planning a trip to Costa Rica, you must check out the farm and say you know us.”
Bruce and Susanne got to see the beans going through the usual hulling, drying and sorting processes.
They also had the chance to see some beans being treated with the honey-process, which when ready for importation, will be available to try at Silver Oak too.
As well as selling their beans in Ely they can also be found at Cambridge Market on Sunday, Newmarket on Tuesday and Stamford on Friday.
For more information visit www.silveroakcoffee.co.uk