Cairngorm Leaf and Bean – Coffee Roasting in the Highlands
For the second of my occasional ‘People and Process’ series I visited Sharon Wooler and Andy Mallon of Cairngorm Leaf and Bean, who are based at The Dava School House near Grantown-on-Spey. I wanted to see firstly how they have taken on the espresso based cafés with every kind of coffee style but espresso in their newly opened Coffee Lounge, secondly I wanted to watch the coffee bean blending and roasting that lies at the heart of their craft business in the Highlands.
The Dava School House Coffee Lounge is a part of their guest house on the edge of the Dava Way and is fast becoming a popular destination for walkers, cyclists and nature lovers in need of a boost. The aim here is not to be overpowered by the strength of an espresso based drink but to savour the flavours that Andy has roasted into the beans by trying out coffee made in a variety of ways. You can have regular filter style coffee or maybe try an AeroPress, hand pumped coffee. Chemex make, what they describe, as the ultimate filtration equipment and the Prezzetti Moka pot is a classic coffee preparation method. All of these are available at the Dava Coffe Lounge. All served, and poured, at the table with a delicious selection of cakes – and now Aunt Marie’s Tablet as well!
For me the highlight was seeing the coffee roasting process, overseen by Andy at a secret location, in the Highland rain. A fabulous little Italian (of course) roaster in a container on a Scottish hillside – perfect. Special thanks to Andy for this – I hope I have not given away and secrets! As always I have included a stylised portrait of the people who work this business.