We often get asked why we started Cupsmith and what makes us different. What makes us different is something I feel passionately about and what makes me get up each morning with a single-minded determination to bring our drinks to as many people as possible.
Where did it all start?
We started Cupsmith when I went on maternity leave from my job in London. Having moved out to the country, I missed the London coffee scene on a daily basis. Great coffee is something I'd taken for granted in London, and now I was faced a lethal combination of extreme fatigue as a new mother and a total lack of decent coffee in Farnham where we lived. I trawled the supermarket shelves in search of caffeinated inspiration and fabulous coffee that I could make at home (after all, with 2 small children who has the time to sit in a cafe for coffee? I needed great coffee at home, every day). I drew a blank, so decided to take matters in to my own, desperate hands. I enrolled on a coffee roasting course in London and before my maternity leave had finished I'd completed an intensive course and went back to work in marketing as a qualified coffee roaster!
I knew my husband George would love coffee roasting too, so after enough nagging (3 months, solidly) he signed up to do the course. And without wanting to say 'I told you so' (I told you so) he fell in love with the process. The idea of Cupsmith was born, and then came the purchase of our top-of-the-range roasting machine. Manufactured in the US, our Diedrich roaster took 5 months to be hand-built and shipped to the UK, and it weighs in at a fairly substantial half a tonne. There was, quite literally, no going back.
I knew we needed to offer our customers a range of fantastic coffees that could be made at home using nothing more complicated than a cafetiere. The coffee world is full of a great deal of science, jargon, specialist equipment and cool men with beards - all of which often results in a terrific cup of coffee, but not something the rest of us can achieve every day as we're racing to do the school run, rush to the office, walk the dog....
So we worked long and hard with a top roaster from London and developed our four signature coffees that could be made easily, every day, at home. A year on and we are planning to grow this range in line with demand.
Having become experts in our area of coffee - and with our plan always being to offer a full range of 'the finer drinks in life' - we turned our taste buds to tea and launched our range of high quality leaf tea pyramids. For us it was incredibly important to offer the highest quality tea that could be drunk at home every day. This goal completely ruled out the use of a traditional tea bag, in which you can only put the dusty stuff ('fannings' is the correct term). However, we were also adamant that whilst we love loose leaf tea, we and our customers don't always have the time to make a pot of tea. So for us, pyramids are the perfect solution. High quality, loose leaf tea in a little silky pyramid. Pyramids really are the best of both worlds.
We work with some fantastic tea merchants to create our own exclusive Cupsmith blends, and we've had some proud-making reviews from people-in-the-know. We love our tea range, and are passionate about growing it.
Without meaning to launch another product line in the first year, we went on to launch a third (who wants to stick to plans anyway?), our drinking chocolate. Within 6 weeks of launching our chocolate we'd sold out three times and as we head into 2017 we have some very exciting plans for this area of the business.
So as we head into our second year of business, we do so with great hope in our heart and a heap of lovely customers who kindly keep coming back for more. We are totally committed to bringing you the very best quality drinks for enjoying at home every day, and to embracing a lifestyle in which we all take more time out to drink coffee (or tea, or chocolate!) sitting down, watching the clouds go by. Join us as we rush less, meander more.