Blog

Cupsmith Roastery re-opens for Spring!

Posted on February 19, 2018 by George Crawford | 0 comments

We're delighted to announce that the Cupsmith Roastery is back open for visitors every Friday morning from March 2nd 2018.

Pop in and see us for a cup of coffee, hot chocolate or tea any time between 10am and 12.30pm. All our hot drinks will be available to buy, and if you want to help us with our committment to use less packaging, bring your own containers and we'll fill those direct and knock a little bit of money off too!

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Cupsmith

x

At home in Waitrose...

Posted on January 15, 2018 by George Crawford | 0 comments

When we first set up Cupsmith, with a mission to bring people the very best quality coffee, tea and hot chocolate for drinking at home every day, we always said the place our products would be really at home is Waitrose. 18 months later we are delighted to see our hot chocolate sitting very happily just there!

waitrose

We've always been loyal Waitrose shoppers ourselves but it was with some trepidation and a good deal of nerves that we visited their head office to show them our new range of Cupsmith hot chocolate. But we needn't have worried, our experience at head office was just as lovely as it is in store. The people we met couldn't have been nicer or more enthusiastic, and over the next six months led us through the process that put us on the shelves at the beginning of December.

Cupmsith hot chocolate

Waitrose now stocks both our Truly Magnificent Hot Chocolate and our Truly Magnificent White Hot Chocolate.

cupsmith white hot chocolate

Have you spotted us in the aisles yet? If you see us, post a pic on instagram, facebook or twitter with the hashtag #cupsmithinwaitrose and we'll send you a voucher for a free bag of Cupsmith freshly roasted coffee worth £5.50! 

Cupsmith

x

Happy January!

Posted on January 07, 2018 by George Crawford | 0 comments

Here’s to a happy, healthy 2018. We can’t wait to see what’s in store. However, as we trudge the second week of January, we have to admit it’s not our favourite month of the year. Festive cheer and New Year celebrations have faded into a distant memory and we’re left staring down the barrel of our well-intentioned resolutions. 

cupsmith in january

Here at Cupsmith we miss the Christmas excitement, but the chaos has also been left behind so this year we’ve decided to try to view January in a new light (a lovely crisp, grey one!). Maybe we can even find some reasons to love it. Perhaps, instead of viewing it as a dull time, it’s actually less pressured. It’s not an anti-climax, but time to think, light candles on dark afternoons, reflect and take care. Less social engagements mean more time to relax. We’re looking forward to enjoying a fresh winter walk and coming home to read a book without feeling guilty about that festive to-do list.  

winter walk

January is also a great time to think ahead. At this time of year nature seems quite dormant and yet now is the time to plant rhubarb and roses for a colourful, delicious summer. And now, at the heart of winter, we will get to see more wildlife come into our gardens in search of food. We’ll definitely be helping the birds and squirrels out with some suet balls, seeds and nuts.

Robin

The promise of snow is bad news for the birds but for little ones - and the child in all of us - it’s a hopeful weather time. Snowmen, snowball fights and the excitement of a ‘school snow day’ are all gleefully anticipated. We get regular sky reports from the Cupsmith little ones, particularly on those days when the sky is a never ending stretch of white itself which, we are told, is a good sign of possible snow. Keep your fingers crossed their dreams are fulfilled this January. We are overdue a substantial flurry here in the south east.

All this got us thinking, naturally, about also taking time to enjoy a tea or coffee (or hot chocolate!). A quiet time with your favourite (I’m enjoying a warming cup of our Cupsmith Masala Chai as I type this) can become almost ritualistic. Even just waiting for the kettle can be an opportunity for a mindful moment, time to think and clear the head. Or read a few pages in a beautiful book. Or, most importantly, decide how many biscuits to have on the side. Maybe your ritual isn’t about quietness. We have a friend who has a tea ritual with her children - milky tea and a biscuit for the littles, once or twice a week after school. Apparently it’s especially useful after a bicker-inducing school run (we’ve all been there). Everyone sits for 20 minutes to enjoy their hot drinks and catch up before things get busy, or rather noisy, again.  Masala Chai from CupsmithWhatever you do this January, enjoy it!

Cupsmith

xx

5 books for nature-loving small ones

Posted on December 18, 2017 by George Crawford | 0 comments

We love nothing more than time spent outside with the children, walking the dogs, collecting sticks, spotting interesting things and watching the seasons change. So it's probably not surprising that we love books about nature too. Here's our list of favourites this Christmas. Stuck for last minute Christmas ideas? See if any of these tick a few off your list...

  • The Lost Words – by Robert McFarlane and Jackie Morris is crammed with stunning water colour and gold leaf illustrations. It’s a wonderful celebration of nature and nature-words. Top of our Cupsmith Christmas list.
Jackie Morris illustration from 'The Lost Words; A Spell of Words' by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris
  • A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies (Author),‎ Mark Hearld (Illustrator) showcases Mark’s wonderful illustrations – in fact this book is so delightful the grown-ups will want one too.
A First Book of Nature by Mark Hearld

  • This handy pocket sized game makes an outdoor treasure hunt, without technology, easy – Go Find It.
  • *one of the many wonderful activities in 101 Things to do Outside by Dawn Issac. We guarantee you’ll refer to this through the whole year.
101 things to do outside outdoor activities for kids

  • For gorgeous illustrations, and words, The Little Guide to Trees is perfect and has facts children will love, such as the type of tree Robin Hood’s bow came from.

A Little Guide to Trees (Eden Project)

 

Cupsmith

x

Walks with children, and nature-inspired Christmas presents

Posted on December 07, 2017 by George Crawford | 0 comments

We love a family nature walk at any time of the year, but especially in winter-time. Despite the cold, it’s the ideal way to create some calm during the exciting, full on festive season. It doesn’t cost a thing and requires no organisation. Perfect.

heading off for a family walk

At Cupsmith we're fond of anything crafty and creative and it’s surprisingly easy to combine this with walking - and it also helps chivvy along any reluctant small legs! Whether you go at the pace of a march (bear hunt style) or a meandering bumble, there are lots of opportunities to collect bits of nature along the way and make something later, or there and then. One of our favourites* - secure sticky tape round wrists (or waists, or arms) with the sticky side facing up and pop on little leaves, petals and berries as you go. Children love hunting for treasures and creating instant nature bracelets.

little boy clambering over a tree trunk

Our top 5 things to do on a walk with the littles:

  • Huff, puff and see who can breathe the most dragon’s breath
  • Take a couple of crayons and scraps of paper in your pocket to make quick and easy bark rubbings
  • Stick picking. On our last walk we collected Harry Potter wands that we then painted at home
  • Stop along the way (useful if anyone's flagging) to gather a pile of leaves and sticks and make a hedgehog's nest
  • Take the tech for a bit of modern day treasure hunting a.k.a - Geocaching

Photo courtesy of the National Trust

Back home, it's time for a hot chocolate to warm chilly fingers.  Marshmallows a must.

Cupsmith's range of hot chocolates

So, bundle up and get up and out with the small people in your life. Explore a new spot or tramp old ground. Adventure is everywhere, but mainly it’s out there...in the great outdoors.

See you out there!

5 gifts for adventure loving little people

  • The Lost Words – by Robert McFarlane and Jackie Morris is crammed with stunning water colour and gold leaf illustrations. It’s a wonderful celebration of nature and nature-words. Top of our Cupsmith Christmas list.
Jackie Morris illustration from 'The Lost Words; A Spell of Words' by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris
  • A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies (Author),‎ Mark Hearld (Illustrator) showcases Mark’s wonderful illustrations – in fact this book is so delightful the grown-ups will want one too.
A First Book of Nature by Mark Hearld

  • This handy pocket sized game makes an outdoor treasure hunt, without technology, easy – Go Find It.
  • *one of the many wonderful activities in 101 Things to do Outside by Dawn Issac. We guarantee you’ll refer to this through the whole year.
101 things to do outside outdoor activities for kids

  • For gorgeous illustrations, and words, The Little Guide to Trees is perfect and has facts children will love, such as the type of tree Robin Hood’s bow came from.

A Little Guide to Trees (Eden Project)

 

Cupsmith

x

Our little pop up cafe

Posted on November 27, 2017 by George Crawford | 0 comments

Our little pop-up cafe in our roastery is now closed until Spring. It's just too cold for anyone to enjoy spending time in there (it's an unheated, working roastery), and we don't want our customers to have to cling for dear life to their coffee cups, no matter how good the coffee is! 

Cupsmith roastery

We're still open for people who'd like to pick up their coffee, tea or hot chocolate orders and it's business as normal for everything other than our Friday morning openings.

If you place an order online and would like to pick it up, please just email us (george@cupsmith.com) and let us know when you'll be popping by. Otherwise we deliver locally for free anyway, and very often on the same day you place the order.

Stay warm and cosy, and we'll let you know next year when our roastery is open again on Friday mornings.

Cupsmith christmas tea and truly magnificent festive hot chocolate

 

 

A family business...and often a muddle

Posted on July 20, 2017 by George Crawford | 2 comments

Cupsmith really is a family business and everyone gets involved. As our business grows people increasingly ask us 'how do you do it?', 'how do you manage with children?'. The honest answer is 'probably rather badly most of the time'. But somehow we muddle through and we sigh at our missed deadlines, forgotten football kits, lack of play date organisation, and wonder if we'll be able to retire before we're 90! But we do it all because we genuinely love what we're doing and we want to share it with others. 

crawford family of cupsmith

Yes, the children can often be heard complaining 'Oh please stop talking about Cupsmith!' but then they're the first to help us with deliveries, testing new products and playing with other people's children when they visit the roastery on one of our open mornings. And they still jump up and down and say 'Mummy, look, there's our tea!' when we go into a shop and see Cupsmith products on the shelves. 

Running our own business means most days we all have breakfast together and we're able to be there for sports days, school plays and grazed-knee days. The children are seeing a business grow alongside them, and they're seeing us working hard and having fun too. We hope this will show them how important it is to do something you really love, and we'll always encourage them to follow their talents and dreams. It's a lesson we learned only two years ago when we set up Cupsmith, so now we're making the most of every minute of the adventure. So for anyone else thinking about setting up on their own, our advice would always be to do it, because as long as it's something you love you'll never regret doing it. 

Oh and as for work life balance? Well we definitely haven't found the perfect answer. Sometimes there's too much work, other days there's too much life. On the other hand maybe that IS the perfect work life balance after all? 

george and emma crawford cupsmith

George and Emma

x

crawford family at cupsmith