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Nick Spill's the beans on Ground Control.

Ground control to major tom, it the first thing people may think when you here ground control and don't get me wrong there is of course an element of that song having a huge sense of purpose in our coffee brand. But it was important that the name had a meaning and was relatable, one that could stand up across the story of us serving a good cup of coffee.

When we think of coffee we can definitely understand why ground would be a suitable leading word, it is where coffee comes from, cherries and blossoms grow on small evergreen trees, or shrubs. An untamed coffee tree can grow up to 16 feet tall. Most farmers, however, prune them back annually to between 5 and 7 feet, which is a comfortable height for picking.

And of course all coffee has to be ground to make the drink so in essence we thought this was a really great start to the name.



Control is probably one of the most important words in the the food and drink industry, We have to control so many aspects of each stage of the process to make the perfect coffee so it was indeed a truly fitting word to put in our coffee brand.


Ground control brand was born but what is behind the beans.

When we were looking for a coffee to put into our workplaces and visitor attractions it was clear to see that the market was saturated with all types of coffees.

Coffee is such a huge part of most peoples daily lives and we were determined to get it right and offer a product that can be a everyday drinker as we like to call it.


We all have that favourite coffee shop that serve the little dinky cup of coffee, you know the one, the barista probably has a beanie on and called you dude whilst you waited quite a while for it and then it's really strong and probably more than one of those a day and your head will be spinning.


Now i'm not knocking those artisan coffee shops because they certainly have a place in society but in the Cleverchefs world i wanted to offer a product that come in a decent size cup so it was good value for money and could allow my clients and there teams or visitors to our attractions the ability to have a few coffees throughout the day.

A barista style coffee is never going to be as quick as a instant coffee or machine made style coffee but it was certainly about the balance of speed and taste.



So i decided that the best option was to create our own brand of coffee.

So when you think of coffee your mind wanders to Africa and Columbia and places like that but in this day in age there is so many coffee roasters in the UK that it didn't take long to find a company that could help us and allow us to use there machine to get started.

Where to start, well with our values there could be no compromise on social aspect so we only considered and blended fair trade beans, that was key to us. Fair-trade is about farmers receiving the Fair trade Minimum Price, which aims to cover costs of production and act as a safety net when market prices fall below a sustainable level. If the market price exceeds the Fair trade Minimum Price level, then farmers receive the market price.



As i mentioned earlier the taste had to be an everyday drinker so not to acidic or rough on the tongue. But we wanted it to be rich in body so that crema that coats the mouth and gives it body was a absolute must.

So i spent days with a few colleagues doing cupping sessions (Tasting different coffee with a soup spoon) defiantly sounds more glamorous than it was. A bit like a wine tasting you were advised to spit it out into a bucket so you didn't have a coffee overdose i can only guess.

once i had found the right beans it was time to blend them in there green bean stage and get them in the roaster.

I opted for two beans one from Brazil Ascarive co-op and the other from the Sumatra Mandheling they complemented each other like ant and dec, or Morecambe and wise, this was a perfect match and they were going to steal the show.

When we talk about coffee flavours we refer to the notes of the coffee kind of like wine tasting. The notes on our coffee can be turned up and down by how hot and long we roasted the beans. Because we were choosing two premium beans they don't need to be roasted so dark. Some coffee roasters over roast the beans to mask the quality of the actual bean.

After more trialing we decided upon roasting the beans for 16 minutes at 216 degrees.

I love precision and detail so it was really great to lock down that recipe, i say recipe because this is absolutely a bespoke recipe that we are in control of.




Once we had confirmed the beans, the roast and the brand we had a product to take to market.


Our coffee shops are doted around the country situated in workplaces in business parks, in big city offices and visitor attractions.

After doing all that work creating such a premium product we had to control the way it makes it to our customers.

We have recently launched a barista training school where we send our head baristas and managers to refine the art of coffee making. They then can control the teams and make sure that our coffee is handled with the love and attention it deserves.

We are only at the beginning of our coffee journey and 2023 is going to be a big year for Ground Control.


Cleverchefs is renowned for innovative food but it is so nice to be able to offer a great coffee brand and service that will rival any high street cup of joe and bring it conveniently to our clients and the teams.



Get in touch with us if your looking for a fresh new offer in your workplace or attraction.

Email feedme@cleverchefs.co.uk




Nick






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