Small, but perfectly formed, Padstow Coffee Company plays a winning role in the booming industry that is coffee, with high stakes on flavour, sourcing and quality. So, whether you’re a fan of powerfully packed Americanos or sweet seasoned lattes, their immersive coffee emporium is certainly somewhere to step into this winter…
The slower the pour, the better the brew,” says Sarah Prosser, coffee connoisseur and partner at the Padstow Coffee Company. Tucked down one of Padstow’s many thriving streets full of foodie hotspots, high-end clothing stores, quirky local gift shops and Cornish charm, the Padstow Coffee Company’s emporium takes a proud place in the repertoire of Padstow’s food and drink experiences and offers visitors a chance to explore coffee in a way they’ve never seen before.
Time, patience and careful selection are in abundance throughout the Padstow Coffee Company, from the farmers they work with thousands of miles away, to the coffee making demonstrations Sarah gives in the main shop in the heart of Padstow’s town centre on Duke Street. Everything here is crafted and created, with enjoyment in mind.
“Coffee should be something that you take time doing, just to give yourself five minutes in the morning to gather your thoughts and relax,” Sarah explains. At a station that could be likened to a beautifully smelling science desk, Sarah runs through the various pour over and filter coffee options. From elegant glass designs and long spouted kettles, to stunningly efficient travel kits to give you an indulgent morning even on the road, Sarah is skilled in using them all and offers visitors to the shop a chance to sample some of the incredible roasts Padstow Coffee have available.
“I could watch Sarah make coffee all day long, it’s fascinating and she’s so good at guiding people on making coffee. I get into the roasting side and love talking to customers about it.”
Also heading up the North Cornwall coffee company is creator and business partner Daniel Laughton, whose down to earth approach to the coffee industry inspired him to set up a welcoming, personable space to sell his own roasts, “I’ve always had an interest in coffee. I’m not your typical coffee roaster or guru and I felt there was this real absence of a neutral coffee producer where it’s really good quality and really accessible.”
From the beginning, it was about making good coffee approachable to everyone, and creating a space where people could come in knowing nothing, or knowing a lot, and find something they love, with longevity in mind. For Daniel Laughton, it seemed that high-quality, speciality coffee was limited to an elite few. The Padstow Coffee Company looked to change this, offering a personable approach and to highlight that coffee is something to be enjoyed, appreciated and explored and experienced by everyone.
“The shop wasn’t a planned thing at the beginning,” he explains, “but very quickly we realised we were more one to one people and enjoyed the hand’s on process of giving people a real coffee experience.”
Of course, it’s not just about the finished product and despite the locality of this niche coffee company, it’s a product that requires worldwide connections. Buying in small batches from single estates sets Padstow Coffee Company apart from many other coffee producers, their hyper local approach narrowing down their product to result in a higher quality and better standard of bean.
“We will only buy high grade, speciality coffee,” explains Sarah, “Specialist coffee is graded by the SCAA (Speciality Coffee Association of America) . Coffee tasting professionals will follow a series of ‘cuppings’ and award a score out of 100 based on the coffee’s sweetness, acidity, balance, mouthfeel and flavour. Anything sixty and above is a commercial grade and usually used in supermarket coffee or instant coffee. Then eighty and above it becomes speciality, the flavours are more subtle and the cup more balanced. All our coffee is within the speciality grade, it comes from one estate and we only buy 100% high grown arabica, it’s the best beans we can get our hands on.”
“People are led to believe that single origins are hyper local,” Daniel adds, “but single origin can cover an enormous growing area of a country. We go even more specific, by buying from single estates/farms. We take everything into account when it comes to sourcing this way. By going farm specific, there is a limited quantity of harvest you can get. However, it often means that a farmer will take more pride and care in his production and provide a higher level of consistency in his product. All of which we are providing our customers with the best quality beans we can get.”
By buying the beans in this way, rather than mixed farm single origins, Padstow Coffee Company can provide a broad range of tastes and flavours that are more consistent as well as offering a better, higher quality product that benefits everyone, from farmer to consumer.
The next stage is closer to home – the roasting. Unlike many modern coffee producers, everything at Padstow Coffee Company is done by eye, using traditional methods and staying away from high tech computers used for mass production today and focusing on flavour notes and delicate touches that give a whole new perspective to coffee.
“We only take our beans to a light or medium roast,” explains Sarah, “it offers a number of different flavour profiles within that range. If you roast beans too dark, you lose a lot of the subtle flavours. That’s why all our coffee is hand roasted and not just thrown into a computer controlled roaster. We feel it is important for us to be able to tweak and change it to ensure every batch will taste it’s best.”
The beans are weighed into 250-gram bags, which can get you around twenty cups of coffee. The shop also has a grinder so if you don’t have one at home, they can grind it up for you, however Sarah advises that keeping the beans whole and grinding at home keeps them fresher for longer, and there’s plenty of equipment in the shop to preserve freshness and enable easy, hassle-free grinding for your morning brew. Padstow Coffee Company may be a luxury brand, but Daniel and Sarah have put plenty of thought and care into making sure that people get their money’s worth and when it comes to their equipment, they look to stay as competitive as possible, stocking their range of products with the ethos that they’re built to last the customer.
“Part of the reason I went luxury wasn’t to make a huge profit or because of the luxury status,” explains Daniel, “I’ve grown up in Padstow and worked here most of my life and have been involved in a lot of community projects. It was important to me that my own business reflected Padstow’s reputation for food and drink. For me, as long as I keep the Padstow brand proud as well as create a great product, I’ll be happy.
“I also think a hands-on approach to retailing is the way to move forward, offering people the chance to try our coffee, experiment with different equipment and learn a bit, without feeling pressured to buy anything. I really wanted to do evening workshops, but it’s hard to do that with coffee!… Most people stop drinking after 3pm!”
However, if you haven’t got time to explore too much, there’s a takeaway service so you can enjoy your coffee on the go, whichever way you like it. There’s no bad way to enjoy coffee here, anything and everything is on the table (there’s even a delicious range of loose leaf teas), but there’s also a treasure trove of new realms to coffee to be discovered. Ultimately, it’s a place that looks to inspire joy in what is quite often a quick ritual for most of us, to take us out of life’s rush for a brief moment and indulge in something as simple, yet perfect, as a cup of coffee.
Discover the Padstow Coffee company in store and online at:
18 Duke Street, Padstow, PL28 8AB
Mon to Fri 10am – 4pm
Sat 9.30am – 5pm
Sun 11am – 4pm