It’s been a busy month or so at The Barista, making our way around the UK and beyond with our coffee machines. The busy spell started with a couple of last minute bookings, where we were only too happy to help our clients make the most of their events by representing them with our barista service.
Birmingham and Gateshead
Matthew made his way down to the ICC in Birmingham and spent 3 days crafting some espresso based drinks for guests to our client’s exhibition stand. I nipped up to Gateshead to keep the attendees of an important medical conference refreshed and fuelled with sufficient amounts of delicious coffee. As some of you may know, back when we were students with burning ambitions to start a company that would provide top quality coffee for events, we sold our very first cup of coffee on the Sunday Newcastle Quayside Market directly across the River Tyne from the Sage, Gateshead. For me personally, it was a great opportunity to re-visit the city I came to love as a student and to realise how far we’ve come. Going from selling those first few coffees on a cold winter’s morning at the market, to my company being hired to cater such an important event in the medical industry made me feel great, not only as a businessman but as a barista.
Commercial Vehicle Show 2012 and Dublin
As much as I would have liked to, there was no time to hang around in Newcastle. After a flying visit to our HQ in Leeds, both Matthew and I had just enough time to turn the equipment around and re-stock before heading off for our next events. Matthew returned to Birmingham for the rather busy Commercial Vehicle Show 2012 held at the NEC and I was the lucky one who hopped onto the ferry with the coffee machine in tow to Dublin for another medical conference and exhibition at the Royal Dublin Society. It was a busy week for us both, with hundreds and hundreds of coffees being enjoyed by the event visitors. We even spotted this tweet about our exhibition coffee:
Our mobile coffee bar
This was the first opportunity for us to use our new mobile coffee bar unit, which was branded with our client’s logo to blend into their impressive stand. This meant that our client did not have to worry about providing a set-up that suited our needs for the coffee machine and barista service, all they had to do was provide us with enough space and we provided the whole coffee bar, from start to finish.
A sailing start for Northern Espresso
This has also been a great time for Northern Espresso, our new espresso blend we developed to be used specifically for our event coffee service. This busy period was a great opportunity for us to use our freshly roasted blend. Since putting the Northern Espresso beans in our hoppers at these events, the response from the public has been overwhelmingly positive, so much so that some of the ‘regulars’ who visited the stand over the course of the event asked us about the beans we use and where they can buy them. Retailing coffee beans is not really our game, but helping people enjoy a good cup of coffee is. So, in just a few events, we have seen a dozen or so bags of Northern Espresso sold at cost price for people to enjoy at home (I even sold a bag on the ferry home from Dublin to someone who had tried it at the conference). Some of them have even been in touch since to let us know just how much they enjoyed our coffee at the event and at home too!
BSR 2012, Glasgow
Last week we took a trip to Glasgow to provide two coffee bars so there was twice as much delicious coffee being enjoyed at this exhibition. This was an exceptionally busy event for Matthew and I, with queues of up to 15 – 20 people at the exhibition stands waiting for what several of the consumers called “the perfect cup of coffee”. Again, we received a lot of flattering feedback for our coffee, presentation and our personable and quality focused barista service. The coffee bars and the service we provided was so beneficial at the trade show for both clients that one of them has already re-booked us for at least the next two years, and we are going to be working with the other client as soon as next month at their next exhibition in June.
Barista Training Course
Last, but definitely not least, we delivered a barista training course to a well known convenience store chain. After a very early start, Matthew jumped on the train to London armed with his arsenal of barista tools to share our years of barista knowledge and experience with a team of fledgling baristas (or baristi if you prefer the proper terminology). When delivering this barista training service, we don’t only want to equip the students with as much new knowledge and skill about making great coffee as possible, but also to really encourage and inspire them on their journey to making outstanding coffee.
Next week, we are providing five more coffee bars, four of them on exhibition stands and one for a product launch. We are providing a whole range of additional services to help our clients get the very best out of their coffee bars, including branded cups, bar units and clothing. We’re also doing something a bit different after a regular client discovered we also make pretty good cocktails: we’ll be transforming one of the espresso bars into a cocktail bar to give a bit of a stronger kick to the long afternoon in the exhibition hall. We’re lucky enough to have a couple of very experienced and highly skilled baristas representing us to deliver the high quality product and service we pride ourselves on.
Make sure you keep your eye on our social media profiles for updates and pictures of what promises to be a very exciting week for The Barista. You can connect with us by clicking the social media icons on the right hand column at the top of this post or you will find us at our most active on Twitter and Facebook. We hope to see you there!
In the mean time, a fresh batch of Northern Espresso is about to go into the roaster, ready just in time for our next event.