This autumn coffee lovers have been obeying their noses and beating a path to the doors of Yallah – meaning ‘Let’s Go!’ in Arabic – Cornwall’s newest and bravest coffee roasters. Now, with the launch of a website selling speciality beans and ground coffee, Yallah Coffee looks set to become a caffeine hit across the UK.
Entrepreneur Richard Blake is blazing a trail of sweet-scenting grinds at the new artisan enterprise, whose HQ for the moment is a converted barn on a friend’s farm, and whose major outlet is an enticing stall at Truro Farmers Market. The market is a key incubator for fledgling food and drink producers like Yallah, providing a local point of sale and acting as a stepping stone to business growth.
Richard studied at Falmouth University before leaving for Bristol and discovering his passion for unlocking the secrets of the coffee bean. He began by packing coffee in a roastery before he persuaded the company to give him a chance as Apprentice Roaster. On leaving, he had two years experience under his belt as Production Roaster in a large and respected operation.
During return trips to Falmouth, Richard caught sight of a prized object – a vintage Swadlo roaster in the window of De Wynns historic coffee shop – unused and apparently unloved. Richard made it his mission to find the owner and one day, quite unexpectedly, it suddenly became his. The Swadlo took nine months to nurture back to life: now each day Richard paternally ushers it through every roast as it gently heats the green beans carefully selected for his range of single variety coffees.
Richard ensures his coffee is traded ethically and sustainably. “For us, speciality means knowing exactly where our coffee comes from; how it has been grown, picked and processed,” he explains. “It is also about a transparent and traceable coffee chain where everyone is rewarded for their hard work.”
Richard now has around 8 different coffees, each with their own unique characteristics. “It’s important to understand that every step has an effect on the flavour of the coffee. Like all plants, its surrounding conditions affect the health and growth the fruit. Healthier plants mean healthier fruit. Everything from picking, pulping, transporting and storing plays a major part in how the eventual cup of coffee tastes.” says Richard. He adds, “I generally don’t like to blend different beans, I prefer to find beans with complex flavours, which are good enough to make single variety coffees.”
Richard has been trying his wares out on the public at Truro Farmers Market, where he is already building a loyal following. “I always take three or four different coffees with me so people have a choice of styles. I am happy to help people find a variety they really love – in turn this helps me learn what people look for when choosing a coffee. I’m on a mission to get everyone drinking good coffee,” he enthuses, “everywhere and anytime!”
You can find the Yallah stall at Truro Farmers Market every Saturday. Richard is also now taking trade enquiries and can provide training for staff to help them get the most out of Yallah’s speciality coffees.