Our friends over at Fable + Folly General Store, who already stock some of our favourite brands, mentioned Rhode Island’s Dave’s Coffee to us and helped us find some great Craft Roasted Coffee from the US. And as you know here at The Holborn we love craft artisan goods. So we awaited our parcel and once arrived we unwrapped the string and brown paper wrapping and put the kettle on. So over the past few weeks we have made our way through the Dave’s Coffee selection and had great fun experimenting with their Coffee Syrup (great over Ice Cream and best way to make an Espresso Martini!). So after overdosing on caffeine and with a spring in our step we reached across the pond and had a chat with CEO and Founder David Lanning.
Why do you do what you do?
Doing what brings happiness into my life, and into the lives of others, was the driving force behind getting into the coffee business.
I have always been an avid coffee drinker, cook and enjoyer of great food. The ritual, experience and culture surrounding small batch craft coffee roasting lead me into turning a passion into a career.
What inspired you to make coffee?
About twelve years ago, I noticed small, independent coffee companies becoming an integral part of people’s lives, and a part of the communities where they were located. People were not just drinking coffee, but truly enjoying the unique characteristics and flavors of coffees from around the world. And, coffee roasters were showcasing their creativity and making signature roasts and blends.
This creativity inspired me to begin roasting coffee and working to develop a style that is an expression of myself and how I enjoy coffee.
How did the company get started?
Dave’s Coffee began as an espresso bar focused on the art of coffee preparation and presentation in 2003. As time went on, I realized that purchasing coffee roasted by another company was limiting and didn’t allow for expression.
In 2009, Dave’s Coffee began roasting beans that were sourced for their individuality and roasted each coffee to accentuate it’s characteristics.
What are your influences?
My biggest influence in making our coffee syrup was creating a product with the fewest possible ingredients while keeping the ingredients all natural and wholesome.
Several chefs and small food producers that I have followed over the years taught me that if you start with the absolute best ingredients, there is no need to add more than is necessary.
Describe the process of making your wonderful coffee syrup?
Dave’s All Natural Coffee Syrup starts with the coffee. We source a very specific Brazilian coffee that is mellow, sweet and nutty in flavor. The coffee is roasted in a fashion that allows the beans to roast in the smoke of the drum at a critical stage of the roasting process.
After roasting, the coffee is allowed to rest for forty-eight hours. We then grind the coffee and “Cold Brew” the coffee at room temperature for twenty four hours. This brewing process extracts the full body and flavour of the coffee while limiting some of the tannins and acidity.
Once the coffee is ready, it is transferred to a steam kettle and combined with pure cane sugar. This mixture gently simmers for two and a half hours and is transformed into a thick, amber syrup. The slow simmering caramelizes the sugars and creates a sweet coffee flavor that brings out the highlights of the coffee.
Describe your personal feelings involved in creating your products?
I feel creating a product that is natural and able to be enjoyed several different ways is key.
Coffee syrup can be used to flavour milk, used in cocktails, enjoyed as a glaze or sauce on meats for grilling, added to desserts, mixed with yogurt, drizzled over ice cream and much more.
The fun of a product is in discovering creative uses and ways to enjoy it.
How important is the local community to your business?
Dave’s Coffee works closely with our local community.
We employ several people in the production of our products. We also work with a local organization that promotes independence for physically challenged individuals who assist in our packaging.
Several times throughout the year we assist in donating coffee and products to various charities and relief agencies.
MHG & DL