To celebrate their 9th birthday, 3fe hosted a coffee sourcing evening with their sourcing expert Steve Leighton in their coffee roastary building in Cabra. Greeted with some delicious coffee, a few celebratory beers, and pizza we settled in for a chat from Steve.
I’ll admit I don’t really have much knowledge about different types of coffee or where the best stuff comes from. I’ve only really started drinking specialty coffee over the last year or so, so was curious to learn more about where it comes from and how is sourced. Especially as it’s served in so many great places, like BreadNation.
Steve introduced himself and gave us a trip down memory lane of how he ended up here. A trip that took him from a childhood love of coffee and the coffee making process, to roasting coffee in a frying pan in Stafford, right up to jumping on a plane for the first time to fly to Central America to try and buy some coffee.
Steve’s been involved with 3fe since the start. Having met Colin and provided him with coffee for the World Barista Championships, a friendship quickly brewed. Colin, somehow, managed to convince Steve to source all of 3fe’s coffee for them. This was probably to save himself a trip to a coffee farm in Central America!
Steve regaled us with stories of relationships and friends he’s made through coffee over the years. Friends and producers he continues to visit and buy coffee from today. Most of Steve’s best work has been done in Central America, he admits, and over the next few years he is turning his attention to other regions, like Africa and South East Asia.
For me the evening really helped to show the difference 3fe has been making over the last 9 years. Not just by improving the coffee we can buy in Ireland, but by paying more for it from trustworthy importers and exporters, and in some cases buying it directly from the farm. This has allowed farmers to pay their pickers more, set up day care and education facilities, and invest in their futures. Given the prices that they pay compared to the some of the big players in the coffee world makes it all the more important to support businesses like 3fe.
Looking forward to celebrating their 10th birthday next year and continuing to see an Irish business go from strength to strength.