The second in the series of Coffee Snob interviews features Coffee Wanchors.
Hilarious, authentic, and never ones to take themselves too seriously, Coffee Wanchors produce ‘sWANKY coffee’ directly to your door. They came on the scene at the beginning of this year and it is a hard thing to believe, with a rocketing 3,000 followers on Instagram and an ever-growing range of blends to choose from (I’ve got my eye on Captain Caramel and Chocolate Truffle Shuffle). The team consists of cousins Melissa and Jodie and, with their insatiable wit and way with puns, you can see why they have exploded onto the coffee market with such aplomb and have caused such a storm on social media. So much so, one of their biggest challenges to date was getting blocked on Instagram due to their roaring success being so unprecedented.
We talk about this and more, including what goes on behind the scenes, their 100% biodegradable bags, and their top tip to making the perfect cup of coffee.
Enjoy folks, and remember not to take big slurps of coffee while reading this – you’re in for a few laughs…
How did Coffee Wanchors begin?
Last Christmas, by complete chance, Guy and I bought Jodie and Aiden 1kg of sWANKY coffee (with an offensively rude personalised label) and they bought us exactly the same gift. Weeeiiiirrrddd!!!! We took this as a sign.
Anyway, we’d found a tiny roaster who literally did THE best coffee we’d ever tried and wanted to share this with fellow Coffee Wanchors but in an environmentally-friendly fashion, hence the 100% biodegradable bags.
We’re cut from the same cloth (literally, being cousins) so our values are the same: amazing coffee, eco-conscious approaches, and never ever taking ourselves too seriously. It’s all about the good craic.
What’s your process when it comes to creating new blends?
Our roaster is the absolute Jedi of blending, so we have complete faith in his talent and palette. We tell him what characters we want from our blends and hey presto…he hits the nail on the head every time.
We give him plenty of warning, so he’s able to source small batches of speciality beans from the Bean Belt, which he seasonally chases, and then he works his magic.
“What we’ve noticed about coffee is that we are complete lucky buggers in the UK. Not only can we source fine coffee from exotics countries, but we also know how to execute it to get the best out of the beans. Quite often, when travelling in different countries, you can get a belting coffee that is poorly executed, which is always a sad day”
What’s been the toughest challenge yet?
Bloody Instagram!!! As incredible as it is for free marketing and sharing the wealth, the algorithms are constantly changing. Our account grew quite quickly and completely organically, which we were chuffed to bits with, but we don’t think Instagram liked this and we were blocked several times. Meeeh!
It’s tough, but we’re getting there.
What does a day look like in Coffee Wanchors HQ?
Always always always starts with coffee! Nothing happens until the main business of the day is dealt with. And then it’s the food. We’re both a complete pair of greedy pigs so all of our meetings focus around the nosh, and then we just freestyle it.
Sometimes we think we should be more regimental and planned, but all of our best ideas come from informal chin-wags, country walks and playing silly buggers.
Oh – and the chickens always get involved at HQ. Poking their beaks in the kitchen, chasing us around the garden…that sort of thing. We once spent a whole 45 mins of ‘work time’ watching the new chickens getting in the hen house. So many epic fails and it was frickin hilarious! Feathers everywhere.
Melissa, I’m a big fan of your food diaries (@greedy_globetrotters). How does the coffee industry so far differ from the food world?
Travelling is mainly about the food for the Greedy Globetrotters. Oink oink! We follow our snouts by indulging in different traditions and absorbing the unique flavours of each culture. It’s what makes you a rich person. Eating with the locals is the best. It’s an incredible thing to see produce and cooking styles change as you move across a country, or even a continent.
But what we’ve noticed about coffee is that we are complete lucky buggers in the UK. Not only can we source fine coffee from exotic countries, but we also know how to execute it to get the best out of the beans. Quite often, when travelling in different countries, you can get a belting coffee that is poorly executed, which is always a sad day.
Where in the world has served you the best cup of coffee?
Ohhh that’s easy: Galle Fort in Sri Lanka. We were blown away by the chocolatey flat white that we sipped in a tiny coffee shop in the beautiful walled colonial town on the south coast. They were so ‘cloak & dagger’ about where the beans came from, giving nothing away. I even sent my bum chum in there recently to try and sniff out where their magic beans were from, and they gave away nothing! I’m still working on it though, as I’d love to share these with the Wanchors.
“Coffee gives people the excuse to absorb yourself in thoughts and be mindful, or just to sit and talk absolute crap with people you love”
Jodie, being a former NABBA competitor, how did coffee play a part in your training? Do you incorporate caffeine into your gym regime?
Being a bit of a health and fitness fanatic, I never use rank chemical-infused pre-workout drinks, I always always opt for a double espresso – this definitely fuels my gym sessions and gets that extra muscle pumping rep out. It’s amazing how a quality double shot gives you so much energy, and because our brews are the dogs danglies there’s no uncultivated after-taste left rattling around your gob…it’s more like a good sandwich that you never want to end – that kind of taste!
Back int’day when I competed I had very little energy towards the end of competition prep, so again, lashings of good slurp on tap kept me from falling asleep!
Why do you think we are we a nation obsessed with coffee?
It’s not just the dreamy flavours or the buzzy caffeine hit; it’s about self-indulgence and giving people a reason to come together. Coffee gives people the excuse to absorb yourself in your thoughts and be mindful, or just to sit and talk absolute crap with people you love.
What’s next in the pipeline for Coffee Wanchors?
We’re currently working on our seasonal blends and getting FAR too excited about Christmas. Looking at cute little freebies to give to our beloved customers.
How do you take your coffee at home?
Mel: Flat white with Oatly.
Jodie: Black & strong.
Best coffee-related item you’ve purchased?
Mel: Delonghi Espresso machine. £130 & changed my life!
Jodie: Delonghi Magifica S machine – totally worth every penny!
What’s the secret to making a great cup of coffee?
The absolute finest blend you can find (such as Coffee Wanchors – wink wink) and a machine with decent pressure.
As for the froth…smaller jug (don’t even entertain almond or soy milk), micro-foam the crap out of it and there you have it. The mug is also incredibly important so pick your favourite and stick with it. Adds to the hygge hug.