Girls Who Grind

Girls Who Grind

We've been loving Girls who Grind for a few years now: their ethos, brand and most importantly the coffees they roast. 

Started by Fi O'Brian and Casey LaLonde, GWGC is an all female speciality coffee roastery located in Frome, Somerset. The women who originally are from Melbourne, Australia and New York, USA met in the UK and as their children played discussed their love of coffee and experiences within the industry as female coffee professionals.

They decided to take positive action and start a coffee roasters and brand to made the changes they wanted to see; a place within a male dominated industry where women could be celebrated for everything they bring to coffee (did you know that in fact 70% of coffee is PRODUCED by women?!) with their skills and talents given the recognition that they deserve. 

Girls who Grind Coffee was born. A coffee roasting company that sources coffee specifically and exclusively from female producers, telling their stories and creating positive change through the empowerment of women. 

Fi is head of brand and creative director responsible for telling the stories of these women in the most captivating way alongside producing the packaging and merchandising (keeping it in family, the bold illustrations on the packaging are by her husband Ben).

Casey is head of coffee and a Q-grader and responsible for sourcing beans from some incredible women and then roasting them to make them taste great. 

"This coffee is for you. The female coffee farmers. 
The badass barista babes. The kicks coffee lovers.
Grind it. Make it".

We've had three new coffees in from the roastery - in their new updated packaging (loving the new boxes). Details below (including the stories of the women who make them): 

The Boza sisters, Natural 

Shade grown, rain forest alliance certified. 

We have two coffees from the Boza sisters.

This coffee is the NATURAL version. All fruits and sweetness, with a super pleasant body. 

The Boza sisters of Finca San Antonio Amatepec are ambitious change-makers carving a path for themselves and the next generation. 

Their farm was run solely by their father since the 1970s but over time he has broken with tradition and allowed the three sisters: Alexandra, Daniella and Karia to become more involved with the farm and its coffee production.

The sisters have overseen the farm being certified by the Rainforest Alliance, demonstrating their commitment to sustainable coffee practices. 

Girls who Grind have been working with these sisters and this farm to bring female produced coffee to us all for a number of years. Check out this video they made showing their farm here

Origin: Finca San Antonio, Amatepec, San Salvador, El Salvador
Process: natural
Varietal: Bourbon
Flavour profile: pina colada, cherry on top.

The Boza sisters, Washed 

Shade grown, rain forest alliance certified. 

We have two coffees from the Boza sisters.

This coffee is the WASHED version. Creamy, fudgey chocolate notes with controlled apple-acidity. Delicious and ever-drinkable. 


Origin: Finca San Antonio, Amatepec, San Salvador, El Salvador
Process: washed
Varietal: Bourbon
Flavour profile: chocolate nut fudge bar, red apple, smooth



Karin Hernandez

Toffee apple, clementine, milk chocolate 

Located in Antigua, Guatemala, in the region of Volcán Fuego and Volcán de Agua, the ‘Water and Fire Volcanoes’, lifelong coffee producer Karin Hernandez and her family not only run 2 coffee farms, but they also manage Cafe Kapeu, a company that supports 700 other coffee producers all over Ciudad Vieja and Antigua.

Karin works alongside her father (who founded the company) as Q Grader and Head of Quality Control, cupping coffees and advising small producers on the best processes and practices for their coffee production and then ensuring they earn the sale prices they deserve.

The coffees from both family farms, Finca Santa Isabel where this coffee is farmed and San José Buena Vista, are harvested entirely by women who take the utmost care to select the best cherries.

We rarely come across women in coffee producing coffees who are Q Graders, as well as being QC of two fantastic coffee farms, Karin is an inspiration and we wanted to not only support her efforts but also share her coffee with you all.

“As a woman I am proud to be able to support my family and small producers so that together we achieve that anyone in the world can have a good cup of Guatemalan coffee” Karin says.

Origin: Finca Santa Isabel, Ciudad Vieja, Guatemala
Process: washed
Varietal: Red Bourbon
Flavour profile: toffee apple, clementine, milk chocolate 



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New coffees from Crankhouse

New coffees from Crankhouse

We've been buying coffee through Dave (Crankhouse Coffee) for a while now and it never disappoints.

We even took a very tasty natural Ethiopian (Guji Shakiso) to us to Finland a few years back: all big fruity strawberry notes with a creamy angel delight-esque mouthfeel.

Crankhouse roasts with an omni-style - we really enjoy coffees that are roasted like this - not too dark and not too light - great coffee simply roasted to bring out its best. Our main coffee suppliers Campbell and Syme also roast in this manner. 

Traditionally coffee is roasted darker for espresso (you may have heard the term 'dark roast') and over the years speciality coffee has often been associated with much lighter roasting as it has sought to allow inherent flavours shine and not be hidden under a darker roast profile.

Lighter roasting also lends really well to hand brewing methods such as pour-over in which more delicate notes of coffee can be brought out through a longer brew time compared to espresso.

When a coffee is roasted omni style the roaster seeks finding a balance between roasting light for filter or dark for espresso. What may be a great profile for one coffee might not work for another, so each coffee must be treated individuality with their unique flavours considered. This can lead to some very delicious outcomes, and Crankhouse usually hits the spot. 

We've got a couple of new coffee's from Dave available for retail and by the cup:

La Batea

Big & funky with strawberry and blackcurrant notes

La Batea is a sub-region of the area of Villamaria. Meaning "the valley" in english, La Batea has incredibly steep hills which provide a unique microclimate.

Cold air currents swoop down from the snowy mountains of Santa Isabel and Volcan Nevado del Ruiz, improving air quality, circulation and pollination, whilst cooling the air temperature that surrounds the growing coffee cherries. 

This coffee has all those funky and sweet characters that we love from a big natural coffee.

Origin: La Batea, Caldas, Colombia
Process: natural
Varietal: Colombia, Orange Castillo
Flavour profile: big, funky, strawberry, blackcurrant

El Paraiso

Dried mango & lychee

Finca El Paraiso is well known in the specialty coffee world because of its extraordinary coffees and novel fermentation techniques.

Usually the name associated with this farm is Diego Samuel but this coffee is produced by his sister, Yenni Esperanza.

The thermal shock process is complex, involving cleaning off the local environmental microbes, adding their own microbial mix and cold water shocking:

  1. Harvesting 95% ripe cherries, 5% red cherries (semi ripe).
  2. Wash the cherry with ozonated water to remove microbes.
  3. First phase of anaerobic cherry fermentation for 48 hours in tanks with pressure relief valve at a temperature of 18 degrees centigrade.
  4. Depulp.
  5. Fermentation second phase: Anaerobic mucilage for 48 hours at 21 C
  6. Washed with thermal shock (in order to transfer and fix the aromas).Firstly, water at 40 degrees then water at 12 degrees.
  7. Controlled drying for 34 hours, with air recirculation at one temperature of 35C and relative humidity of 25%, until a moisture content between 10% and 11% is achieved.

This coffee forms one of Crankhouse Coffee's very special Colombian coffees as part of Cata's 'Six for Farmers' project instigated during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic with the mission "to have a positive impact on Colombian farmers’ well-being, whilst supplying fresh and delicious specialty coffees".

Origin: Finca El Paraiso, Cauca, Colombia
Process: experimental thermal shock
Varietal: Castillo
Flavour profile: dried mango and lychee

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In recent weeks my colleagues have got me hooked to Chefs Table; in each episode of this Netflix documentary a world renowned chef is profiled. The programme on Dan Barber –owner of Blue Hill restaurant in Manhattan, who has rewritten the farm to table concept - struck me and made me consider what is, or should be, the purpose of a restaurant?

I believe an innate passion for food (whatever type that may be) is vital, as is a love for hospitality; these provide the beating heart of any good food venue. A friend said recently that cafes and restaurants are like living beings - they need to be nurtured and looked after as honest direction and integrity will provide a soul.

This is why so many different styles of restaurant can co-exist. We have a blossoming food scene in Southsea with well-established venues, modern eateries, coffee shops and cafes all side by side – each with their own purpose, story and charm that appeal to different people within our community

Yet aside from their own story and journey, should restaurants also have a sense of social responsibility? Not just in terms of public safety and hygiene, but in a far broader ethical sense?

I believe that the answer to this is yes. If your passion is food then working towards making that industry sustainable and ethical is common sense. This could be through the use of organic produce; supporting local farmers or food producers; or buying Fairtrade products. It could involve using renewable energy or compostable take out products. Or it could be making a commitment to local projects and community initiatives.

Ideally the type of social responsibility should be in line with the direction of the venue itself; we are all different and what is one man’s cause may not be another’s. For example a fine food business may have at its heart the use of local, organic produce; a fish restaurant may support local fishermen; a wholefoods shop may drive home the use of recyclable products. Community initiatives such as the food cycle project reuse surplus food to provide meals for those at risk of food poverty.

I would like to see more and more restaurants making these moves and us as consumers supporting them; although it may seem like additional burden on small business - it’s amazing how small steps can make a bigger difference to benefit everyone; and when this happens how much the community comes together. Give and the world will give back.

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