This week we welcome new ethical coffee from artisan roasters Northern Edge: a boutique roastery based here in Berwick-upon-Tweed with a passion for great coffee. There are currently two roasts available and each taking a name to reflect part of Berwick's vivid and extraordinary history. This weekend's buzz was tasting both roasts.
The first coffee is Jimmy Strength and is roasted to a strength 4. The beans originate from the Fazenda Pantano Farm in Brazil and are grown at an altitude of 1150 metres. The coffee is also certifiied Rainforest Alliance. To give you an idea about the strength of this coffee you need to understand the legend that is Jimmy Strength! Born in the early 18th Century, Jimmy came to live in Berwick -upon-Tweed and soon news spread of his legendary strength. It is rumoured that in order to save a halfpenny on the toll to cross Berwick Bridge (locally known as "The Old Bridge" - instructed by James VI of Scotland when he became James I of England - the King did not like water and the previous bridge was a wooden bridge in disrepair) he carried his pony over to avoid paying the full toll of a penny to cross as a mounted pedestrian! He even appears in some of Thomas Hogarth's paintings. Now we can definitely say that if you can imagine the strength of this man then you have captured the flavour of this coffee. Definintely a great intense coffee for the morning!
Quarter Town is the second coffee.This is a blend of beans: 70% Indonesian Sumatra Aceh and 30% Brazil Fazenda Pantano The Indonesian beans are grown near Lake Tawar in Aceh at an altitude between 1600-1800 metres and are certified organic and fairtrade..The coffee again takes is name from part of Berwick-upon-Tweeed's history.This town is England' most northerly town and has changed hands between the English and the Scots no less than 13 times over a perod of 400 years. These exchanges are reflected by the fact that Berwick is a walled town and has a reputation for having one of the finest set of Elizbethan walls in Europe! Today Berwick is English but its character is formed from ist unique geographical position (e.g English Laws but its football team play in the Scottish League). Berwick-upon-Tweed used to be a thriving coastal town and indeed it is said to have contributed at least a quarter of England's customs revenue. The coffee is roasted to a strength 3 and this richness is reflected its the smooth notes making it perfect for afternoon or indeed after diner.
Both coffees, along with Kiki's artisan chocolate, can be found in this fabulous antique case: