Fire Station Coffee – An Update

So as readers of the blog may remember, I had a lovely Ethiopian coffee from this particular roaster but was unhappy about the customer service, specifically about the lack of feedback I got from them when I had questions about my order. I’d chalked it up as, sadly, just one of those things and moved on.

So you can imagine my surprise when, just over a week or so ago, I got a very nice message on Facebook from Jacqui at Fire Station Coffee, apologising for the breakdown in communications and saying that they’d sent me a bag of their new season Colombian beans as an apology!

Unlike the last bag, which was three weeks past roasting when it got to me, this one was a mere three days old.  Yay!

I asked Jacqui about the roasting schedule, whether they had a specific day they roasted on, and so on, and this is the response I got –

We do not currently have a strict roasting schedule – being such a small operation at current, it can fluctuate depending on the time of year and demand. But our roaster does generally roast on a Monday and Tuesday, and will collate her orders together as our Roasters batch size is 7kg. If our demand increases Amelia may roast again later in the week.

Which is fair enough! So it’s possible that with the lot I got, there just hadn’t been a great demand for it. So that’s fine, it still tasted delicious.

Sadly (Sorry Jacqui!) I can’t say the same for the Colombian coffee. I couldn’t even tell you what it is, there’s some undercurrent, some flavour note in a lot of Colombian coffees that I just don’t like.  I’ve tried this as a flat white, where it’s perfectly decent, but nothing to write home about, but as an americano it’s very strong and just…man, it makes me want to screw my face up thinking about it.  Not a fan, really not a fan.

But I still appreciate the gesture a whole lot.  They didn’t need to do that, and it was lovely of them to make the effort to make good with a first time customer.  Top marks, Jacqui and Fire Station coffee.

Also, psst, if you look at their website (which I’ve linked above), they’re doing a 20% off all their coffee in the run up to Christmas! Give’em a looksee! They’re not doing the lovely Ethiopian coffee anymore but you can choose between Rwanda, Brazil and Colombia instead.

Also, for a second, I totally thought that “Santa’s Grotto” was the name for a Christmassy blend of coffee. I was slightly disappointed. 🙂

TTFN.

Review #5 – Fire Station Coffee Roasters

This is going to be a bit of a mixed review.  So without further ado, let’s get into it.

Fire Station Coffee are a Roastery based in Suffolk and it looks like they’ve been in business since 2013, but only begun roasting beans since last year.

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The shop design is straightforward enough and I had no issues picking what I wanted. One thing to note is that they don’t have a house blend of their own, only offering a selection of single origin coffees.  Currently they have the following to choose from –

  • Burundi (currently listed as Coming Soon)
  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Rwanda
  • Ethiopia
  • Mexico (decaf)

Prices vary between £6 and £9 for a 250g bag depending on the type of bean you want.  Shipping is £2.40 (UK 2nd class post) or you can collect from the roastery itself. I chose the Ethiopian beans as I’m a fan of their coffees such as Yirgacheffe and Peaberry.

It took four days from placing my order (the 19th of October) for the coffee to arrive, hence my posting the Union review in the interim while waiting for this delivery to arrive.

 

 

Again, a resealable bag, always a big fan of this for folks who don’t have a convenient place to store their beans, but here’s where the first little wrinkle shows up. If you look at the roasting date on the bag, these beans were already three weeks old by the time they reached me which is a fair bit of time.  There’s nothing on the Fire Station Coffee website or on their twitter feed (that I could see) that specifies their roasting schedule.

I reached out to them by voicemail first to verify if the date on the bag was correct, if they only had a limited roasting schedule or was this a mistake and an old bag had been sent to me, left my details and order number and asked for them to get back to me. If this is simply how often they roast, then fair enough! I’m not going to make a fuss about it, but it would be nice to have clarity so I could pass that information along to those folks who read my blog.  A couple of days passed and I received no reply.

I then reached out to them on twitter, quoting my order number and asking if someone could get back to me.  It’s been another two days and I’ve not received a reply and you know what?  That’s a real shame because regardless of how long ago it was roasted, this coffee was bloody lovely.

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This was most definitely a bit of a Jekyll/Hyde coffee, and by that I mean that if you use it with water you get one flavour, and with milk you get another, both are bloody good.  So am I actually saying this is a Hyde/Hyde coffee? That doesn’t make much sense. Maybe it’s more of a Gandalf/Dumbledore coffee.  Both wizards, both very good at what they do, but very different in how they go about it.

Okay, that works. This is a Gandalf/Dumbledore Coffee. And I’m going to stop before I torture this metaphor any further.

When you make it with hot water, the blueberry tasting notes come through LOUD and clear. It was sort of like eating a blueberry muffin and then taking a mouthful of coffee right after. It was really, really nice and this is coming from someone who’s not a massive fan of blueberry.

But if you put it in milk, then the toffee flavour is much more prevalent and the fruity notes all but disappear, it’s almost like a completely different drink. In either cup, it’s a genuinely lovely coffee and one that I would normally not hesitate to recommend…except for the issues with contacting the company.

I’m really disappointed nobody bothered to get back to me regarding either the voicemail or the tweet so it makes it hard for me to recommend that you order from this roaster, as lovely as this bag of coffee has been (and let me state this again, it WAS lovely).  All I can say is that if you do order from them and you have any issues or any questions, getting a response from them might be difficult going by my own personal experience.

That’s it for now, folks, thanks for taking the time to read this review.  I’ll be back with another review in a week or so.