Charlotte Harding catches up with a couple passionate about coffee.
How do you like your coffee? For Rachel and Doug Ross the fact they like their coffee different ways sparked an idea to start a business.
The couple knew they wanted to do something together and their love for the beverage was the inspiration they needed.
“I have been to lots of coffee houses on my travels so have tried a lot of different ones,” explains Doug.
“It is about giving people a choice and to be able to have good coffee at home,” says Rachel.
“Once you try good coffee you do become a bit of a coffee snob and can taste the difference in lower quality beans.”
Square House Coffee was launched a year ago.
It sells four single origin beans, a Cameroon, Tanzania, Burundi and house blend in either bean, espresso or cafeteria grinds alongside a seasonal blend.
“We have a roaster in Dudley called Tom who I really picked the brains of when we started,” reveals Doug.
“I told him what I wanted to do and initially thought about roasting the beans myself but he said why buy a unit and all the equipment when I have everything and we can work together.”
Trying the single origin beans and different blends has helped them build up their core range but there is one still on their wish list.
“We want a South American bean but haven’t found the right one yet,” Doug says.
Key to Rachel and Doug was being ethical and working with suppliers who followed that ethos.
“Our green bean supplier is Schluter Coffee based in Liverpool that is a direct trade company,” reveals Doug.
“So we know that the farmers who put in all the hard work are getting paid for the work they do,
and the company also provides education and community support.
“It is all about community and giving something back.
“We also work with Children on the Edge and a percentage of our profits goes to helping the charity.
“That is where the square comes from in our name,” explains Rachel. “We want to do things fair and square, be ethical and do the right thing.
“Whereas the house comes from the fact it is a family business that we run from home.”
They are also keen to educate people as to how to get good tasting brew at home.
“It does depends on loads of things - the method, the bean, the grind and what you are using,” explains Rachel.
The couple knew each other years ago when Rachel was Doug’s agent as a travelling DJ.
“We reconnected ten years later and got together,” adds Doug.
“We have been married for two years and it has been nice to do something together that we are both passionate about.”
The joy of working with coffee is that Rachel and Doug have a lot of friends and family keen to be taste testers.
“People were really positive when we told them what we wanted to do,” says Doug.
“We tried to get our kids involved and they started putting the labels on the coffee bags but they were on at an angle so we decided to take over and give them another job.”
As the pair are coffee lovers, how do they like to have theirs?
“I like mine black so I can really taste the bean,” reveals Rachel.
“For me to depends on my mood and the time of day,” says Doug.
“In the morning I like a milky coffee such as a flat white but then later on in the day if I’m at home I will have a black coffee.
“But my go to is usually a flat white.”
So whether yours is a latte or a cortado, cappuccino or just black it is all about the bean.
Square House Coffee is offering readers 15 per cent discount off all its products.
Just enter etc15 code at checkout.
Square House Coffee will be at Rare Brand Market at Goodwood Racecourse on November. 22, 23, 24.
To see the full range visit squarehouse.coffee
This story appeared in the November edition of etc Magazine, here are some more stories you may want to check out from this issue: