As if the resurgence of the pandemic toward the end of 2021 wasn’t enough, Gisborne coffee roaster Black Cat Coffee was handed another fire to put out – literally. With damage to their coffee roaster, stock, and other equipment, they had nothing left to fill customer orders and keep their business trading. Needless to say, when we first spoke to Valerie and Stephen, they were a little stressed.
Time restraints and travel restrictions meant that we couldn’t meet face-to-face, so we got acquainted and briefed over phone and email. Valerie and Stephen needed four origins roasted to their specs, and they needed it done by Monday. As we couldn’t all meet and taste it together, flavour descriptions have never been so important.
After a bit of hustling and a few late nights, the coffee was roasted and arrived by the deadline. Valerie and Stephen were happy that the coffee met their specs, and no changes were needed. We subsequently roasted for Black Cat Coffee until early 2022 when they’d re-built the roastery and were able to go back to roasting their own.
We’ve always worked with other coffee brands that roast their own coffee – normally because they’ve reached capacity or want to improve coffee quality. But one thing we’ve learnt from Black Cat Coffee and the pandemic – working together on contingency plans is not a silly idea.