by Olivia Miller on December 19th, 2016
Bean Loved Coffee sits in the heart of historic Skipton, and is one of the few places in the area where you can stop for a cup of Canton. I spoke to head barista Wes to find out more about what it’s like serving fine teas on the edge of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.
Tell us a little more about Bean Loved, how did it all start?
Bean Loved started almost 10 years ago. My dad (Steve) had worked as a coffee sales manager for Matthew Algie for 11 years and always dreamed that one day he would open his own coffee shop. Matthew Algie had taught my dad a lot about coffee, whether that be correct brewing methods, equipment, roast to order, creating a menu and training. So in 2007 he decided now was the time.
With me (Wes) having worked in hospitality for a few years both here in the UK and overseas when I travelled New Zealand and Australia, my dad asked if I wanted to be involved. So of course I jumped at the chance.
It was obvious from the start that we shared the same goal with our future project. To create a coffee shop for the Skipton community. Looking back, I feel we have definitely achieved this.
And what’s your ethos?
The ethos for Bean Loved was simple: passion, quality and service. Our passion for what we do is one of the qualities which makes us unique. We care for what we do and want our guests to experience this time and time again. The quality is shown through the products and suppliers we choose to use. Our service, we felt, would help define us as a business. Our idea of creating a community coffee shop wouldn’t come true if our guests didn’t feel welcome, but I’m very proud to say that we know a lot of our customers by name and what they drink, and they keep coming back.
When did you start selling Canton tea, and what made you choose it?
We only started using Canton Tea 12 months ago and I would say I was a novice when it came to speciality tea and brewing, but since introducing Canton Tea my eyes have been opened. When we made the decision to look at changing and tasted a few different companies it was really the quality in flavour of Canton which stood out for me. Whether that be black, green, or herbal they were all simply amazing.
Now instead of Bean Loved being a speciality coffee shop with a tea menu, I feel our business has evolved its offer into speciality coffee and tea. We are now just as passionate about our tea as we are our coffee. Our tea to water ratio is weighed for every order and the temperature is key to making sure each tea on our menu tastes just as we intended.
Speciality tea is really gaining popularity in cities like London and Bristol. Have you noticed customers in rural Yorkshire are getting more adventurous in their tea choices too?
Our customers have really embraced the change in our tea on offer. This is highlighted when it comes to our guest tea menu. We have both a guest coffee and tea menu which offers our guests the best way to experience a range of flavours and learn about genuine, seasonal artisan teas and coffee.
It was important that we made these teas unique and have had some stunning teas as guests, all from Canton Tea Co. Some of the standouts with our customers have been Pouchong, White Peony and Phoenix Honey Orchid (Mi Lan Dan Cong). With simple guidance from flavour notes, our guests have been more than willing to try something new and have given us some great feedback.
Do you have a favourite Canton tea? What foods do you like to pair it with?
I have too many to choose from. I always remember our first tasting with Canton Tea and two really stood out from the rest. The first was Classic Earl Grey. The bright citrus flavour from the bergamot was a highlight and something I’d never experienced before from an Earl Grey. We paired this tea with a Welsh Honey & English Lavender Cake which was very popular. The Triple Mint was also amazing with it’s cool, clean refreshing flavours. I knew after that Canton was for us. I do have to mention the Phoenix Honey Orchid (Mi Lan Dan Cong) too. This was my first experience with an Oolong and what an experience. One by which all others will now be measured.
And what can we expect to see next from Bean Loved?
As well as focusing on our tea offering this year, we have just launched a new food menu, which we have been really excited about. We are now offering an all day brunch menu with classics like eggs Benedict, pancakes and smashed avocado on toast, along with some new offerings in our Chef Selection menu. Lamb, Mint & Coriander Burger and The Bean Loved Deli sandwich with our home-cured Pastrami. To name just a few!
We will always work hard to make sure our drinks and food menu stay fresh and exciting for our guests and I’m sure this will mean more new and exciting teas for our guest tea menu, which we will look forward to trying.
If you’re visiting the Dales this winter, why not warm up at Bean Loved with a cup of tea and a bite to eat? Visit them at 17 Otley Street, Skipton BD23 1DY