Matthew Algie coffee expert, Dr Eduarda Cristovam, tells us about her day on the job
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One of the many perks of my job is that I have access to the freshest coffee, which I grind and brew myself at home. That first cup when it’s early and so quiet that you can hear the birds, is my favourite part of my day. I also have my sourdough toast with butter and read the morning news.
I live in Strathaven so, depending on the traffic, it can take me anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour to drive to work. I like to call the roaster control team on the way, so they can keep me company during my commute, while they tell me the plans for the day and any issues.
As soon as I arrive, I find out how many deliveries we’re expecting. We have to taste every delivery to ensure it’s of a high standard and consistent. We’ll often taste 20 cups per delivery. Setting up the cupping table for tasting is a very calm process that requires precision. In contrast, cupping itself is fast and noisy - we slurp the coffee off a spoon to allow us to quickly perceive the aromatics and flavours. This can be a little messy but it’s hugely effective. As we don’t grow coffee in the UK, I feel really privileged when I see all of these amazing coffees arriving. It’s like having the world at your coffee table. You truly get a sense of what the globe can offer and the glorious flavour variations that exist, from the earthy bold notes of Indonesia to the sweet and fruity flavours of Ethiopia.
I take a working lunch where I answer emails and requests while enjoying my go-to meal of homemade fruit salad and yoghurt.
My afternoon consists of a lot of meetings with the sustainability, coffee and environmental teams. Sustainability is hugely important to us all; it was a driving force behind our new Peak & Wild range, and it’s carefully considered throughout each stage of the supply chain. Our environmental meetings involve discussion around our targets for the year, such as our pledge to be net zero by 2040 and the steps we can take to achieve this, whether that’s changing our fleets to electric vehicles or further reducing our use of plastic. On a Tuesday we end with a team meeting, the perfect opportunity for us all to get together and get an idea of what’s going on across the whole business.
I’ll stay back for an extra hour after the team leave to go through my emails, speak to the site manager and check the schedule for tomorrow. Then make sure I leave by 6pm to avoid being locked in the office when the site shuts – something that has happened a few times.
I’m very lucky to arrive home to a cooked dinner, which I enjoy with my husband, daughter and stepdaughter. There’s always something going on at home whether it’s redecorating my stepdaughter’s bedroom or tending to my plants in an attempt to grow an indoor rainforest.
I like to head to bed quite early, to read or to sit on my phone and catch up with friends. Then I’m out for the count.