Paisley First has launched two fantastic projects shining a spotlight on the town centre’s fantastic food and drink venues.

The Business Improvement District for Paisley town centre has published a new illustrated Food and Drink map, detailing the area’s hospitality venues – which you can see below.

This handy guide highlights venues including cafes, restaurants, bars and takeaway businesses.

The Food and Drink Map also includes illustrations of more than 20 businesses representing the variety of food and drink on offer, as well as reflecting the geographical spread of hospitality venues throughout the town centre.

Paisley town centre food and drink map Paisley First Food & Drink map

As well as the map, you can also enjoy Paisley’s Slug in the Bottle Pub Trail, paying homage to the landmark legal case which changed the world by establishing consumer rights.

May Donoghue successfully sued a local ginger beer manufacturer after finding a decomposed slug in her bottle of ginger beer in a Paisley café in 1928.

Almost 100 years on, bars and pubs are host to traditional ales and spirits, craft beers, premium gins and whiskies as well as classic and not so classic cocktails.

With a variety of street food and pub food on offer as well as live music, sports and a range of entertainment, there’s something to suit every taste and budget.

Paisley First Slug in a Bottle Trail Map

To take part in Paisley’s Slug in the Bottle Pub Trail, simply collect a slug stamp from 10 different participating pubs and bars.

Once you have completed the trail, you will receive an exclusive Slug in the Bottle Pin Badge and be entered into Paisley First’s monthly prize draw to win a £25 hospitality voucher.

Paisley Food and Drink Maps and Paisley’s Slug in the Bottle Pub Trail leaflets can be picked up from the Paisley First leaflet racks in both the Piazza Shopping Centre and the Paisley Centre.

For more information, visit the Paisley First website below.

Paisley has a growing food and drink scene and our fantastic hospitality venues are helping to put Paisley firmly on the map. We are grateful to our town centre businesses who help fund all our projects as we welcome back families and friends for those all-important days and nights out!”

Colette Cardosi
Chair of Paisley First

Enjoy A Taste of Renfrewshire with these great food and drink videos

“If I hadn’t gone for it and started SweetPunkz then I’d always have been asking myself what-if?”

Grant Fraser has always had a sweet tooth and, more importantly, an eye for business and when the second lockdown came round last December, the 28-year-old Business Management graduate used it as an opportunity to roll up his sleeves, and delve into the world of confectionery.

A self-confessed ‘chocolate fiend’, it has been a match made in heaven, opening online sweet store, SweetPunkz, proving to be a resounding success in the space of just a few months.

The former Park Mains pupil explains: “It wasn’t a decision I made lightly and I knew the risks, but in life, you don’t know something until you try, and after a couple months of researching and asking others already in the industry for advice, I decided I had to go for it.

“I worked relentlessly to get SweetPunkz to the stage of launch. Every day I would tick off another step that I had to do. One day it was the logo, the next it was the mission statement. It was just a conveyor belt of stages, and once the stock, certification, and website were sorted, we went live in March 2021.”

Grant’s business now boasts a pick and mix range of over 85 options, including sweets to meet many dietary requirements, importing stock from as far afield as the USA, Dubai and Australia.

There’s Friday night deliveries across Renfrewshire, his customers enticed by his quirky videos on social media, including the Super Sour Challenge, which went viral on TikTok and raised a fantastic sum for Scottish mental health charity SAMH in the process.

Home for his burgeoning business is Start-Up Street, the enterprise centre on Paisley’s George Street.

Start-Up Street

Providing low-cost workspace and onsite support, the centre was set-up by the Council in partnership with Launch It, who manage the site day-to-day and run a programme mentoring young people to hone their entrepreneurial skills.

Grant adds: “I’d never taken that leap into a business premise before, but at Start-Up Street, it’s a readymade package in a great environment, meaning you don’t need to fixate on the bills, it’s a security blanket that lets you focus all your attention on growing your business.

“When you go self-employed it can be lonely and you can start to feel lost, so it’s great to be here, alongside other business owners and I’ve had great support from James [Edmonds – Grant’s Council Business Gateway adviser], he’s been my go-to guy since the start and has helped me at every turn.

“I’ve been blown away by just how quickly things have taken off, it’s been a whirlwind. I’ve managed to build up a fantastic product range and my focus is always on growing the business further.

“I’m passionate about supporting mental health – the pandemic showed everyone just how horrible loneliness can be. I’m incredibly proud of the Super Sour Challenge, I always want my business to have a social impact too and that’s why I’m supporting a homeless project and will be continuing to support great projects wherever I can.

“Hopefully I can make the most of my time here then turn round and say I started that business with little to no money and look at it now.”

You can find SweetPunkz online and on Paisley Eats, with the InCube shop on Gilmour Street in Paisley also stocking Grant’s tasty treats.

Interested in starting up in Paisley?

As they continue to go from strength to strength, take a look at the blueprints for the new Barnhill Market.

Blog by Mill Magazine as part of Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2021.

From humble beginnings with The Asparagus Hut, a sheltered area with an honesty box, James Mackie is well on his way to starting a food revolution in Renfrewshire.

The Hut expanded into a warehouse, warehouse to a farm shop, farm shop to a family destination with the addition of rides, soft-play, go-karts, trampolines and even dinosaurs and now they will host a monthly market.

Unlike most markets however, James isn’t charging stall holders a plot fee to make a profit. All funds raised from plot fees will go directly into advertising the market itself.

The aim is to help local small businesses grow within Renfrewshire by giving them a physical presence in the community.

Expansion of the farm doesn’t stop there. Plans to turn the farm shop into a locally sourced supermarket will be the first of its kind in Scotland and will feature a Renfrewshire baker, butcher,  fishmonger, ice cream maker and of course Barnhill in-season fruit and veg.

All meat will be reared in the county with Barnhill’s in-house animals providing the pork, chicken, eggs and speciality asparagus hailing back to their humble beginnings.

Barnhill has amassed a fantastic social media following with over 13,000 people interacting with the farm shop on a weekly basis. So, when it came to finding vendors for the market, all they had to do was put the word out on their Facebook page and within a week all spots were taken for the markets first proposed date of the 29 May 2021.

There are two options available to a budding market stall holder at Barnhill. Option one: a brightly coloured hut reminiscent of the famous seaside huts in Sheringham, Norfolk, installed with access to electricity, or we have option two: a plot location for those wishing to bring their own table, stall or gazebo.

Something worth mentioning to anyone reading this article, contemplating the chance at becoming one of Barnhill market stall holders is that they will be hosting these markets on a monthly basis with no tie-in contract, which means businesses can join in with the market around their work schedule.

Those who may feel their business would benefit from becoming a permanent feature of the market on a monthly basis, or once per season, the door is always open to return.

So far, the roster of vendors includes jewellery makers, candle entrepreneurs, arts and craft experts as well as cakes, sweeties and home bakes galore.

If you would like more information on the market, there will be updates on the Barnhill Farm Shop website as they become available, on their Facebook page or even pop in-store and have a chat with the staff.

Spearheaded by the McShane Family and based in Johnstone, The Rollin Pig is bringing hog roasts and a whole lot more to Renfrewshire’s thriving culinary landscape.

Blog by Mill Magazine as part of Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2021.

You’re bringing something unique to Renfrewshire’s food landscape. What gave you the idea to open up The Rollin Pig? 

The Rollin Pig, as it has become known, is the combination of two family businesses coming together. Tom & Chris McShane run The Entertainment Company. Established in 1984, the company specializes in corporate event management, prop & decor hire, marquee hire etc.

Then, around seven years ago, Richard McShane, a chef with a considerable background in restaurant & event catering, set up The Rollin Pig – offering mobile hog roast services for private and corporate events, as well as attending food festivals at Paisley, Loch Lomond Shores, Helensburgh among others.

The business gradually evolved to fine catering for weddings until, in 2018, Archie Colville went into business with Richard and set up Inside Out Food & Drink with the aim of specialising in larger weddings, parties & corporate events.

In late 2018, The Entertainment Company & Inside Out took joint lease on our unit in Ann Street Johnstone, where a high-end commercial kitchen was designed and built alongside warehouse facilities for prop & marquee storage.

Then, March 2020 came and everything halted.

The two companies were fortunate in that we could pull resources together to maintain the lease & running costs of the premises.

Just like everyone else, we were desperate to get back to work. We had the kitchen, the facility, the knowledge, and, most importantly, we had the drive to try something a wee bit different.

Between the four of us, we had all heard the same line from multiple people. Normally, some variation on ‘I’m sick fed up of the same takeaways week after week’. We don’t want  to take anything away from the quality well established takeaways in the area, but I think people were just craving something different and something they could relate to.

Thus, The Rollin Pig was reimagined!

You pride yourself on high quality food and evading anything mass-produced. Where do you source your produce from? Was this a crucial part of the process that paved the way for you to open?

Quality, locally sourced produce is what we are all about and probably our most important ethos.

Our hogs come from Neilston. The beef comes to us from the local abattoir. The haggis & black pudding are made by Marshalls Butchers in Johnstone. The veg produce we use is supplied by Harry’s Fruit and Veg in Johnstone. We have also started stocking Paisley Drinks Co’s soft drinks line.

As for the crucially important mobile app sales platform side of the business, we have chosen to work with Paisley Eats. Going to one of the multinational platforms may initially have driven more traffic to us, but that would have come at the cost of breaking our ‘Keep it local’ mantra, as well as the loss of the personal touch and drive we get from Tom at Paisley Eats.

There are multiple reasons why we have chosen to go down this (sometimes) slightly more expensive route. We want to know where the meat comes from, how it has lived and to ensure been treated as well as its diet (no food additives to help bulk the animal up) and who has produced & processed it.

We are all too aware of the climate issues the world is facing just now and we wanted to ensure our carbon footprint was kept to its minimum. This bleeds across into our packaging which is all compostable as opposed to recyclable.

It seems as though people are really responding well since you opened, to the extent that you’ve sold out of various items already. Have you been blown away by the response?

In some ways we have been blown away by the response, especially as we are located out of the way in a non standard takeaway setting. However, we also think that is part of the appeal and what has attracted people to us is that people want different!

All our custom has been driven by word of mouth and Facebook. At the moment, we have spent virtually nothing on advertising, so the response really shows how people have engaged with the idea.

What we have really been blown away by is how far some have travelled to come and try us (and based on feedback, loved what they’ve found). There are also two or three campaigns on the go to get us to deliver to certain areas, so that’s encouraging.

Do you find that catering for special events such as birthdays accounts for a lot of your business?

Going back to the first question, that was 100% of our business in the past. With the current restrictions having an effect on big events including weddings and food festivals, we are starting to see a number of enquiries for smaller family focused events. But, who knows what will happen in the coming months. Nevertheless, we are certainly ready!

Away from the roasts, you also offer street food, including some vegetarian options and seafood. Is it important to you that there’s something for everyone at The Rollin Pig even if hog spits aren’t your thing?

We think it is important not only to appeal to a wide range of people, but to also offer everyone the chance to taste something they might not have seen before or had the opportunity to try. Our street food menu will be the one part of our offering that changes more frequently, primarily as there are so many different dishes and tastes out there to experience (and some foods really can be an experience).

And while there will be those with certain views on the food sources we specialize in that don’t like what we do, especially as at the weekends we cook & pull full pigs in view of the public, we do believe there is an important place in our menu for vegetarian and fish options.

Do you think that providing not just a takeaway, but a dining experience is something that sets The Rollin Pig apart?

We think the thing that sets us apart is that from the second you find us on Facebook or hear about us from a friend, we are an experience!

We are cheeky, friendly and a wee bit bonkers but, above all, we have a real passion for everything we do. We have entered into a complex and demanding industry and while we know we won’t get everything right 100% of the time, on the few occasions we make a mistake, it genuinely upsets us and we rectify it as soon as physically possible.

As for the future, we definitely aren’t done yet and the takeaway is just the start. So, as they say, watch this space!

Get acquainted with all things The Rollin Pig at the link below!

Related Links

Once you’ve had your fill of Renfrewshire’s savoury offerings, our area’s thriving dessert scene are on hand to provide the perfect conclusion.

Blog by Mill Magazine as part of Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2021.

Depending on your outlook, the prospect of a two course meal could take on two distinct shapes. Either you’re making a beeline for the starters, or you’re tentatively flicking to the back of the menu in order to pinpoint what dessert is on the cards.

From the region’s proud lineage in the confectionary world to the litany of parlours and shops that are innovating on a daily basis, we’ve given you the rundown on the waffles, wafers and wondrous ice cream creations that you need in your life.


Ice Mania, Bridge of Weir

For the team at Bridge Of Weir’s Ice Mania, their shakes and desserts aren’t only crafted with an eye for both detail and maximum delectability, but the entire operation was designed to cater to all ages and carry on their own family tradition of delivering excellence to their community.

“It was always the plan to be part of a village that has been missing something and we wanted to give the kids somewhere to go and sit and enjoy treats,” Ice Mania’s Harry informed Mill Magazine. “Plus, my father has been serving the village with wonderful food from original chillies for 20 years.

“Our plan as a business was always to reach as many areas as possible so that everyone would know what Ice Mania is all about. As a result, we make everything with passion and love and always aim to serve up truly mouth watering desserts.

“It’s always good to be different and experiment and we always want to keep up with what’s new in from suppliers so we can make things interesting and exciting for our customers.”


Porrelli Ice Cream, Paisley

 

Constructed to the very recipe that founder Gerardo enlisted back when the company was first minted, Porrelli’s has been a Paisley institution since 1925.

Described as “the home of luxury Italian gelato”, the town remains the proud headquarters of the company that brought the ice cream acumen of San Biagio to Scotland.

Having celebrated their 90th birthday back in 2015, Porrelli’s are continuing to hone their craft as they head towards a glorious centenary.


Scoops, Paisley

 

Situated on Glasgow Road, Paisley, Scoops’ comprehensive menu will ensure that your every sprinkled or cookie dough infused whim can be met.

Having tirelessly worked through lockdown, you’ll find everything from cakes and waffles to sundaes and even dessert munchie boxes at Scoops. Plus, they deliver!


The Merry Baker, Elderslie

 

 

Based in Elderslie, this one-woman operation is available to commission for everything from cupcakes to eye-catching creations for all special occasions.

Billed as delicious, beautiful and bespoke, The Merry Baker has the greatest accolade that anyone in her line of work can ask for in that her cakes taste are each and every bit as amazing as they look.


Candy Chele’s, Renfrew

 

Both nostalgic and yet contemporary all at once, Renfrew’s Candy Chele’s bills itself as a traditional sweet shop and even offers gift bags for wedding party favours and much more.

Allowing their customers to access retro favourites such as MB bars, foam bananas, flying saucers and creamola (Krakatoa) foam as well as sugar free goodies and vegan alternatives, you’d be hard pushed to enter this confectionary wonderland and not leave with a massive smile on your face and a pick and mix to boot.


Sprinkles, Renfrew

 

Established in 2014, Sprinkles has one of the most diverse and far-reaching menus of any dessert parlour in the district.

Boasting 100 different milkshakes and 22 flavours of scrumptious ice cream, this Renfrew favourite are not if not malleable to your request and they’re always offering special deals across Just Eat and their social media profiles.

The brainchild of two industry veterans with a passion for high quality food and beverages, Scott & Emily McFarlane talk us through what to expect from their new, dog friendly Café 77. 

Blog by Mill Magazine as part of Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2021.

People are clamouring for a good coffee now more than ever. Was it important for you to get the right products in place ahead of opening? 

We completely agree, cafe culture has exploded in the last few years and people really search for a good decent coffee, I know I do.  This was so important to our ethos as a cafe to get this right for opening.  Our supplier, Rocco Espresso, is based in Glasgow and are experts in their field. Gino and his team have been excellent from the start in terms of  helping us pick our coffee!  They offer a unique blend of carefully selected roasts using 100% Arabica beans and are certified fair trade. The coffee we chose is slow roasted and blended to produce an authentic espresso, while also not losing taste when using milk in something like a flat white. We will also offer a selection of decaf coffee, teas, and hot chocolate too.

Have you taken the lessons you’ve learned over the course of your careers in hospitality and applied them to the business?

Yes, definitely.  We are both lucky to have worked in some fantastic hospitality venues, with my wife working in the likes of Blythswood Hotel and Kelvingrove Cafe, while I cut my teeth  in the music events industry.  You do learn some things over the years, even if you don’t realise it at the time.  One thing we wanted to bring to our hometown is a level of luxury – making a trip to our café a treat, while still being very reasonable in price and accessible for most. From experience, if you work hard on nailing the concept and the brand, the produce, and level of service, as well as just being open and honest with your customers, then success should come your way. We are lucky to count some of our previous employers’ as among our great friends and take great pride in carrying on the levels of service and hospitality they instilled in us.

Your menu has promised an array of vegan and gluten free options. How was the process of curating your food offerings. Is it still being fine-tuned? 

We have a great chef on board in David Monaghan, who has worked in previous brunch cafes such as Wilson Street Pantry. Together with our ideas and his expertise, we are very excited for the menu launch. As well as gluten-free and vegan options, we will, of course, be catering to meat-eaters, children and our canine friends.

Being a dog-friendly cafe is predestined to grant you a dedicated audience. Are you looking forward to making a lot of new four-legged friends once the cafe is open? 

We are super excited to be dog friendly. With us owning our two GSP’s (German Shorthaired Pointers), we love nothing more than catching a bite to eat and a coffee after a walk with them. With us being situated so close to Barshaw Park, we do expect to make lots of new four-legged friends. And from recent walks in the park, there are lots!

Seeing as Renfrewshire as a whole is in the midst of a massive boom period,  are you excited for your cafe to be situated in such an up-and-coming area of Paisley?

We are indeed, and it is so exciting that Renfrewshire is in this boom period. We feel we have found our spot at the right time, particularly with everyone keen to socialise post-lockdown . We can see a lot of investment is going into Paisley – from other cafes to the Arts Centre and through to the new museum, we are excited about our hometown.

Glasgow is renowned for its café culture and has been a source of inspiration for you and it’s clear that Renfrewshire has the audience to rival what they have on offer. Are you hoping to make this into a destination for people to come to from further afield?

We would absolutely love to become a destination venue and find ourselves on more people’s radars.  Paisley has so many lovely suburbs close to the heart as well as the ever-growing Barrhead and all the way up to Kilbarchan, Houston, Bridge of Weir and beyond. We hope the word of Café 77 spreads all over!

Take a closer look at Café 77 with the links below.

From the moment that they opened their doors, Johnstone Coffee Co have placed an unwavering onus on bettering their community.

Toni Marshall explains how this prepared them for a momentous year, in which their commitment to their town was on display like never before.

Blog by Mill Magazine as part of Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2021.

Johnstone Coffee Co has been warmly embraced by the area since opening its doors. Did this mean that it only seemed natural to give back?

Absolutely! Our local community is the bedrock of our business and the reason why opening in Johnstone was a no-brainer. I said to the staff back when we opened that we need to earn the right to serve and operate in Johnstone, simply rolling up the shutter is not enough. As the shop has grown to be a big part of the community, it only seemed right to share the success of it with the local area.

You’ve done a lot of community work over the past year – specifically, giving away free lunches to school kids during lockdown. How did this come about?

The lockdowns and this past year in general threw up a lot of challenges and uncertainty to many families in our catchment area. Something had to be done about it and after conferring with Elderslie Butchers, we then decided as a local business that we would step in to help as many families as we can. Come the end of the first lockdown, we gave out just under 2000 free school meals

Do you feel that as an establishment that’s thriving within a tight-knit community, there is a duty to give back where you can?

In business, not every decision should be a financial one and I believe that local businesses need to challenge themselves more to better serve their community and customers. I believe it’s every business’s duty to give back to the locals they serve and that itself should define what being a part of a community is all about.

Do you believe that your outreach work will become a bigger part of JCC as it becomes more and more of an institution in the area?

Simply, yes! We are working on some plans just now that we hope to bring into fruition at the end of the year and they all centre on helping Johnstone bounce back from a rough year. More has to be done to help our local community adapt to life after lockdown and we hope to work closely with other local businesses and organisations to spearhead Johnstone’s comeback. As the owner, I have never been prouder to be a part of the Johnstone community and I will continue to play a role in helping any way we can.

Keep up with Toni and his team at the link below.

After a spree of rave reviews, we caught up with John Lorimer to discuss the multi-faceted menu of Buddy Yaldi and his plans to take his Paisley-based operation around Europe.

Blog by Mill Magazine as part of Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2021.

Originally, the idea came about back in 2019, the name, Buddy Yaldi, itself hadn’t been coined until just 3 months ago. The focus is fresh and modern street food and to bring it to events such as the Big Feed in Glasgow.

I love cooking, the kitchen mindset and the general lifestyle. Experimenting and pushing out good food helps to keep me motivated to do what I love. I feel all chefs should try and cater for all diets and experiment with different things to bring new flavours, textures and overall creating a new experience for customers. All in all, creating an experience that I hope they will love!

The menu and Buddy Yaldi will change and evolve over time and I am always trying to push for a higher standard than people will expect. I definitely want to travel with food, to Glasgow, then London and Europe. By doing so, I’m sure I’d be able to find inspiration from new ideas and new things along the way.

Everything is exciting at the moment! I’m looking at taking a new head chef role in Paisley while I continue to refine my ideas for street vending, which, hopefully should be ready in May or June. That’s what I’m aiming for anyway! But, to be able to travel the world is my main goal. Hopefully, with Buddy Yaldi, the world will become a little bit bigger.

Offering a broad range of gluten free and vegan options but with plenty of delicacies for carnivorous palettes, familiarise yourself with Buddy Yaldi’s ever evolving line-up of dishes via the link below.

Based at Benn Avenue in Paisley, Becky Strawser of The Gatehouse Coffee Roasters talks us through their love of the gourmet godsend that is a fixture of so many of our lives and the journey that it undertakes to get there. 

Blog by Mill Magazine as part of Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2021.

 

There’s a mug that sits on my kitchen counter. It’s chipped and stained, but the words hand-painted on the ceramic remain an unofficial mantra for weekday mornings in our house: “I’ll start working when the coffee does”. It’s no secret that I find it difficult to face the demands, decisions and downright chaos of daily life without the gentle clarity that comes with those first few beautiful sips in the morning.

Working in a coffee roastery definitely has its perks. But, is that all that coffee is to us? Our drug of choice to jump-start another day? Our chosen vehicle for another hit of caffeine? Maybe it’s worth taking a moment to consider: What is actually in our cup? How did it get there? And, does it even matter?

Coffee sustains lives, and that has nothing to do with a Monday-morning caffeine boost. Growing, picking and trading coffee beans provides a sole source of income for families and whole communities in many parts of the world.

From family-run small-holdings to multi-acre farms, millions of people rely upon being paid a fair wage to grow, pick, source, import, roast and brew the coffee that we make a beeline for at the start of our work-day.

A single coffee bean passes through so many expert hands before it reaches the cup, each of them belonging to hands of a woman or man trying to feed a family, educate children or simply build a life for themselves. The wages they are paid and the conditions in which they work directly affect the health, education and future of entire communities.

If we’re buying coffee at rock-bottom prices here in Scotland, it’s only because somebody else’s family is paying the price elsewhere in the world.

Let’s normalise being inquisitive about the origin of the coffee we’re drinking. Let’s notice the country of origin, ask the names of the farms and show an interest in their trading practices.

Transparency and traceability are vital if we believe that people are the most important part of the coffee industry.

Arabica and Robusta. You’ve probably seen coffee proudly marketed as “100% Arabica”, but what does that actually mean? There are two commonly-grown types of coffee plant: Arabica and Robusta. Although arabica is more widely grown and traded, robusta coffee is still a highly-traded crop in many parts of the world.

Robusta is – unsurprisingly – a more robust plant and will flourish at lower altitudes and produce a greater yield. On the other hand, arabica coffee is more difficult to tend and carries much higher production costs. Because of this, arabica coffee is significantly more expensive to trade.

Although both plants grow coffee cherries and will be processed and roasted in similar ways, there is a noticeable difference in the appearance and taste of these two types of coffee.

Robusta coffee does not generally display the same variety of taste profiles that can be found in arabica coffee and it tends to deliver a more flat and neutral taste. Because of this, arabica coffee is generally used in specialty coffee, whereas robusta is used in commodity coffee such as large-scale instant-coffee production, or as a filler in some less-expensive blends.

The variety of arabica beans available to taste and explore is vast. Taste preferences are personal, but what we should all agree on is that it’s vital that the beans that we choose to invest in are traceable and ethically sourced.

Coffee is a fruit. Most of us are familiar with the image of a roasted brown coffee bean, and maybe we tend to think of that as the starting point of our coffee.

However, a coffee bean’s journey begins a number of steps before that. Coffee grows as a cherry on a coffee plant, ripening from green into a bright red, orange or yellow fruit. The coffee bean is the seed from within the cherry. Cherries are picked once they are ripe, often by hand, and then laid out to dry.

How the cherry is handled at this point can have a huge impact on the taste of the coffee that you will eventually enjoy in your cup. Some coffees are washed very soon after being picked. The fruit of the cherry is washed away from the seed in specialised washing stations that require a great deal of physical labour and attention to detail. The bare green seeds are then laid out to dry.

This process allows minimal time for the pulp of the coffee fruit to impact the taste profile of the coffee bean, therefore allowing us to appreciate the unique taste of the coffee bean itself.

However, other coffee is processed using the natural method; laying out coffee beans to dry whilst they are still inside the fruit, removing the pulp later after the drying process is complete.

This process allows more flavour from the cherry to impart to the bean and can often result in a coffee with more funky, fruity notes.

You can find fine examples of both washed and natural coffees at speciality roasteries and coffee shops around Scotland. Ask your barista what’s in your cup.

Recipes matter. How many of us have spent lockdown honing our baking skills? Seeing my kids gain confidence in the kitchen has been one of the few silver linings of all that has gone on in this past year. They’ve learnt to read recipes, to weigh ingredients and to follow instructions, taking heed of the fact that you can’t bake a good cake by mixing the remnants of a bag of flour together with the eggs left over from breakfast.

Whether you find them in a book or you know them by heart, recipes are important. Correct measurements can make or break the look and taste of your finished product and it’s the same with coffee. It’s a good sign if you see your barista taking a few extra seconds to grind your coffee after you order, or even weighing out the correct amount of ground coffee to ensure they get the recipe just right.

These details make a huge difference, and you will taste that difference in your cup. If you’re brewing coffee at home, ask your coffee roaster for advice, or do your own experiments to find a recipe that works for you.

For information about the coffee that we roast and sell here in Paisley, browse our website at www.thegatehousecoffeeroasters.com, or reach out to us on social media with any questions.

We’re looking forward to the days when we can welcome the public back into our roastery and share the roasting and tasting experience with more of you.

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