Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
My name is Stephen Houston, I’m 29 from Belfast. I work as a Roastery assistant for Bailies Coffee, In my spare time I create stencil art and I really love cycling, keeping fit and competing in kickboxing.
How did you get into coffee?
I have liked coffee for a very long time, but was only really in the last year I have become aware of how interesting and extensive the whole coffee culture is. I have been with Bailies since July 2014 and in this time I have fallen more in love with coffee and everything about it. I have been learning how to roast, see where coffee comes from, proper brewing techniques, learning the complexities of coffee flavours and have been having a blast doing so. I can’t wait for the rest of my journey into the world of coffee!
How do you make coffee at home?
At home I use a french press, aeropress and just recently purchased a whole Hario V60 set up.
Espresso or filter?
I used to only really take espresso but over the last few months, with a bit of education and learning new ways of making filter, I have to say I am enjoying it just as much!
What’s the best coffee you’ve had recently that we should all try?
Not playing favourites or because I work there, but the new Bailies coffee from Costa Rica, Finca Gamboa is superb. It’s a full bodied washed coffee with great flavours and delicious aromas, a very more-ish coffee. I have been brewing it through the v60 with great results!
What developments would you like to see in coffee here in NI?
I think we are going the right direction, more people are getting into coffee week after week, I’ve noticed this a lot since starting in Bailies, every week more people are buying coffee subscriptions, aero presses and other home brewing kits, which is great. I think there still needs to be a lot more education and more events to get people really immersed into the whole coffee culture. I am also liking the amount of new coffee shops opening up with more options and better baristas that really make going for coffee more special, more enjoyable and getting people hooked on this wonderful culture. So as long as we keep moving forward, inspire new people and keep producing world class coffee, we could become a global force in the coffee world.
Thanks Stephen, we think Northern Ireland is heading in the right direction too… it is exciting to see more and more engagement around coffee and great to hear that Bailies are seeing more subscriptions, brewing kit sales etc.
We love to hear this kind of thing.