You might have heard about Campus at Union Roasted – educational centre and roasting space, project launched in 2016. It’s now home for SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) program courses and some of London’s best speciality coffee shops (Saint Espresso, Brooklyn coffee) roasting their coffee here.
At Union we’re are constantly exploring new ideas, sharing the knowledge and collaborating with likeminded people to keep moving the industry forward.
I wanted to tell you about our latest project – Campus Series. It is a collaboration between Ben Clark – London based Tattoo Artist and myself to look at the coffees we source here at Union from the different angle.
At the heart of Union has always been sourcing specialty coffee by working in partnership with the farmers, establishing long term relationships to improve both quality of coffee and livelihood of the farmers.
Campus Series is an opportunity to take more experimental approach to coffees and roasting and introduce the lots, that could otherwise not get into main Union portfolio. In my daily work in roasting and training I see many different ways to present the coffee, this helps to select right lots for the series and develop best roast profiles for each coffee.
Whist talking about the packaging, we were looking for the way to showcase each coffee and its origin in an individual way. Each design is unique and hand drawn as a neo traditional tattoo by a London based tattoo artist Ben Clark. It showcases traditional animal or flower of the country coffee comes from.
Ben is a young and talented tattoo artist currently working at Hell to Pay tattoo studio in Camden. Ben says he was “inspired by the national animal and flower, I wanted to portray the fantastic nature of El Salvador. From the surfs of the Pacific Ocean beaches to the mountains and rainforests with waterfalls I felt a simple mixture of blues and turquoise represents this, perfectly tying to the amazing colours of the national bird itself, the turquoise browed motmot. Also adding hints of an earthy tone to compliment other environments of El Salvador’s landscape Including coffee farms and volcanoes. “
We are really looking forward sharing these coffee with you. The first coffee in the Campus Series is a natural lot from EL Salvador. Natural coffees are divisive and often said to be too intense unusual. We chose Juayua for its complexity, coffee has notes of strawberry, tropical fruits and milk chocolate. Due to the creamy body and soft acidity, this versatile coffee will work both as an espresso and filter. Whilst roasting the coffee we wanted to highlight the acidity, which is complex due to chemistry happening when cherries are dried, we also wanted to maximise the sweetness to keep a perfect balance in the cup.
We hope you will enjoy the coffee 😊.