Could you tell us your journey in coffee so far?
Well we’ve been around for quite a bit – almost 30 years. We’ve grown from a small operation with our founder Russell Bailie roasting and delivering coffee beans to moving to a base in South Belfast with three Probat roasters that allow us to provide a diverse portfolio of high quality coffees.
The word ‘journey’ is very apt when talking about who we are and what we do as we are committed to the entire coffee journey. We set out to craft world class coffee experiences that honour the skilled labour of our farming partners across the world, with dignity and fairness; so we’re more than just a coffee roaster. It means that we travel across the world to develop partnerships with farmers and roast the beans to the right profile and that we are committed to educating our customers on how to maintain the very highest standards when serving coffee.
What’s the rationale between bailies recent (and amazing) rebrand?
We’ve been roasting great coffee for a long time and we felt the story of our coffee journey needed to be told so the new brand was developed to both communicate the quality of what we do but also the lengths we go to to deliver that quality. To the eye, it’s obvious that we’ve gone with a ‘B’ icon but the four elements comprising that represent different but connected elements of our story and vision – how we’re committed from seed to cup and from farmer to customer. The important thing about our rebrand is that it’s more than just a logo; it encompasses everything about our business – how we sound, behave and what we do.
Our rebrand has also given us an opportunity to clearly showcase our full range of coffees – we’ve got a branded range of espresso blends, single origin coffees and microlot coffees, all of which have their own look and feel inspired by the things we’ve seen on our coffee journeys; from the horizon in Guatemala to the sunset in Brazil.
With CoLab Belfast coming up next month, what’s so exciting about the Belfast coffee scene?
Belfast has had a rebirth culturally in recent years and this has created a real thirst for specialty coffee (no pun intended). We’re very quickly playing catch up in some ways, but there’s a drive to push on and excel at what we do that brings with it a sense of real energy. The growing number of award-winning artisan producers is testament to that.
We’re also a small, friendly city, which for the coffee scene means that we are all well connected, we’re all working together and there’s a collective desire to put Belfast on the coffee map. We’re all excited about CoLab Belfast and the fact that the visitors will get to experience our open, friendly and vibrant coffee community.
What would your advice to Home brewers be to help them get the most out of their coffee?
Stay informed. We’re learning more about coffee by the day and there are lots of great people out there keen to share their knowledge. Also, invest in good equipment.
Most importantly, have fun and experiment. As a roaster, we love experimenting with different brew methods and ratios and seeing the results of that. As the coffees we supply can be so complex, part of the fun is seeing what we can unlock just from brewing.