Tea – our favourite daily ritual at Edgcumbes HQ (along with our fab freshly roasted coffees of course!)
…we were delighted to be asked to ‘talk tea’ recently for one of the nations’s most respected trade magazines. As a passionate advocate of loose leaf tea, read what our director Alice Rendle had to say about the UK’s favourite brew…can we inspire you too?
Since opening the small takeaway EDGE Café on the side of Roastery back in 2015 we have seen Edgcumbes grow and develop more than we could have ever imagined from when it was founded back in 1981 on our kitchen table.
Last year, in 2018, we opened our brand new and larger EDGE Café and retail shop – directly opposite the Roastery, along with our Stables course room where we run a range of different events.
To mark this events we invited back our talented friend and filmmaker, Joe Cannon to update and refresh the ‘Edgcumbes Story’.
So this is who we are: Edgcumbes – coffee roasters, tea blenders, wholesalers, retailers, online sellers and educators… We have some simple, but passionately held beliefs;
We believe that fresh is best and that buying local is better for everyone
That our quality products should be enjoyed by everyone, so we’re open, transparent and accessible; our café is vegan-friendly and welcomes commuters, cyclists, ramblers and dog-walkers alike.
Sustainability is essential to us, so being as eco-friendly as possible is part of our everyday job.
Education is important and we share our knowledge and expertise to demystify the world of coffee and tea.
We’ve been described as ‘the very definition of a destination’ venue – somewhere to sit and relax with a book, a lovely hand made drink and a bite to eat, perhaps watch the coffee roasting in action and take a bag of coffee or tea home with you.
We hope you enjoy the new film -and do pop in on your next trip to the South Coast or when you’re passing to visit nearby Arundel.
Keep an eye out, we’ll shortly be launching a new look website and our collaboration with Arundel Brewery, ‘The Brewhouse Project’ – a brand new coffeehouse and taproom experience opens in Arundel this FRIDAY12TH APRIL!
Just add the item to your basket and enter coupon code “FREESTOCKING” at the checkout!
Reworked Coffee Sacks Handmade In Sussex By The Sea
Christmas 2018 is nearly here and we are proud to present our brand new Hessian Christmas Stockings! All of our stockings are originals and hand made by one of our regular customers, Cathy Tiley…. her son Ollie joined Edgcumbes as a barista when we first opened our takeaway café (he is now our head roaster!) and was shortly followed by his sister Zoe who is now one of the team in the new Edge Café.
Cathy saw all the green bean coffee sacks lying around and asked if she could do something with them – when she showed us what she could do, we swiftly commissioned her to create some beautiful bags which have been developed over time into our brilliant ‘BagEDGE’ tote bags – available for sale both in the shop and online.
One of our customers later asked if we could make some stockings and it all went from there….we now have our beautiful Hessian BagEDGE Christmas Stockings and you can be proud of the fact that these are made from material that would otherwise be thrown away!
Either edged with faux fur or fully-lined with either African designs or original Edgcumbes prints by recently graduated designer Thea Wright – plus leather offcuts as handles making it easy to hang them up above the fireplace! Each stocking is completely unique and finished off with our embroidered BagEDGE label.
Spending more than £40.00? Add the Christmas Stocking to your basket along with the coupon code “FREESTOCKING” at the checkout and we’ll make sure to add one in with your order….or grab one here for just £12.00 each!
(Offer available online until 20.12.18 and in the shop until 24.12.18 – coupon cannot be used in conjunction with other coupons.)
Back in 2015 we roasted a coffee and called it Sussex Barn, named after the lovely Dutch barn in which our Coffee Roaster resides. We sent it to the Great Taste Guild of Fine Foods competition and were rewarded with a 2 STAR award, which tickled us pink! It has been our house speciality blend and served at the Edge Café for our many happy customers, and winning the coveted award every year since then. Once again we have been awarded another 2 STARS in 2018..
Hear what the judges had to say:
“Light, full, round, deep, creamy and a great balance. Berry notes with hints of dark chocolate which were pleasing and a long, balanced finish which we enjoyed!”
“A good heavy crema. There is a spicy fruitiness with a degree of buttery biscuit. The balance is well judged with the characteristics of the different beans all playing a complex part. A coffee for all seasons to satisy the true coffee aficionado.”
The name ‘Cerro Dragon’ comes from one of the biggest mountains in front of the small farm where this coffee is produced. Visited earlier this year by our directors, Chris & Alice Rendle, this microlot has been awarded 2 STARS by the Guild of Fine Food. The judges said:
“There is a good medium body to this coffee and a subtle toastiness and jammed peach flavour!”
Live life on the dark side! This blend was developed for those seeking a bit of intensity – It is a blend of three beautiful darker roasted speciality coffees hailing from Brazil, Colombia and Indonesia. Dark Side of the EDGE coffee blend has been freshly roasted for espresso but can be equally enjoyed slow brewed for filter or cafetiere – receiving it’s first award of 1 STAR by the Guild of Fine Food, the judges said:
“Heavy, dark and intense – this espresso has a great crema and a long draw out and indulgent finish!”
A fantastic article in the latest edition (Aug/Sept18) of the Boughton’s Coffee House magazine by editor Jennie Milsom from her visit to the Edge Café and Roastery… Click the image below to have a little read of the PDF…
A fantastic article by Juliet Coombe, a journalist from Sri Lanka who recently visited the Edge Café… grab a cup of Rusper and enjoy this thoroughly refreshing read about the heritage of Edgcumbes!
Tumeric Latte & Artisan Chai, The Edgcumbe-Rendle Story
By travel photojournalist Juliet Coombe
Artisan café is the talk of West SussexGrowing up in India, Chris Edgcumbe-Rendle, now a master roaster and blending aficionado, ran with the horses, quite literally. His jungle book life was the envy of all his friends at school, back in Blighty. From the age of 5, he learnt how to ride in a military camp with mounted Calvary near his home in Calcutta ( Now Kolkata), and then went on to race ride at the renowned Tollygunge club. Over fifty years ago, this was still a very British style club and sadly today horse racing has been replaced with golf.
By the age of 11, Chris had his jockey’s licence for flat racing and a life that was an endless series of adventures with cups of freshly brewed tea and Bollywood style ‘tales of the unexpected’ between races, as India was a mystical frontier at the time where placing even a long-distance phone call was a challenge. Sitting in the Edgcumbe Roastery Cafe in West Sussex, enjoying a restaurant farmhouse-style meal on chairs made from coffee sacks from around the world, he laughs about this vintage era of no TV, and when a real treat for a teenager was to go and see a Hindi movie with one’s ‘ayah’. Chris explains as he gets us to try a healthy turmeric bright yellow latte created by his team of friendly Baristas, “I was sent away to school in England at 7 years of age and it was a shock to come to Britain having flown out of Calcutta’s Dum Dum airport. I had a slight Indian accent and way of delivering things and was always glad to return to India for all my holidays, horse-riding and food safaris.”
Becoming a coffee and tea master chef of blending and roasting is the result of decades of training with the best, tasting endless styles from around the world and having a love of mixing and blending to create exciting new drinks. In the case of coffee, much of the taste is due to the variety of bean, as well as down to the roasting process, which is quite an artform – no two roast are the same, given that ambient elements also play their part. On our tour of the Roastery which lies directly opposite the cafe, we were given some Colombia El Calapo green beans (in effect, coffee seeds) to grow and were let into how Chris and his wife, Alice, quietly, after over three decades of passion, have grown a huge fan base of ardent coffee and tea lovers. Followers love it so much, they will detour on their way to and from London to try the latest blend and to pick up some bags of their signature blend, that comes with tasting notes. Their multi-award-winning house coffee, Sussex Barn blend, has a great taste profile of berries, spice and chocolate.
Of course, behind every talented artisan is a kick-arse James Bond style business partner, Alice Rendle, who designed the stunning branding at the EDGE cafe, complete with family dog as part of the logo. Like her husband, she is also on her own personal crusade to get back to the good old days when we cooked slowly, and everyone stopped to talk about things while drinking loose leaf tea. She firmly believes that this will help save the planet by encouraging people to stop using tea bags with plastic in, which adds to our rubbish mountains and affects health. “Making tea, she explains, is always best the ‘old school’ way as it brings out the best flavours and colours, which she proves pouring different mixtures of camomile, fennel & rose petals into a tasting glass, and then says, with a sparkle in her eyes, ‘Happy sipping’. The true golden colour is a magical Aladdin and the Lamp type experience and all the more fun as she explains all the tea making paraphernalia on the shelves of the shop, which are also on sale online at www.edgcumbes.co.uk and in the EDGE Café, The Old Barn, Ford Lane near Arundel castle, West Sussex.
Chris, as he takes us round the Roastery, explains how his first big break was working for James Finlays of London, one of the biggest tea producers in the world, with responsibility for buying Ceylon teas to go into Sainsbury’s Green Label, which resulted in him spending an exciting year in Sri Lanka, at the Colombo auction houses at the age of 20, where he would do the tasting for up to 400 hundred different teas in a day. Going back to live in Asia in 1970 was his idea of heaven as he could indulge in street hoppers and spicy sambal while learning from the island’s finest tea makers. So he could identify the different tea tastes, he sipped milk between each batch to neutralise the taste of the last one and then put a broker’s price on it. Like his father who founded Edgcumbes Coffee Roasters & Tea Blenders in 1981, he grew to love tea mixology and has never looked back from his four exciting years with Finlays, whose bush-to-cup success goes back to 1750 when tea became all the rage as a result of the golden age of trade. He also fell in love with the coffee bean process after several exciting years in Kenya, applying the knowledge that the mix is key to any award-winning drink.
As we watched the coffee roasting machine turn through the sea of beans, taking out small stones and discussed the incredible range of blends, Chris explained proudly, ‘Our company now spans two generations, and when Frank Edgcumbe-Rendle my dad retired from his job as a jute and tea trader in Calcutta (now Kolkata) and moved back to the UK, he was distraught to discover he couldn’t find any decent loose-leaf tea and so he sat at the kitchen table with a set of scales and blended some high-quality Assam and Kenyan tea leaves together. He called the blend Rusper, after the West Sussex village where he grew up, and decided to sell a few packets, calling the newly formed company Edgcumbes – his traditional family name with lots of Cornish/Devon Celtic connections. The couple believes, along with their dynamic young team, that locally, fresh-roasted coffees and hand-blended loose-leaf teas ALWAYS taste better than commercially packaged products. Combine this with the voodoo of the setting, entertaining staff, quirky sustainable furnishings and a philosophy of bring your own take-away cup for a discount. If you have more time, of course stay and learn for a while about this fascinating business in the sun drench courtyard – here regulars talk about the seasonal range of 5 or 6 coffee styles, many of them have taken the time to enjoy one of their many amazing courses that are done in a superb teaching area next to the EDGE café.
Asked about the future, both Chris and Alice are excited by the prospect of travelling the world together while sourcing and learning about ever more blends, roasting techniques and whatever else might go with coffee and tea. A little tipple of something stronger, now and again, also, wouldn’t go amiss. So far their travels have taken them to Colombia, Costa Rica, Vietnam and Kenya.
Get in touch with Edgcumbes, and you might have an opportunity to try Christopher’s other business, Rendle’s Original Pink Gin, created by his father while fighting in the 16th Light Cavalry in India during World War 2. Captain Frank Edgcumbe-Rendle, to deal with the horrors of war, created his own secret recipe by adding spices and herbs from the Orient and made sure he knew it was his bottle of gin by adding Hibiscus for its pink colouring. Rendle’s Original Gin now the talk of the American and Canadian people, Christopher believes it’s time to take it back to where it all started -Asia as its infusion and story is all about the magic and mystique of the Orient. As Serendipity has it, Alice and Christopher are going next on their travels to research Sri Lankan tea and watch the English team play cricket this October in Galle Fort International stadium, which ironically is where the British use to race horses!
Coffee & Tea Specialist Edgcumbes is proud to announce that we are extending our fabulous offer to a site in Chichester. After some caffeine-fuelled deliberation and planning we have decided to live life on the EDGE and take up residence in a converted vintage Citroen HY van in the up-and-coming Drapers Yard, located conveniently near the Cattle Market car park and at the bottom of East Street.
What to expect?
We believe that fresh is best, and that includes coffee and tea, which has been locally roasted and hand blended.
The offer is simple: really great coffee and tea. Alongside a selection of locally produced sweet treats and snacks, we will be selling our freshly roasted coffee and loose leaf teas both to drink at the yard and to take home. A knowledgeable barista will always available to provide specialist information on our coffee blends, loose leaf teas and to advise on home brewing. So, whether you are a coffee making veteran or a beginner in search of the perfect brew, EDGEpresso! is the place to be.
When to expect it?
EDGEpresso! can officially call Drapers Yard home from Tuesday 3rd July. We will be there Tuesdays to Saturdays between 10am and 4pm.
What makes EDGEpresso! different?
Chichester is abundant in great coffee offers but we believe that Edgcumbes, with its decades of experience in Roasting and Blending, can guarantee that the drinks served at the EDGEpresso! van will consistently taste amazing due to the freshness of the beans and the taste that only loose leaf tea can give.
Talk to our friendly team, who will be on hand to advise you on brewing methods, and recommend a range of single origin and blended coffee and teas for use at home..
So, if you love great coffee, tea and shopping local, come & meet us in our new home: Drapers Yard, 16 The Hornet, Chichester, PO19 7JG
Whatever you bike, we have the coffee for you! Our brand new Edge-Velo Special Blend has landed – with an extra kick of caffeine developed especially for our Edge-Velo cyclists, this coffee is a sublime blend of rich, smooth & dark arabica speciality beans with a dose of Asian robusta for that added punch!
– Super caffeinated & super strong
– Freshly roasted here at Edgcumbes
– Ideal for all types of coffee brewing
Buy a bag online to brew at home or pedal on down to the Edge Café to try for yourself!
Free UK Shipping *for all orders over £30 (Otherwise £3.99) OR Click & Collect from EDGE Shop, Sussex.
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