Meeting our GDPR Compliance needs

For your peace of mind, here is our privacy policy. We have never passed on your information to other parties, we don’t send out mailshots, and while we use cookies to make life easier for you on our website, we never pass that information on.

Privacy Policy

Seibiant Cyf is committed to protecting the privacy of anyone using our website and store and the confidentiality of any information that you provide us with. The purpose of this statement is to set out how we use any personal information that we may obtain from you.

Why we need to hold onto your personal data?

      • We may need to contact you if we need to recall a product.
      • We never share or pass your details to anyone else.
      • If you supply shipping address details we hold these on record to save you having to re-input this detail each time you order with Seibiant Cyf
      • We are required by law  to securely hold all sales invoices for accounting purposes for a period of six yearsWhat information do we hold?Your Name

        We like to keep things personal when we contact you.

        Email Address

        Used as a unique identifier to keep your data held together

        Used to contact you should we need to send you an order confirmation, invoice or credit note.

        We would never share your email address with other parties.

        Delivery Address

        We need to know where to send your order.

        We also hold your address for future orders so that you do not need to enter it each time you order.

        Invoice Address if different from Postal Address

        If we need to send you a hard copy of your invoice we use this address.

        Record of previous Orders

        We keep a note of what you bought in the past so that you can re order easily.

        We also keep a note of what you bought so we can contact you to let you know any news about this product that might be relevant to you, including special offers, product recalls, etc.

         

        Bank Details

        We DO NOT store your bank details.  We use a payment gateway called Paypal that handles your bank details on our behalf.

        If you order by phone, we take your card number at the time, and process the payment immediately, and we never keep your bank details.

         

        Where do we hold your information?

        We hold your information virtually at one location only, which is the Seibiant website.

        Online:

        Our website is hosted on a Secure Server.  The service is secure password protected. The website www.seibiantcoffi.co.uk involves the use of an SSL certificate — “SSL” stands for secure sockets layer — which creates a secure encrypted connection between the web server where our website is hosted and the web browser where you enter your details when making a purchase.  This means your information is secure, safe and protected when being passed from you to us.

        When you make an order through the website, we copy your address from the order, but we never save it anywhere else.

        Payment Gateway

        The Seibiant website uses Paypal as our secure payment gateway.  We DO NOT get access to your bank details. We do get to see your name and email address and what you ordered on Paypal when you make an order.

         

        Data Protection Act

        We are registered under the Data Protection Act and comply with the Act in all our dealings with your personal data

        Cookies

        There is a technology called “cookies” which may be used by us to provide you with, for example, customised information from our website. A cookie is an element of data that a website can send to your browser which may then store it on your system. If you wish, you can usually adjust your browser so that your computer does not accept cookies. Please remember cookies do not contain confidential information such as your home address, telephone number or credit card details. We do not exchange cookies with any third party websites or external data suppliers.

        Security

        We endeavour to take all reasonable steps to protect your personal information. However, we cannot guarantee the security of any data that you disclose online and we will not be responsible for any breach of security unless this is due to our negligence or wilful default.

        General

        You have the right to see personal data (as defined under the Data Protection Act) that we keep about you upon receipt of a written request. There is no fee for this, and requests must be processed within 28 days.  Any request should be sent to:

        Seibiant, 8 Lancaster Square, Conwy LL32 8HT Tel: 01492 330554

         

Japan!

It’s now a couple of months since I discovered that I’d been accepted onto this year’s Tea Master Course at Obubu Tea Farm in Wazuka, and I’ve now paid for the course, booked my flight, and got my vaccinations sorted. I’ve got excited, terrified, ok about it, now back to terrified again, but I’m sure by the time I’m on that train to Manchester Airport, I’ll be even more terrified!

I’m lucky that there are lots of YouTube videos about Obubu Tea Farm, often I think done by the interns who spend several months on the farm. It seems that they choose a project to do towards the end of their stay, and some have chosen to focus on promoting the farm on social media. I’m also very lucky that Ailish who is now working in Seibiant speaks Japanese, and is actually going to Japan before me, to teach English there. I have a little crib sheet of basic phrases behind the counter in the shop, and it’s surprising how many people know ‘konnichiwa’! Even more exciting is the fact that the Mayor of Himeji in Japan is visiting Conwy in early June, so we’re hoping we can welcome him to the shop, to say Konnichiwa.

We were given an extensive reading list to work through before the course, and we have those books in the shop, so if anybody wants to have a look, and maybe borrow them, get in touch – they’re rather heavy – more like the sociology of tea, ethnography, history, and a text book of the Japanese Tea Ceremony – seriously strict and heavy! I didn’t know that there are several schools of thought relating to the tea ceremony, and I think we’ll be getting a taste of each of those while on the course. What I’m most looking forward to however is the tea growing and processing, as I think that’ll be useful for the next step in Seibiant’s progress – but more of that in a future blog.

Another big question – me being a notorious light traveller – is the size of bag I take! Do I take a big solid suitcase so that I can bring back teaware and tea, or do I just take my normal size bag, so that I can easily manage it while I’m getting from Osaka to Wazuka! Decisions, decisions!

Spring Greens

I went home from our Spring Greens tasting this week, wide awake and alert, as I generally am after our tastings, and with a plan to write a new blog about the teas we tasted. In the event, I felt too tired, and went to bed, only to be lying there hours later, wide awake, caffeinated, but to snug to get up and start writing, and knowing of course that if I got out of bed, the Beast from the East was going to be out there to get me!

So, chaotic start to the tasting, because of the weather and change of plans etc, but we had two guests, both quite experienced green tea drinkers.

The teas I had planned for this evening were some classics, three Chinese and one Japanese, and then as usual, guests were able to try whatever else they fancied.

First tea up was the Organic Imperial grade Jasmine Pearls, which is a first flush green tea with jasmine flowers. This is a Spring 2017 harvest tea, which we brewed in a glass teapot, to allow the pearls plenty of room to expand out as well as up. 85°, for 20 seconds initially, gradually increasing the brew time with each subsequent steep.  The first steep was if anything, a little heavy on the umami flavour, but that was my fault for a slightly too long steep, but the intense jasmine flavour made up for that. The fresh delicate floral aroma I think was an experience for the two guests – even though one of them had already bought this tea. She said that she was getting new flavours with this brewing than she wasn’t getting at home. The liquor had a pale pink tinge to it, which doesn’t come over in the photo. The mouthfeel is soft, with very little astringency.

The second steep was again delicious, with a peachy aroma, along with the jasmine. We went on to have another two steeps after this, becoming more alert and refreshed with each cup!

The second tea of the evening was the Japanese classic, shade grown Gyokuro. For the last 2-3 weeks before picking, the tea is covered with a shade of bamboo, which encourages the plant to produce more chlorophyll, which in turn means that the tea contains more theanine, the feelgood compound. Gyokuro is a stunning dark green thin leaf, a real high quality tea, spring picked and carefully processed. Having watched the Mei Leaf Youtube video on how to drink gyokuro, I decided to introduce our guests to the more unusual ways of brewing tea. This one we brewed first time at room temperature, for 15 minutes. The liquor was thick, viscous, an amazing bright citrine colour, with a most unexpected flavour. Yes, masses of umami, but also a freshness, grassy, buttered spinach, buttery green vegetables, kale, were all words used to describe the flavour. We tried it again with water at 50°, and the flavour was smoother, lighter – unexpectedly! Third steep at 70° was again fresh, still thick and viscous. Absolutely delicious tea – we finished this one by tasting the leaves – which were unexpectedly mild – said to be very tasty with freshly squeezed lemon and light soy sauce!

Third tea was Long Ching Dragonwell, much much nicer than the Dragonwell we had in the shop before which I thought tasted fishy, but it may have been my inexperience of the umami flavour. Anyway, this one is beautiful, fresh, vegetal, but with an aroma of peach on the second infusion, more of a flavour of beach walks. This had more astringency than the other teas, but that astringency that becomes sweetness in time. We brewed this Grandpa Style, in a long glass, to allow the leaves room to brew, and so we could see the leaves absorb the water and give off their flavour.

Last green tea of the tasting was an unusual tea, but one which is great for newbie green tea drinkers, and we discovered just why it’s so good. Tai Ping Hui Kui is grown in Anhui Province, this is a huge leaf, longer than your average Siniensis leaf, hand processed, which is what makes it expensive, flattened between sheets of parchment or silk, and rolled until flat. in the second of the pictures below you can see the weave of the fabric on the leaf. The darker patches on the leaf are where there is more than one layer of leaf – the bud and the leaf pressed together. Because of the size of the leaf, I brewed this Grandpa Style again, long glass, 75° water, less than 30 second steep. Delicate flavour, floral, fresh, fruity, so unexpected for a green tea. We brewed it a second and third time, and it remained delicious, gentle.

We brewed it a fourth time, but as usual, got distracted by other teas and tea stories, and one of the guests hadn’t heard of Pu-erh, while the other used it daily to enhance his work. I’m very enthusiastic about Pu-erh, and am always keen to share a pot, so this is what we did, tasting the 2005 Yue Che Yue Xiang a couple of times. We then remembered about the fourth steeping of the TPHK, and not expecting much, tasted it again – wow! Superb – no bitterness – considering it had been steeping 30 minutes! The delicate flavours were all still there, the cool water allowed us to taste all the nuances of the tea.

Enthusiastic about the teas we tasted, I decided to write the March blog about the teas, and was planning to stay up writing … but that didn’t happen.

 

January Resolutions – can tea help?

This is the time of year when we all get to thinking about new resolutions, making changes, often about getting healthy. I know I’ve put on a few inches (curves) over the past few months – I blame the fudge from Mawfudge and the gold top milk from Llaethdy Llyn, all delicious, but more calories than I’m using! Maybe also a touch of contentment slipping in there too 😊

Last Spring, we introduced Teatox which I mentioned briefly in my last post, but there are lots of teas which are renowned for their health benefits. Tea has always played a big part in Traditional Chinese Medicine and in Japanese medicine, and I’m going to talk about some of those, and some other blends that we have in store which are great for a range of health benefits.

Lets talk Green Teas first …

Green teas have a reputation for speeding up the metabolism, which obviously is going to help with managing your weight.

Matcha is known as a superfood with many amazing health benefits, including improving your immune system. Researchers have found that the concentration of antioxidants available in matcha tea is 10 times greater than the amount of EGCG available in other fine green teas.

We have a few more green teas, plain and flavoured, all very reasonably priced. We will be expanding our range over the next few weeks to prepare for the Spring Greens Tea Tasting at the end of February, so if you fancy the health benefits but aren’t sure which to try, come along to this. The king of the green teas of course is Gyokuro, a highly prized Japanese green tea, visually stunning as leaf and liquor. We also have Gunpowder, Jasmine Blossom Green Tea, and my favourite, the Mao Jia. We have a fresh new supply of Sencha Red Ginseng in too, many people’s favourite already.

 

Lets talk about Oolongs

Studies have shown that the production of anti-bacterial proteins is higher in Oolong tea drinkers, which indicates they have a strong immune system. We suggest our Tie Guan Yin is a reasonably priced place to start on oolongs.

Lets talk Pu-erh

Pu Erh Tea, alongside a healthy diet, is known to help people lose weight by increasing the metabolism. We suggest drinking a little while after food to experience the full effects of the tea. The trend for fermented products is well known, and pu-erh fits within this, along with kombucha, kefir and so on. I rave about the benefits I have felt from it already, physically and mentally.

Lets talk herbal and floral tisanes

Immunitea: A caffeine-free drink packed with antioxidants to help your digestive system. It contains lemongrass, ginger, hibiscus and rose hip shells. Top Tip: this is also a wonderful tea to drink if feeling sick as the ginger helps to settle the stomach

Turmeric Blend: Curcumin – the component that gives turmeric root its distinctive yellowy-orange colour – is thought to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which – studies show – could help to lower the risk of heart attacks in some people. It also has the reputation of helping to ease joint pains, and other inflammatory problems.

Tuscany Rose Petals and Rosebuds: When you think of your health, one of the first things you think of is your heart. Our Rose tisane is revered for its ability to increase circulation and improve heart health.

Winter Warmer: This is a blend of Keemun, ginger root, blood orange and pu-erh. In TCM Keemun is used for ‘brain fog’, colds, and to relieve that general sluggishness we feel at this time of year. Together with the other fruits and herbs,

If sleep is your problem, then try our range of bedtime teas, which are designed to help calm and settle you for sleep.

Bedtime #1: our own blend of oatstraw, rose, lavender, hibiscus, lemongrass, lime blossom and rooibos is an effective sedative with no adverse effects (although beware the reduction in blood pressure that you may get from the hibiscus – fine if you drink it in bed!)

Petalau: Blodyn Apothecary’s blend of camomile, rose and calendula.

Camomile Flowers: the nicest tasting camomile I’ve ever had, sweet and floral.

 

Have you heard about guayusa? This is a South American herb tea, along the lines of Mate, from the Ilex (holly) family, just like mate.  It’s an energetic leaf exclusively from the Ecuadorian amazon rainforest which has been used for centuries by indigenous people from the zone as a natural energy source. We’ll be getting some samples in to try, and if we think it’s something that our customers will like, we’ll be getting it in.

 

 

 

 

 

Happy New Year

Well what a December that was! Carissa set us a target which we all thought was wildly unachievable, and blow me down, we very nearly got there! We had our busiest days ever, but made fewer teas and coffees than we ever had! I can’t believe how much tea and coffee we’ve gone through, and this week, we came very close to running out of coffee – the shelves in the back room had no unopened packs on them! We have however now had deliveries of lots of new coffees for the New Year, all roasted on 2 January when the roasters got back to work so mega-fresca!

So, let’s take some time out to reflect on where we are now, and what we have planned for the coming year. The big news for me personally is that I have now officially retired – well, sort of – I’ve taken my NHS pension, and retired just before Christmas, but also went back to work in the same job just before Christmas too! Feels completely different though 😊 Carissa got to her target of 100 sales in her Etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/CarissaTanton?ref=search_shop_redirect and made more and more sales of her lovely artwork in the shop. Jake beat us all in his daily sales in the shop, but he didn’t manage to sell that lovely copper stove-top coffee maker which was his main aim – Carissa sold that one. Santa Claus did bring him an Aeropress and some very nice  Esmeralda Geisha though.

If you’ve been in the shop recently, you’ll have noticed our Particularly Fine Teas shelf. We’re very excited about this one, and quite honestly, getting more excited all the time. We introduced people to Pu-erh tea, and have some good value Pu-erh’s on the shelf – including our delicious and dinky tangerine Pu-erh’s. Some Pu-erh tea can rightly be called ‘vintage’ and our oldest is 1990, although it’s not a cake, but loose Pu-erh, which tends to age quicker but tastes different. We have two cakes from the Menghai factory, so dry stored, and very expertly fermented. One of them gives you that ‘oo-erh’ feeling that you get after a few minutes of a good Pu-erh, the other less so – more soothing than stimulating, but they’re both very interesting tasting – if you like Pu-erh, that it -it’s not to everyone’s taste. I keep getting told that I should do a Vlog about Pu-erh – I think my enthusiasm amuses people! I’ll be honest though, I’m very much still learning about Pu-erh, so if you know lots, come and talk to us – we love to learn more about tea!

Just before Christmas we took delivery of a couple of very nice, organically grown oolongs. The farmer made contact initially in September of 2016, but at that time, while I was interested, I didn’t know if we had the clientele who would be interested in that quality of tea, and also of course the cost. It was also at that time an awful lot of money for me to be spending on that much tea, and I really didn’t know enough about it. Since then, our knowledge and experience and in fact expertise has grown to such an extent, that this tea just had to be part of our range. It’s the first time I’ve bought direct from a farmer, and to be honest, I’ve had absolutely no regrets. I bought Mi Lan Xiang Dan Cong, and Da Wu Ye. We had the Mi Lan Dan Cong from another supplier in October, by a mile the most expensive tea we’ve had in the shop, and I didn’t expect it to sell. We were sold out of it within a month of having it on the shelf! Lots of people have asked for it since, so I was keen to find it, but as this tea is only harvested in Spring, I didn’t expect to find any. I got lucky! Having tasted this, the flavour is stunning, heavy orchid flavour, rich but delicate at the same time. I love it -and we’ll be using this tea in our January Tea Tasting on 31 January which is An Introduction to Gong Fu Cha. The other oolong, Da Wu Ye is more toasty in flavour, but again, delicious. We’ll probably have a horizontal tasting of these two in the January tasting. If you want to come along, you can book on the Events page of the website https://www.seibiantcoffi.co.uk/?event=tea-tasting-2018-01-25.

So, what are we planning for 2018, apart from getting to know our new teas and coffees? Travel is on the cards for us, and I’m planning a trip to China to explore some tea growing areas. I’m planning to travel to Yunnan in particular, but I’m also keen to go to the Feng Huang Mountain area, Chaozhou, which is in the Guangdong province, home of our new oolongs. I’d also like to go to Fujian, as I’ve heard of a place called Tong Mu, which is where unsmoked Lapsang is grown – a very scenic area, but I just love the sound of the tea! I’m not sure if I’ll manage to get to all these areas, in the time I have, but we’ll see nearer the time.

I’m also making contacts with regard to trying to see if we can grow tea in North Wales. I’ve made some contacts already, and need to work on that. Get in touch if you’re interested in getting involved, in any way, from allotments to try the plants on, or if you have any expertise in that area.

If you have a small business and you feel that you would like to expand or develop your tea range – or your coffee range, just get in touch. We are very responsive to queries, and are happy to develop a tea especially for you. We can do private tasting sessions so you can explore the options. You may like to find a tea for your Afternoon Teas, or a breakfast tea for your B&B – we already supply coffee to a number of businesses. We can deliver very freshly ground coffee as often as you would like!

You may recall that this time last year we launched our Teatox Teas – we are preparing these once more, and they should be on the shelves in a couple of weeks – the Morning Detox which is a lively green tea, and the Daytime Detox which is an energy boosting, cleansing tea  with nettle and Yerba Mate for the afternoon slump. We also still have the Bedtime No 1, which was last year’s Evening Detox, and was so popular we had to keep it on the shelves all year! We still have Matcha, but we won’t be doing the Powders, as they were frankly disgusting to drink but they did the job in terms of boosting your metabolism – if you want them, we can sell you matcha, and mate/matcha and tell you the recipe!

We’re expecting a quiet couple of months, so do take advantage of the opportunity to call in and have an informal tasting any time of day! We don’t need any excuse to taste teas and coffees!

Let us know if there’s anything you like, don’t like, or want us to do more of – and you know we like a challenge!! And remember, keep away from them teabags, and drink real good tea!

Happy New Year!

 

It’s been a busy summer!

 

Well, here we are, late September, getting ready for Conwy Feast, and the summer seems to have gone by in a flash. We’re all amazed at how well the shop has done, and we’re well set up to put into practice our ideas for the coming season, leading into the Feast and then Christmas – is it too early to be talking about Christmas? Sounds like the title of my next blog!

Regular visitors to the shop will know that we have started working on our Particularly Fine Teas (and somewhat geeky teas), and we are very excited and proud of this collection of rarities. Talk to us about any of them, and I’m sorry to say that we get a bit carried away, about the flavours in the first place, but also about the provenance of these teas, about growing, picking, processing and storage methods, let alone the brewing. The collection is largely Oolongs and Pu-erhs so far, and they’re taking up just the one shelf of our cupboard, but my oh my are there some special teas there!!

We always have got very excited about Oolongs – well Carissa and I do – Jake is more of a coffee man if we’re honest. We’re not ashamed to say that we message each other about the flavours that we get from each steeping of a new oolong, and rave about jasmine, honey, orchid, camphor flavours. If you’re very lucky and happen to be in the shop when we’re having a taste, then you may well be offered a glass to try. Pu-erh is something I felt that was lacking both in my knowledge, and in the shop, and we certainly have the expert customers who are looking for this very special tea. I’m the first to admit that we are all very much novices in Pu-erh, but I think that all adds to our excitement when we encounter them!

We now have a regular Tea Tasting Evening on the last day of the month, some slight changes from next month, but essentially the same relaxed tea drunken evenings. The October tasting will be of some of our Fine Teas, oolongs and pu-erhs, or maybe just a selection of pu-erhs from the same area, so we can compare the effect of terroir and processing.
The September Tasting is on Saturday, and we will be looking at our Winter Teas, focusing on building immunity, fighting colds, and snuggling in front of the fire – a bit of hygge never went amiss.

Let’s focus on Ethiopian Coffees

 

We have three splendid Ethiopian coffees in stock at the moment,

Kayon Mountain  -roasted by Poblado Coffi

Yirgacheffe (Sidamo) roasted by Heartland Coffee Roasters

Sidamo, roasted by Coaltown Coffee Roasters

All these are £6.75 for 200g, as beans or ground to your specification

Take a closer look at these gorgeous beans. The trees that these beans grow on are planted under the canopy of a natural forest. Organic processes are used with natural fertilisers. The freshly picked coffee cherry is washed and placed onto raised beds where for around 12 to 20 days drying time it is meticulously hand turned and picked over to remove any defect beans.

Continuing the Ethiopia appreciation I’ve gone for Coaltown Coffee Roasters’ Sidamo. With yesterday’s beans as an espresso for comparison purposes… the Sidamo is lovely and fresh, floral notes and a super smooth mouth feel. The first smell I got from the beans was 🍌 banana (but think that’s just me!) but then noticed the floral violets notes.

The third of our Ethiopian trilogy is Heartland Coffee Roasters’ Yirgacheffe, an old favourite of ours at Seibiant, and at every other coffee shop selling Heartland coffees! At the moment, this is another Sidamo, and the flavour shouts out fruit and berries. It seems stronger in the cup than the other two, and the mouthfeel is lush and full 

 All our coffees are freshly roasted, usually within the last couple of weeks,  and we aim to have a quick turnover while they are so fresh, so if the coffee you want isn’t on the website, just get in touch with us, and we can let you know what our freshest coffees this week are. Prices are generally reduced once we get beyond a few weeks post-roast.

 

Carbon Footprints and all that …

When we set up Seibiant as a shop and a business, we were keen to keep our carbon footprint as small as possible, the catering industry being notoriously bad at recycling. You may remember that in the beginning we were a café, but just serving cakes and toast. All our organic waste went in a food waste bucket and went to the allotments in Llanfairfechan, and we then got veg back from them, which we used to make cake – the vegan courgette cake was lush. Even though we are no longer a café, our spent coffee and tealeaves still get recycled, and I’m hoping that in due course, the allotmenteers will be persuaded to try growing tea for me, although we have a lot of research to do first. I’m still very proud to say that our weekly rubbish is tiny, probably less than half a bin bag every couple of weeks. A future venture for Seibiant is Seibiant Sebon, and the plan is to use our spent coffee grounds as part of our soaps and scrubs.

All our takeaway cups are compostable, and we’re happy to take back any used cups you’ve had from us, so long as they’ve been rinsed clean. The company we get them from claim 12 weeks to break down completely, but we find they take a little longer than that. They’re made from plant starch rather than plastic, so break down easily enough in your food waste.  If you bring your own takeaway cup, you get a 10% discount on your takeaway drink. We will soon have our own takeaway cups/keep cups for sale with our logo. We’re also more than happy if you bring your own tea and coffee caddy from home, and we can refill that with your favourite brew, again for a discount.

All our paper and plastic waste is recycled, and we buy our packaging from companies that share the same philosophy, even though they tend to be more expensive. Coffee bags continue to be a problem – the bag may be recyclable but the plastic valve generally isn’t.

You may be aware that all the furniture in the shop is recycled in some way, Pete Griffiths made our counters and bar/bench, mirror, and tasting table, and other furniture came from the previous shop or from Freecycle. The mug display came from Vinomondo, and the noticeboard pallet was delivered with our crockery on it when we set up the shop. Remember the Map Chairs? They came from the Occupational Therapy department of a local private hospital, where they upcycle old furniture and give it a new lease of life.

If you want to take away some of our compostable waste, just call in or message us on  here or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and we’ll save a bag for you.

 

Roasters

I realised today that this section of the website is very much out of date, so here we go with an update, particularly as we are at the moment exploring some new roasters.  I thought I’d share our philosophy and motivation in terms of speciality coffee.

People are becoming increasingly interested in the provenance of their food, and the craft involved in producing it.  At Seibiant, we want to work with roasters who share our philosophy, focussing on direct trade with farms wherever possible. This provides the means to uphold and build quality at every stage of the coffee production, from farm to cup – in the words of Poblado, one of the roasters we work with – “Teg, o’r llwyn i’r felin” – “fair, from grower to grind”. The ethical nature of the coffee industry has created a culture of international collaboration and knowledge-sharing, led by innovative, vibrant young businesses. At Seibiant, we are proud to be involved with some of those – local roasters Heartland from Llandudno, and Poblado from Groeslon, were the first roasters who provided us with much needed guidance on coffee, machines, and the speciality coffee world.

We’re proud to be supplying you with Coaltown Coffee Roasters, from Ammanford, who are doing great things in the coffee world, both locally, setting up espresso bars, and expanding their range. I’m working my way through our selection from them, the Nicaragua, El Salvador, Brazil and the amazing Decaff, Jenkin Jones.  Regulars will know that in winter, our house blend is Black Gold, and in the summer – from Easter until Autumn Half Term, we switch to that other stunner, Pit Prop. At the moment, the Pit Prop is amazing, and we are selling so many espressos that we’re becoming more of an espresso bar ourselves!

Along with the changes in the shop layout, we’re giving you the opportunity to try some new roasters, some brand new, such as Coffi Eryri, others which have been around a bit longer, such as Mug Run. Mug Run have a couple of coffees which particularly appeal in terms of the ethics, and one is grown and processed by a women’s co-operative. We realise that we focus much more on the teas in the shop regarding the organic and biodiversity angle but we have now found an Indian coffee which is grown on a farm that is both organic and farms to biodiversity standards, so we’re very excited to get that coffee in this week, roasted by Manumit, who if you recall, train people who have been rescued from modern slavery to work in the coffee industry.. If you find that your favourite is no longer on the shelf, and you don’t feel like trying one of the new ones, don’t worry, we can easily get your favourite in, assuming it’s in season of course, and the roaster has it in stock.

We have a plan to stock some particularly fine coffees, for those of you who fancy doing a bit more exploring. We’ll have to go a little further afield for those coffees of course, but I think they’ll be worth trying!

First Seibiant Blog!

Its December, I’ve got Christmas songs on Spotify (This is: Mrs Claus playlist actually!), it’s 17° outside – explain that one to me, but I’m not complaining, the shop tends to be chilly. My website will have gone live if you’re reading this, and it’s a sort of stepping up a gear kind of time.

Seibiant has been open 7 months now, we’ve gone through a couple of big changes, from being a café, to being a specialist shop. We’re now moving steadily into being a tea and coffee merchant, and it has been a massive learning curve for me in that time.

How did we start? Why tea and coffee?

These are questions that everybody asks, and the answers gets bigger every time I explain it.  Basically I hated my job, and was keen to do something completely different, saw the ‘Shop for Rent’ sign, and decided what we were going to sell! Simple as that! I had always been interested in the #farmtofork concept, always been a person who shops local, bought my veg from a market garden, my meat from local producers – to the extent that at one time all the meat in my freezer had had a name. I’d also felt that you should be able to sell tea and coffee in the same way as you do wine, with tasting notes, knowing where it came from, how the farmer looked after his crop, and so on. At home, we had a tea and coffee cupboard in the kitchen with rather too many teas and coffees than was sensible, and we chose the tea or coffee depending on how we felt, including how we actually prepared it. So it seemed to be an obvious route to take – sell tea and coffee, but with tasting notes, staff who are experienced with all those tastes and flavours, and who can describe and explain the provenance of the product, and share their enthusiasm! Their latest challenge is to recognise the origin of the current coffee beans by their smell and appearance alone 😉

We opened the shop in May 2016, I was terrified doing my first coffee for a customer on our lovely La Spaziale espresso machine, but with lots of practice, the feedback got quite good. Scariest moment in the early days was having to make a flat white for an Australian – after all, they invented it! My cakes got so popular that it became a bind, needing to go home and bake every night.  The name of the shop is Seibiant, which translates as ‘breather’ or ‘break’, in other words, my semi-retirement plan, but that wasn’t how it was working out. I was flat out! Then in August, it turned out that we didn’t have planning permission to have a café, so after a meeting with all the staff, we decided to go back to the original concept of a shop with tastings. Since then, things have gone from strength to strength, I’m still on a massive learning curve, but more to do with running a shop – cash flow, advertising, and so on.

I’m hoping that we’ve reached a stage where those people who saw us as being a threat to their businesses, no longer do so, that we can work together to provide quality products for our customers, and that we can learn from each other. I’m liking the idea of the Edinburgh “Disloyalty 7” card, and I think maybe we’ll approach the other coffee shops locally to see if they fancy the idea. I feel personally that I’m getting to the conscious competence stage, which feels much easier. It’s all very much of a team effort, with staff throwing ideas in, and coming up with brilliant ideas for social media, but that’s a subject for a later blog I think.

My plans for the blog is to talk about everything, from me learning to be a business person, the learning curve, but also about the individual coffees and teas, roasters, and any interesting stuff that comes from that. There are some exciting developments coming up in the near future, that very much fits with our philosophy. Tea-wise, I want to develop the wellness teas, herbals and florals, as there is a lot of interest in that side of things. We also want to develop the ‘office coffee/workplace coffee’ side of things – it’s the little things an employer does that makes staff feel valued – nothing beats a good coffee and tea – low cost/high value reward!  We also want to develop the trade side, hence the developing of our own blends. So all in all, exciting and busy times ahead.

 

 

 

img_4801