From cars to coffee
If you thought that coffee making was simple, then you having been drinking the wrong coffee. A barista creating a cup of coffee is like a chef plating up a dish, or an artist drawing stokes on paper. The process requires training, and the right ingredients, but the end result is delicious.
Findlay Leask is proud of the coffee he makes at Caber Coffee. The family company is based on Holburn Street in Aberdeen and was set up to provide speciality coffee, and the equipment needed to make it, to businesses up and down the north-east and across Scotland.
Started in 1988 by his parents, Dughall and Maureen Leask, Findlay joined Caber Coffee in 2002. He studied at Robert Gordon University and did his thesis on internet car sales before getting a job at a Vauxhall garage. Wanting to follow his dream of joining the police and disliking the job of a car salesman, he left the garage, joined his parents company part time and has never left.
Findlay is extremely passionate about coffee, and could easily talk about it for hours on end. It is a product he loves, and he is on a mission to make sure the north-east are drinking good coffee.
“Coffee is like wine or whisky,” he said.
A huge amount of effort is put into the bean, making sure it is roasted correctly. You can’t make good wine without a good grape, and the same is to be said for our favourite caffeinated drink.
A barista should know the best way to put together a cup of coffee, and Caber Coffee offer masterclasses and training in their brand new training room which they opened this year. They teach you how to care for and clean your machine, how to use it and how to get the perfect balance of coffee and silky foamy milk for your dreamy cappuccino.
“The idea behind the coffee school is how good coffee is,” said Findlay.
“We are conscious we’ve got to cater for a wide market and I think that the opinion of coffee has changed.”
The training room has been filled with businesses and individuals who have an interest in coffee. One couple went to the training school because they were about to travel abroad and knowing how to make a good coffee would help them secure jobs. Local businesses will send their staff, or start ups will drop by to learn their new craft.
Findlay is passionate about supplying to local businesses and supporting the economy in the north-east. If companies help each other and spend with each other, then it creates a cycle to help the economy.
“There is a saying, and it is true. If you spend local, and your coffee costs a couple of pounds, then those pounds are going towards a family, and not a large corporation,” he said.
By buying local, it creates a circulation in the economy, which is why Caber Coffee make sure their products and equipment can reach their suppliers quickly. At the back of the training room at their headquarters there is a maintenance room for the machinery.
“It is like our own equipment A&E,” said Findlay.
“Our staff are all from the area, so we often drop off deliveries on our way home if someone needs it. We employ local and we help circulate the local economy.”