Matthew Orchard, Head of Quality: I’ve been working in coffee for longer than the combined age of my two children. I used to want to be a sommelier before I tasted my first great espresso. My industry background is in setting up various specialty coffee shops and roasting facilities around Sussex and London and now spend most of my working life tasting coffee, teaching people about coffee, not roasting as much as I’d like and looking for things which I put down somewhere.
When I’m not doing coffee related things I’m probably sleeping, building Lego with my kids, buying too many records on the internet or thinking about how I don’t ride bikes or play drums enough anymore.
Lydia Rice, Production Roaster: I started my coffee career as a barista in a small Sussex town. After becoming a store manager I found myself concentrating more on paperwork and staff than the coffee itself, which is when I knew I needed to make a change. Having always had an interest in the roasting process (although not realising just how complex it is) I happily moved to PLOT, working my way up from roastery assistant to production roaster.
Other than coffee my great passion in life is travel, having been to 6 out of 7 continents by the time I was 21. When travelling, you’ll find me doing anything reckless, quad biking the Namibian sand dunes, climbing Icelandic ice cliffs, trekking through Indian tea fields. I don’t do relaxing holidays.
Andrew Murray, Training: I first fell in love with coffee about 10 years ago, whilst working down in Cornwall, drinking a filter coffee roasted by Origin coffee. It was a Peaberry and tasted just like nectarines. I then went travelling around Australia and started working as a barista in Sydney which was the first time I saw making coffee as a true profession - the attention to detail and the craft was astounding to me and I met some amazing people.
Upon returning to the UK I wanted to build my knowledge as extensively as possible, so set myself the goal of becoming an AST. I love training new baristas and helping out others advance their skills and build on knowledge that is sometimes seem hard to access.