Hello, my name is Glenn. I could be like other coffee companies and talk about passion and commitment. But we are not like other companies. This is our story.
My interest in coffee began with a change in lifestyle. In an effort to become healthier, I changed to coffee instead of something stronger as an after-work beverage. I would study descriptions on coffee packaging, experimenting with different regions and varieties, noticing the differences between them. Kenyan, Columbian, Cost Rican, beans and ground – I tried them all.
Around this time I was planning the trip of a lifetime. The far-east had long intrigued me. Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand were all on the list. Then my plans were turned upside-down when a mutual friend introduced me to Sukesi.
Originally from the high mountain peaks and smoking volcanoes of East Java, Indonesia, Sukesi (or Kesi as she prefers to be called) was working in the dazzling city of Hong Kong. So I changed my travel plans and met Kessy in Hong Kong. It’s starting to sound like a beautiful romance isn’t it? But I became ill and collapsed with Asian flu! I was taken to my hotel to recover while I should have been meeting Kessy. She tracked me down to my hotel and cared for me while I recovered. The love and compassion she showed for me really won my heart.
I returned home to Britain and called Kesi every day. At the outset, neither of us was looking for a relationship, but we fell in love. After a whirlwind courtship, I proposed on Facebook Messenger. How romantic is that?
If you are wondering what this has to do with coffee, relax. We’re taking the scenic route.
Kesi’s mum worked on a coffee plantation at Bangelan, a small village set in the unspoiled terrain of East Java. The hospitality I received was out of this world. A humble boy from Essex, I was treated like a king. The area is so remote, they hardly ever see westerners and I had become something of a celebrity.
The day before our wedding, Kesi’s brother took me on a tour of the coffee plantation. I was given strict instructions – no photos! They supply a major coffee importer in Japan and are sworn to secrecy.
I had never seen a coffee tree or coffee cherry (the raw fruit that contains the bean), so I was fascinated to get this insight on how coffee is produced. If I was spoiled for choice at the supermarket back home, this was another world. This one plantation alone produces 150 varieties of coffee.
Coffee cherries were hand-picked straight from the tree, patio-dried for ten days then roasted in a wok, ground and served. It couldn’t be any fresher. My first experience of coffee this fresh was Excelsa Kopi – and the start of another love affair. This stuff was amazing! Unlike anything on offer at the supermarket. It had so much flavour.
I fell in love with the idea of bringing these amazing coffees back home to the UK so other people could share my experience. I brought home some samples and immersed myself in coffee research.
I started roasting with a Whirley-Pop popcorn maker – lots of people start home roasting that way. Experimenting and recording results allowed me to make my mistakes in private as I learned how to roast coffee properly. Later I enrolled in the SCAE coffee education programme.
With SCAE qualifications in hand, I began selling coffee on eBay. As sales grew, I took the bold step of setting up a company offering green and hand-roasted gourmet coffees.
So why is the company called Lalico Coffee? In 2013, Kesi and I became parents to a beautiful daughter, Lalita. We call her Lali for short. When we needed a name for the company, what better choice than to name it after the biggest love of our lives? Yes, we love her even more than we love coffee! That’s her image on our logo.
We currently roast our coffee in 1kg and 6kg roasters to produce artisan coffee that is hand-roasted just for you.
Why not try one of our coffees? It could be the start of a beautiful love affair.