A new way to get your coffee fix?
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Fen Farm Dairy now sells raw milk coffee from a ‘farm gate’ vending machine.
Can you get better than really good coffee?
It seems you can – well, on the Suffolk/Norfolk border anyway, where you can grab a cup of ‘Joe’ any time of day or night from a specialist vending machine at Fen Farm Dairy.
The USP of this coffee? Let’s put it this way, it’s nothing like the stuff you grab bleary eyed from the office kitchen of a Monday morning.
Nope. This is pure, freshly roasted coffee from the folk at The Fire Station in Woodbridge, combined in perfect harmony with raw milk from the dairy’s own herd, which has been sold in its natural state from the farm gate for seven years by the Crickmores.
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Open 24 hours a day, the vending machine’s coffee is the ideal fuel for journeys betwixt the counties, and as a bonus, the cup and its lid are totally biodegradable – something that’s currently a hot topic.
The leap into coffee was an organic move for Dulcie and Jonny, who started selling raw milk when they saw how successful their neighbour’s honesty box egg sales were going.
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And it’s the same milk, from their herd of Montbeliard cows, that finds its way into the couple’s luxuriously melting, mushroomy Baron Bigod cheese, which has won over fromage lovers up and down the country.
The idea to sell coffee’s been in the running for around three years, says Jonny.
“We found we were doing farmers’ markets or events and there’d be a coffee roaster or coffee stall and we would very often give them a bottle of our milk and they’d use it in their coffees. We got the feedback it made much nicer coffee because of the high level of proteins and because it was so fresh and that’s what gave us the idea. If people wanted to have a quick coffee coming past our farm, they could stop and get a really good quality milk and coffee – a higher standard of coffee-to-go.
“We’re using Fire Station coffee because we know David, one of the owners, and they’re making extremely good coffee so it made total sense and it feels like quite a nice thing to do. We’re currently using Colombian beans, which are quite chocolatey and very aromatic and it’s early days, but once we’re really happy we’ll possibly experiment with different varieties. It’s an exciting collaboration.”
Much has been written on the benefits of raw milk, and only recently a study revealed the nutritional density of milk cannot be beaten by substitutions such as soya, oat or almond.
Jonny says raw milk tastes much sweeter because the lactose hasn’t been cooked, which makes it ideal for use in coffee, whose bitterness is often down to the burning of beans and milk by inexperienced baristas.
“It’s a clean flavour,” he says. “It’s really silky and creamy. If anyone had a chance to try milk ‘back in the day , that’s exactly what ours tastes like. Montbeliard cows produce milk with higher protein and butterfat levels and both those things make more solids and less water therefore you get more flavour.”
Get your coffee for £2.50 a cup at Fen Farm, Flixton Road, Bungay.