In this blog post we would like to continue sharing a little about our personal journey and what makes us tick as coffee lovers. In our last you got a peak into Bernhard’s story, this time it’s Carina’s turn.

Carina: My passion for coffee is a love that slowly crept up on me and continues to develop. It’s a never-ending journey of exploration and discovery really – an adventure for the senses!

As far back as I remember I have always loved the smell of coffee and definitely wouldn’t say no to a chocolate coated coffee bean or a slice of coffee cake – but drinking actual coffee? That was a wholly different story in my eyes and it wasn’t until my later teens that I began to actually acquire a taste for drinking coffee. Interestingly I would say I jumped into the deep end with my main introduction to coffee being a strong stove top brew decanted into cute little espresso cups and enjoyed after dinner with mum and dad. Lattes, flat whites and milky coffees in general just weren’t really on my radar until much later. Instead, I sipped away at my little espresso – black and with no sugar. Was I just trying to be cool going straight for the strong espresso instead of easing my way into the world of coffee through a milky brew the way most people seemed to? Probably – but I genuinely enjoyed it and black coffee in its pure unsweetened form and undiluted by milk remains my favourite way to appreciate coffee to date (although I tend to save the strong espressos for martinis nowadays and favour the smoother and less strong V60 for my everyday brew).

Coffee also has a very strong social connection for me which has always made it an important part of my life even before I acquired a taste for it. Growing up in Germany with the ‘Kaffee und Kuchen’ culture, coffee time was treasured as time for family and friends to gather, catch-up and just be present together enjoying each other’s company. Dad and I really value that, it’s an integral part of our ethos, hence our slogan ‘Cherish the Moments – Savour the Taste!’

My growing love for coffee and the hospitality industry must also be attributed to my first ever job. At the age of 15 I started working at Pilgrims Coffee House on Holy Island during the school holidays. I loved it and continued until I left school. It was a working holiday on a beautiful island with a wonderful bunch of people. The team took me in and their enthusiasm and passion must have hooked me to the café life because it’s the only industry I have worked in since.

After finishing my A-levels I decided to do a Foundation Year in Art & Design at the University of Sunderland and then stayed on to complete a BA in Fine Art. Whilst at Uni I continued to work in the hospitality industry by working part-time in a local café during the week and on weekends I would often travel home to Durham to help dad out at his café, Kaffeehaus Amadeus.

Post Uni I looked at the odd arts related job, but I loved coffee and working with dad (we’re a pretty great team) and so it was an easy decision really to stay and work together on realising our dream of roasting our own coffee too. Setting up Durham Coffee has been an amazing journey so far and we’re excited for what the future has in store for us!

Until next time,

Cherish The Moments – Savour The Taste!