A couple of weeks ago we were thrilled to have Lani Kingston, author and coffee guru, come and visit us at our Bermondsey HQ. She was keen to learn more about Pact for a new book she’s writing about the London coffee scene and we were intrigued to find out more about her upcoming project. Here’s how it went down…
Pact: So what are you working on?
Lani: It’s called London Coffee. It’s telling the story of London coffee as a whole rather than being a guide book. I wanted to get a little bit deeper, tell more of the history, the types of companies that are making their mark on the scene, and hopefully where coffee will grow from here…The London coffee scene is very vibrant and very diverse as well. While there are lots of amazing coffee cities in the world at the moment, I think London with its combination of cultural diversity and technology and other inputs has created this incredible and innovative scene.
Pact: Do you see Pact as part of that?
Lani: Yes…I think Pact is an exceptionally interesting company. Pact has done a great job of connecting future technology with a passion for handcrafted, well-made, quality, coffee. I was saying to Will (Pact’s Head of Coffee) before… it is really interesting to me how Pact, I think, connects that convenience, which lot of people want, with the quality that people have now come to expect – so it’s an excellent example of how coffee can move forward into the future.
Pact: Do you think there’s still a bit of a barrier to getting more people to drink speciality coffee?
Lani: I think there has been in the past…That accessibility is quite difficult, I think, when you are dealing with what has been seen as a niche product. But the way that Pact has shown an openness to providing ‘ready to go’ coffee has broken that down. Many roasters will only sell whole bean, but the fact that you will provide grind sizes in whatever people like definitely brings that barrier down. Coffee certainly shouldn’t be scary. You can get into coffee as much as you want or you can just enjoy your morning cup of coffee.
Pact: Can a company like Pact like take on the coffee ‘big boys’ that dominate the coffee market?
Lani: Definitely! There is only a small part of the coffee crop that can be classed as speciality coffee and you do have to find a buyer for the whole crop so there’ll always be a place for everyone. But…bringing speciality coffee to a larger audience and making it more accessible is something that everyone should be working towards. Pact has the potential to bring speciality coffee to anyone in the world with the model you’ve set up here. The interesting thing to me is how you work with the customer’s preferences.
“You ask people what they like to drink and bring that coffee to them rather than telling them what they should drink” Lani Kingston
Pact: Tell us a bit more about your upcoming book…
Lani: It’ll be out in October this year. It’s being released by Hoxton Mini Press, a publisher that makes these beautiful cloth-bound, high quality books. I selected them because they are known for books that basically provide a cultural snapshot. They document a moment in time and this time in the coffee scene is really interesting. We’re at the peak of this 40 year rise since Monmouth started so it’s a great time to be releasing a book like this.
Pact: So it’ll be a coffee table book about coffee?
Lani: (laughing) That’s right…
Pact: We look forward to seeing London Coffee when it comes (out and reading about Pact’s role in coffee in our home city). Thanks for chatting with us, Lani!