Take a peek inside the building that produces Harborough’s very own coffee

Jay Vye head of coffee puts the coffee beans into the roastery for blending at Caffe Carrara in Market Harborough.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160926-102712005

Jay Vye head of coffee puts the coffee beans into the roastery for blending at Caffe Carrara in Market Harborough. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160926-102712005

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You can buy Harborough beer, even Harborough gin ... but did you know you can now get Harborough coffee?

Caffe Carrara is a Market Harborough based firm that blends and roasts coffee beans from all over the world to make Britain’s trendiest hot drink (despite our reputation as tea drinkers, Britons drink twice as much coffee as tea when they are not at home).

After the coffee beans have been roasted and blended they are emptied from the roastery by Jay Vye.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160926-102819005

After the coffee beans have been roasted and blended they are emptied from the roastery by Jay Vye. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160926-102819005

You may have already had a blend of Market Harborough coffee if - for example - you’ve had a coffee in the cafe at Farndon Fields Farm Shop in the town or at Kilworth House Hotel.

“But by the end of this year, or the beginning of 2017, we hope you’ll be able to buy the Carrara Collection of coffee in the shops” said Paul Armstrong (35), the firm’s boss.

Carrara - named after Paul’s Italian grandmother - is based in an industrial unit near the Innovation Centre.

Coffee beans arrive there from all over the world to be blended and roasted in the unit’s small roastery.

On site training at Caffe Carrara.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160926-102724005

On site training at Caffe Carrara. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160926-102724005

“It takes about 13 minutes” said coffee roaster Jay Vye. “But it varies from bean to bean depending on altitude, density, moisture content...”

“We produce different blends of coffee, but also high-end single origin coffee, from one farm” explained Paul.

Blending coffee makes it more same-y, taking away the highly individual characteristics of different beans.

The Mail team (photographer Andy Carpenter and I) have never tasted a coffee like, for example, the intense and surprising AAA Jungle Massive Estate coffee from Kenya.

Caffe Carrara managing director Paul Armstrong.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160926-102735005

Caffe Carrara managing director Paul Armstrong. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160926-102735005

“People are amazed” said Paul. “Single origin coffees are another level of flavour.”

Carrara represents the return of coffee roasting to the town, after a very long gap.

William Symington began roasting coffee beans in the town in 1850 to make Symington’s coffee.

The company’s Old Coffee Mills - now apartments - is the building on Springfield Street near the junction with Northampton Road.

Coffee beans before roasting and blending.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160926-102642005

Coffee beans before roasting and blending. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160926-102642005

Coffee beans before roasting and blending.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160926-102653005

Coffee beans before roasting and blending. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160926-102653005

Coffee beans after roasting and blending.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160926-102757005

Coffee beans after roasting and blending. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160926-102757005

The old Symington building on Springfield Street where the coffee mills were based.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160926-102558005

The old Symington building on Springfield Street where the coffee mills were based. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160926-102558005