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The Tank Story

The story of tankcoffee began at a festival.

Every August Bank Holiday weekend at the Greenbelt Festival, we transform a large bar at Cheltenham Race Course into the tank internet café, serving up the world wide web, workshops, mobile phone charging and of course, Fairtrade coffee, tea and delicious hot chocolate, plus a few other things to nibble on too. We bring together a great bunch of hard-working volunteers to help run the tank and all the profits go straight back to the Greenbelt festival coffers. Everyone’s happy.

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Black Gold

One evening, not so long ago, we watched Black Gold (you should watch it too). And that changed everything. We wanted to know where our coffee was coming from, who was growing it, how much they were getting, and who else was in the supply chain before it got to us. We weren’t being nosy, we just wanted to be able to hold our heads high whenever we served our customers with a delicious cup of coffee. We asked a few of our friends who felt the same way about coffee and the whole fair wage thing. And it turns out, they were keen to do something about it as well. And that’s how tankcoffee was born. Now, as you can imagine, we’re only small, but we’re committed to doing as much as we can to improving the lives of the farmers we buy our coffee from.

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We set about talking to coffee importers and sellers, and finally ended up going to Ethiopia and Kenya to meet the farmers. We wanted to see with our own eyes what each farmer was really getting for their hard work and harvest. To make sure our coffee was as fresh as can be, we also wanted to roast the coffee ourselves. On July 2009 a large Turkish lorry, driven by a large Turkish lorry driver, was seen negotiating the streets of Leigh with its precious cargo. On board was the tankcoffee roaster all the way from Turkey. It wasn’t long before our lovely new roaster arrived at tankcoffee house. And we were ready to start testing and roasting. Roasting and tasting, testing and tasting. Roasting, testing and tasting. Well, you get the picture.

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