Foxholes Farm tearoom learns the art of coffee from Caffeine Ltd.

With the UK’s love of espresso showing no sign of slowing down, more businesses are looking to add high-quality coffee to their menus. But quality is the key. One of the biggest barriers to this has been the requirement for skilled baristas to make the more technique-heavy types of quality coffee, such as cappuccinos and lattes. Most push-button coffee machines simply don’t match up.

Caffeine Ltd, UK distributors of Schaerer coffee machines, has the solution in the form of the Coffee Art system, a bean-to-cup espresso machine capable of making a variety of coffee drinks without requiring any specialist training.

One business benefiting from this new technology is Foxholes, a successful working farm and farm shop set in rolling Hertfordshire countryside. Owned by the Smith family since just after the Second World War, the farm has built a reputation for the quality of its meat.

Over fourteen years ago Catherine Smith started selling meat from the farm’s herd directly to the public. As demand grew she opened a purpose-built shop, hiring butchers to prepare the meat right there on the farm. As well as their own meat they also showcase other local producers.

Recently she opened a tea room. “We have customers who regularly drive in from Chelmsford and London,” says Catherine. “It’s nice to be able to offer them high-quality refreshments after such a long journey.” When it came to choosing a coffee machine, Catherine had a few requirements. “We wanted to be able to offer our customers the best coffee, and we needed the machine to be simple to operate,” she explains. “We’re open seven days a week, and not all our staff work full time, so we needed something that anyone could use.”

After consultation with Justin Stockwell of Caffeine Ltd, Catherine chose the Schaerer Coffee Art. What swung the decision was how easily it made a range of drinks. “The touchscreen control system is very intuitive,” says Catherine. “Plus it makes great coffee every time!”

It’s not just useful for coffee, however, “We use it to make hot chocolate too, and it’s great when we need boiling water quickly,” says Catherine.

Coffee Art Plus is an espresso machine with a wide range of possible configurations that allow it to be tailored to meet a site’s requirements. Whether it’s a simple single-boiler coffee machine or the top of the range upgrade with three boilers, and a fully automatic steam wand for frothing milk, the Coffee Art Plus can be modified to meet your needs precisely.

According to Caffeine, it’s as close to a barista-brewed espresso as a push-button machine can get. In fact, Caffeine claims the consistency and ability to fine-tune the result according to each drinks’ requirements make the automatic wand better than a barista at frothing milk.

With an average of ninety visitors to the tea room a day – more at the weekend – the Schaerer Coffee Art is more than capable of meeting the demand.

“Caffeine was really helpful throughout the process. We looked at lots of different machines, but the Schaerer won out,” Catherine says. “The combination of consistent results, the simplicity of the controls, and the quality of the coffee made it the obvious choice for us.”

Caffeine’s after-sales support has also impressed Catherine. “They’re always happy to answer any questions we have, they’re just a phone call or email away.”

Foxholes Farm shop has also started stocking Caffeine’s exclusive range of coffee blends, London Calling. “The feedback from customers about it has been very positive,” says Catherine. “We’ve been very impressed with Caffeine. We’re now looking to buy a second machine, we wouldn’t have asked for another quote from Caffeine if they weren’t great!”