I dreamed a bean…

We bring you: coffee.  The story is a long one but I shall keep it as brief as possible. ‘ I dreamed a bean’!  Not so original I guess but this one is attributable to Matthew not Martin…  I, Matthew Dunford,  owner of Fine Grind,  have sought for many years to open a coffee shop which provides much more than  the standard offering.  So my research has bought you the best, research carried on in New Zealand and Australia and wherever else I have been able.  I have spent many years ‘Down Under’…I don’t know why, but it is an established fact that most of the successful non-chain coffee shops in the UK are run or influenced by Aussie or Kiwi staff or owners. As with most good businesses they are successful because they listen to the needs of their customers, and it seems that as a Nation we are still in learning mode about coffee.  I offer my customers in Tunbridge Wells the very best in coffee and provide the same choices that are available in Christchurch, New Zealand, which is my second home.

DSC_8598But first about coffee…

Well, no one really knows exactly where it came from or when it was first used as a drink, the beginnings of coffee are shrouded in rumour and myth but we can try a few!

It seems most likely that it came from Ethiopia; there are fanciful stories of shepherds watching goats [I suppose that isn’t unusual for a shepherd] grazing on small red berries and becoming strangely energised afterwards.  There are similar stories about birds but they come from the 13th and 14th century and can’t be verified. The first established use of coffee was in the Yemen during the 15th century where the clerics took coffee to keep alert during evening prayers.

The habit spread throughout the Middle East and into Europe in the 16th Century.  The coffee houses of London were famous at that time amongst people such as Pepys, Raleigh, Shakespeare and others which included Royalty, they were the hub of business…’To be or not to be’…for coffee? That was a resounding Yes.

So where do I fit into all that?  Whist travelling overseas I drank enormous amounts of coffee.  When I was four I went to Saudi Arabia with my parents and have memories of watching my father lying on a rope mattress sipping coffee in the old town of Jeddah…he gave me some,  it was revolting…thick, gritty and sweet….that could have been my love affair with coffee over at only four but we went to many countries sampled coffee in many different ways,  as a young person I never enjoyed it but at least I had the experience’s, Cardamom coffee, Arabic, Greek, Turkish…I tried it all, and eventually found the one I liked, in Christchurch New Zealand, the ‘Flat White’.  I have featured this on our menu, not so much because it has anything really special to offer but more to acknowledge its almost iconic status in the coffee shops of The Southern Hemisphere and it’s simplicity…in my humble opinion it’s the best way to enjoy your coffee.  Since then those same coffee shops have refined and increased their offerings, their menus are reflected in our own.

So to move to ‘Fine Grind’, we have a great location, an awesome product and system, a design based on successful shops throughout the World and our key… we listen to our customers.  I have extensive experience in hospitality, sales and customer service, the only factor linking these roles together is people. I pride myself on my ability to listen to people and respond… exemplary customer service is my mantra.  I see listening to our customers and responding to their requests and suggestions as the single most important contribution towards our success.

Where to from here?  Tunbridge Wells is our flagship ‘Fine Grind’, our plan is to refine and perfect our offering and then to open more operations in the South East.  We have already earmarked potential locations and have an aggressive business plan over the next five years.

We hope you will become a ‘Fine Grind’ Advocate, you will benefit from our loyalty schemes, tasting nights of premium coffee, enjoy our dedicated blends or single origins at home and learn more about a subject which has fascinated me for years.

So on my behalf please accept our invitation to the future of coffee in Tunbridge Wells and our promise to provide you with the perfect cup each and every time.


Sincerely at your service,