We sat down with one of our Coffee Ambassadors, Max Folkard, to chat about his role and what this means for you, our clients.
Coffee is one of our many passions. By taking the time to train our staff we can provide specialist knowledge to ensure you get the most out of our partnership.
Hi Max, let’s start with a little introduction. What’s your role at Selecta and how long have you been with us?
Yeah of course! My current role is a Senior Account Manager for Wholesale.
My department handles everything from premium coffee to fresh fruit. We basically deal with everything in terms of office refreshment under one roof.
I’ve been with the company now for close to two years. I started in the graduate scheme.
So, what is a Coffee Ambassador?
I get asked this a lot by our clients. It’s essentially someone who has an extensive knowledge and understanding of our products and the story behind them.
For us, we have so many amazing brands we work with like Pelican Rouge and Starbucks. We even have our own roastery. We want to be able to share this knowledge with our clients and show why we’re experts in our field.
As part of my training to become a Coffee Ambassador we learnt about the details of coffee. This allows me to talk about the difference in beans and even how to care for them properly. Sometimes people don’t realise how fragile a product coffee beans are and how we can affect their quality without knowing.
We’re here to help our clients and ensure they get the best service and the right coffee for them.
Let’s talk a little about the training you’ve done and some of the key takeaways that you’ll be able to bring to our clients.
I’ve done some of my own training before, more market research than anything. I really do love my coffee, so wanted to have the expertise to match my passion.
Through Selecta I was sent on a training course with the Specialist Coffee Association (SCA). They’re a globally recognised training provider for coffee. They look at the coffee being sold on the market as well as giving it a grade from 0-100.
The great thing is our brand, Pelican Rouge, has a brilliant score. We’re at the top end of commercial coffee .
The workshop was all about understanding the story behind coffee and the types from different areas.
We spoke about the origins and the different flavour profiles you’ll get from the different coffees. For example, from Brazil you’ll have more nutty aromas, whereas Africa will be fruitier. The more Robusta coffees are from areas such as China and India, where the taste tends to be more bitter.
You mentioned earlier coffee being fragile and people can affect it without even knowing. Can you tell me a little more about this?
Well, this was another aspect we covered in the training.
We went over things that can affect coffee beans such as direct sunlight, moisture and the fact beans are like sponges when it comes to aromas.
For example, if you put your beans next to something in the fridge like and onion or the chicken you’ve had the night before it will begin to take on that aroma. I don’t think anyone fancies a coffee with a side of onion! It’s all about protecting the bean.
That’s why we’re here. To inform our clients on how to take care of the products and help them understand why.
So, if a client comes to me and says, look my coffee isn’t tasting great lately. I would be able to go to their site and see for example, their coffee bean hopper is positioned in a window with direct sunlight and will be damaging the bean. It’s knowing things like that which allow us to go the extra mile.
Why do you think it’s important for us to be training in these areas and how do you think it helps deliver excellence to our clients?
More and more people are becoming coffee drinkers, so we need to know everything. We want to be able to educate our consumers and work on a consultative basis with them.
If we really understand coffee, we’re able to build a profile for our client to give them their perfect solution. Not only will we be able to help with the ideal brand, but with cleaning and hygiene of the machines as well.
We also took part in coffee tasting training. We were shown how to correctly taste, breaking the crust, and taking away the oils and crema as well as hitting all parts of the mouth.
This gives us the insight to go to any client looking to change supplier and match a profile for the coffee they like.
It allows us to give a bespoke service with knowledge to back it up.
If you would like more information reach out to one of our Coffee Ambassadors or experienced Account managers today!