The Passenger Shed at Bristol Temple Meads railway station was the venue for the first ever Bristol Coffee Festival, earlier this month and we were delighted to play a key part, as milk sponsors, along with Cotteswold Dairy.
In its first year, the Bristol Coffee Festival created its own unique style and flavour and will undoubtedly become an important date in the UK coffee calendar, in years to come. We see events like this as a great opportunity to engage people in our mission to win badly needed recognition and value for traditional, pasture-based dairy herds. Many coffee lovers do not realise it, but in the same way their coffee choice impacts upon coffee growing communities overseas, their milk choice determines how milk is produced and has a big impact on dairy farmers and cows in the UK.
Over the two day event in Bristol, we talked to hundreds of people about free range milk and our mission to keep cows in fields, whilst keeping all the baristas at the event topped up with Pasture Promise free range milk. We also ran a milk tasting workshop, to get people really thinking about milk in the same way they think about coffee and help them to understand why not all milk is the same. Workshop attendees sampled four different milks: a standard supermarket milk, supermarket organic milk, a well-known filtered milk brand and Pasture Promise free range milk from Cotteswold Dairy. The milks were sampled both cold and after steaming, to assess colour, taste, texture and their ability to form and hold froth when steamed. We then discussed the findings and preferences of people around the table. Most found the standard milk from a major retailer thin and overly sweet – the white water that many people talk about. The organic milk generally performed well, people thought the filtered milk had a slightly odd appearance and were not keen on the taste when sampled especially after it was steamed but in the blind test Pasture Promise free range was the overall favourite both cold and steamed.
The workshop was full and a lot of fun, with the interested parties really getting into the tastings and we had lots of great feedback. It was so rewarding to get people to spend time really thinking about milk and giving them the chance not only to taste the difference, but learn more about the provenance of each milk. We were pleased to learn how much everyone enjoyed the Cotteswold Dairy free range milk and so many of those who took part left the session eager to make a better milk choice and look for the Pasture Promise logo, when they next bought milk.
It was great to have some Free Range Dairy farmers along to the festival, to help out on our stand. We believe connecting farmers and consumers is vital to instilling the badly needed value in milk that I referred to earlier. People were interested to learn more about the milk their coffee and learn more from the farmers who produced it. Our Coffee & Cows campaign is ongoing and we are looking for more opportunities to spread the word about our work and the values behind the Pasture Promise logo in 2019.
To help keep cows in fields and farmers look for the Pasture Promise logo on your milk. To find out more about Free Range Dairy Network, here’s our podcast from the event.