Dear Green Coffee Roasters

It is fair to say that there are certain members of the Radiator team that could not function without a healthy dose of Joe each day and it was through our love of coffee that we came to meet Lisa Lawson who owns and runs Dear Green Coffee Roasters.

From their base at Glasgow Collective, the company is proud of its Glaswegian heritage taking its name from the city’s nickname and also naming their house blend (Goosedubbs) after a lane near their Roastery.

With an active social following we caught up with Lisa and her team to find about more about Dear Green and their approach to developing the brand.

Dear Green founder Lisa Lawson, alongside her two coffee roasters; Betty and Senga

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

It started when I was living in Australia and I got a job packing beans and it was through that job that I learnt how to roast. I worked there for about 3 years before I had to come back the to the UK in 2002. Back in the UK I worked as a wine rep for a period but I gave that up and started roasting. The approach I wanted to take was to roast coffee scientifically so that I could extract the great flavours from the beans. I did a bit of research and found that there was no one else doing what I wanted to do in Scotland and so I Googled for a second hand coffee roaster and it all started from there.

The Dear Green typographic logo can be seen in independent coffeehouses throughout Glasgow

How did you come up with the brand?

I spent about two months meeting people in the pub with a notebook and just let the creative juices flow. During that time I came up with so many names but it clicked one day that this was what I was going to call it. There was a lot of psychology and references behind the name as coffee is traded on the stock market at Green Coffee and with Glasgow as a Gaelic word the translation to English is dear green place. I also wanted the name to be something that the people of Glasgow would be familiar with and identify as their own as Glaswegians are very loyal to their city. The Dear Green name seemed to fit and really clicked when we finally got our our premises near Glasgow Green.

How do you see the brand developing?

I feel like what we do is source amazing coffee, we roast it amazingly so are now in a very strong position. We organize, judge and compete in competitions and see ourselves as a centre of excellence for coffee in Scotland and that is how we want to grow. The wholesale side of the business generally takes care of itself and so we are focusing on our barista training.

The workhorse of a great barista - La Marzocco

Is the training to ensure that stockists are up to standard?

We obviously want all of our customers to be quality focused as we want everyone to view Dear Green as a mark of quality which is why we have always offered barista training from day one. We find it really rewarding educating people and seeing them getting behind the product and understanding it a bit more.

What is the secret to a great cup of Coffee?

It all starts with using a quality product and how it is roasted. Following that there are your basics like temperature and grind size but there are also multiple variables that a lot of people overlook like when your coffee machine or grinder was last serviced which can impact how your coffee tastes. Grinding your coffee freshly is also super important as this maintains all the amazing flavour compounds and aromatics which is why some ground coffee can seem a bit stale.

Tuilip latte art

You are very active on social, was this always the plan?

I had a twitter account years ago when twitter first came out called Coffee Glasgow because I was not feeling particularly imaginative and could not think up a quirky name for myself and thought it would be worthwhile thing to have in the future because I always knew that I wanted work in coffee and it has just stuck with us

When I started Dear Green I didn’t know then what it was going to be called and so didn’t get the twitter account. My twitter account just naturally built up followers over time and I set up a Facebook account as soon as I had chosen the company name. When Instagram first started I thought great, now I can take photos instead of having to thinking about what to write and just find it a way of using some creative energy which got me hooked.

I get feedback quite often about how busy we are as friends and customers see my posts so I guess people like to see how active we are. We get quite a lot of people approaching us to be their coffee supplier and we have only really promoted ourselves via social medial so I guess our approach works without us realising it.

How do you manage your social activity?

I do all of it but probably need to get some other people involved and encourage them to post. We have tried to have a strategy and have one post a week about new coffee beans, barista training, event we have been at or customer that we were delivering to. It is usually just an idea that has been in my head at the time or posting something first thing to reach out to the commuters.

If we are at an event then we generally tweet with various hashtags that are being used as that way people know we are there and come visit us.

Generally we just like to show that we are interacting with lots of interesting coffee stuff and are bringing it back to Glasgow.

Top tips for social?

I have always tried to keep my posts relevant, professional, keep them in third person and try to make sure that photographs are interesting. I don’t think any of them are particularly unique to us but hopefully someone finds them useful.

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