Andrew's Cup Runneth Over

Friends invariably ask Andrew Turner to make the coffee at dinner parties. "I have even got the stage where I turn up with my own coffee pot and my own coffee," he says. For two decades Andrew, owner of Aroma, has been roasting his own "real" coffee. "I went into it after I failed my A-levels," he quips. There were genuine reasons why the former Priory Boys grammer school pupil from Shrewsbury failed his exams, but he soon learned to make the grade in coffee. The roast-your-own idea sprouted when, at the age of 18, he bought a cafetiere for his mother's birthday and could not find any fresh coffee to go with it. So the business, which has shops in Shrewsbury and Telford and a small industrial unit where the roasting takes place, began when coffee was not fashionable or chic. At one time Andrew would go to the docks with a trailer and fetch his own bags of coffee beans off the boats but now the loads are simply too big and, on average, five tons of coffee are delivered to Aroma's roasting premises each month. "When I started in 1981, in this country, we had one cup of coffee for every 10 cups of tea and that one cup of coffee was probably instant," says Andrew. "It's now four cups of coffee to every 10 cups of tea - and one of those four is real coffee, which is growing faster than instant."