November 29, 2016
In the Alice Made This studio, it is well known that Ed is the coffee aficionado. With a refined palette and precise taste, he has introduced the rest of our team to a multitude of brands and roasts – one of which is Square Mile Coffee Roasters, the multi-award winning coffee roasting company based in East London. Their aim is to make London famous for good coffee, working to build a London coffee culture and contributing to the global scene. We spoke to their co-owner, Anette Moldvaer, about how the brand started, her role and her curation of The Square Mile Coffee Edit, the next in our series of Women’s Edits.
“I’ve been in coffee for about 20 years now,” Anette tells me. “Starting as a barista in my hometown in Norway, I made coffee for 4-5 years alongside my studies before moving to the UK and working for a green coffee importer. I looked after their QC lab and worked with customers on roasting, blending and brewing - anything they needed really.”
“We started a coffee school while I was there as well, so I spent a couple of years teaching classes on everything from basic coffee knowledge to starting a cafe. It’s where I learned to taste coffee, and, when I won the coffee tasting world championships in 2007, I joked that the first thing I’d do was ask for a raise, but I’d actually already resigned in order for us to start Square Mile.”
“The best thing about my current role as a green buyer at Square Mile,” she continues, “is the people I get to work with, and that I get to travel. I’m lucky to be able to leave for weeks at a time to buy coffee, knowing that I don’t have to worry about anything back home. I roasted all the coffee for the first few years, and did bits and pieces of everything else in between, so it took a few years before I could take time out for travel, whether for work or for leisure.”
“Over the nearly 9 years since we started, it’s amazing to have gained a team of people who are so good at what they do and so wonderful to be around every day. I feel very fortunate to be where I am now, and so grateful to have been able to fill my life with such great content. 2017 is going to be a fun and interesting year. I look forward to continuing the work we do at Square Mile and to take on the challenges we face with the politics and economics that impact my trade, both at home and abroad. I’m also looking forward to playing a supportive role in projects that friends are launching. I think it’s important to diversify your interests and to maintain a balance between input and output when it comes to creativity and inspiration.”
Anette is, simply put, an expert in her field – continually seeking out the finest coffee, immersing herself in the process and gaining knowledge to put her well ahead of the competition. This dedication to her craft is something we see at Alice Made This, not only within our team, but with our British factories. Each factory we work with is an expert in its industrial sector. Whether it’s manufacturing aeroplane parts, casting fixtures and fittings for the royal households or stamping military accoutrements, we work with the best craftsmen and most honest processes in the country. We share Anette’s ethos of precision and care.
This attention to detail and level of consideration is reflected in The Square Mile Coffee Edit. Combining the circular token of the Mia with the striking silhouette of the Nola, this necklace is for the lover of the bold and the minimal. It can be worn together or separately for a clean and refined statement. I ask Anette what inspired her Edit and which other Alice Made This pieces are on her wish list this season.
"My edit is inspired by my two roasters", she concludes. "The different circular shapes and sizes of the drums and cooling trays of the machinery. I enjoy the feeling of working with heavy, solid mechanical equipment to produce something as light and delicate as roasted coffee. I think the strength of the NOLA and the elegance of the MIA as they sit together and move around each other reflects this synergy really well. It’s a very tactile process that the pendant embodies."
“There are so many pieces in the collection that I would pick for Christmas this year! For my boyfriend I’d choose the Alvar cufflinks, in rhodium or silver, or the Lloyd belt. I adore the Hope silver necklace as well, I hope someone puts that under the Christmas tree for me!”
Photography by JKF MAN