Gravetye Manor in partnership with Difference Coffee

Friday 17th May 2024

'At Difference Coffee, their mission is to make the world’s most delicious and rare top-quality coffees from legendary estates accessible to discerning coffee aficionados worldwide. They redefine the essence of specialty coffee, bridging the gap between rare, small-batch artisan coffee growers and those who appreciate its unique quality. By specializing in Specialty Arabica, graded on a stringent 100-point system, they ensure their coffee selection represents the highest scoring coffees on the planet'.

In a recent interview with Hotel Magazine, Executive Head Chef George delved into the importance of elevating the guest experience when it comes to coffee. 


What initiated the decision to partner with Difference Coffee?

Like all aspects of Gravetye Manor, we want to offer the best to our guests in terms of quality and ethical sourcing, so having a coffee supplier that shares this same philosophy made it an obvious choice. We don’t take decisions lightly, and felt that a small increase in cost was worth the multiple benefits that Difference Coffee provide.


What specific outcomes or goals do you hope to achieve through this partnership?

We wanted to make the guest experience as strong as possible. Not only in the Michelin-starred restaurant, but also via the pods served in the rooms. Having a selection of multiple award-winning quality coffees, just like teas, creates choice, interest and discussion points. It is also crucial that if we are offering a range of coffees, that wastage is minimised, freshness guaranteed, and that it is not too much of a strain on the service team.


What are the main benefits you have experienced since working with Difference Coffee?

A personalised and informative service, especially with equipment suggestions, provisions and calibration. They are flexible and understand the needs of our business, working together for mutual benefit. Enrico and his team provide enthusiastic and passionate staff training sessions, of course learning about Difference Coffee, but also the wider world of coffee and it’s service.


In what ways has the partnership enhanced the desired image of your brand?

At Gravetye we grow the vast majority of our own fruits and vegetables, so we want to work with people that also champion important sustainability issues such as gene diversity and soil health. Every time we spend money on an ingredient/product we are having a say on what happens in the future. Working with any company that has a more positive impact on this helps not only our own sense of what is right or wrong, but how our guests view our operation. Difference Coffee are one of the industries top-paying companies for raw beans because of their commitment to the best quality and the best ethical practices.


How has the partnership with Difference Coffee enhanced the overall customer experience at your venue?

Guests enjoy coffee at the end of the meal, and you need the last items they eat or drink to be faultless. The coffee experience in both the restaurant and rooms is now at a completely different level. Continuous incremental changes have a huge effect on the overall experience and improving the quality and choice of our coffees is a strong example of that. When we serve the speciality coffees we place detailed information sheets, helping the guests understand the specifics and thought that has gone into the growing and selection process.


How does the partnership with Difference Coffee differentiate your hotel from competitors in the market?

In terms of room amenities, luxury and quality speak volumes. We want to be one of the top UK hotels, so we want to provide the best. In terms of quality capsules, there is no other coffee provider anywhere near Difference, and anyone who appreciates and understands coffee will see that.


What feedback have you had so far from guests at the hotel surrounding the partnership?

Both guests and staff have been extremely positive. Not everyone wants to drink coffee, and some of those who do are not really fussed about what they are drinking, but the guests who are interested in the provenance/story/flavour of specific types are extremely grateful and very much wowed by the experience.

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