Archive for September, 2020

Goodbye to The Plan Café: 2007-2020

September 17, 2020

Little announcement: I have decided to leave The Plan Café, and am no longer involved with the café or its coffee.

After nearly 14 years of dedicated and loyal service to this unique independent business and space, and to Cardiff speciality coffee, I’m hanging up my hat. The end of an era!

There are numerous reasons for this, and there’s no need to get into them all here, suffice to say the last few years have been especially difficult at The Plan, and despite my unwavering passion for the coffee, the place, and the customers, it eventually got to the point where I just had to call it a day.

The Plan and it’s coffee have been a huge part of my life, almost defining me, for many years, and I have worked extremely hard to build a reputation for the coffee at The Plan. I have been the one constant there since 2007, when I first arrived and introduced speciality coffee standards for the café, and have provided stability for the café ever since, throughout many highs and lows of both the café’s life and my own.

The café provided me with a platform to do what I loved – to practice the craft of making and serving coffee, and continually developing and maintaining high standards with the coffee has been my mission throughout my time there!

Cardiff, myself, and The Plan have gone through many changes over the years, but my dedication to the role and the coffee, and to providing consistency throughout these changes, has undoubtedly been key to helping assure that the café as it is known stood the test of time. I feel proud to have played my part in this unique coffeeshop’s journey and to have contributed in my own little way to pioneering Cardiff’s modern speciality coffee history, and also for the achievements accomplished over the years. Although I’ll admit I didn’t always get it right 😉

But now the time has come for a fresh start!

I’m stepping out of the coffee world, professionally, but I will of course still be making and enjoying coffee at home – as a hobby now rather than a job. During my time working with speciality coffee over the last 16 years or so, my obsession for coffee has of course lived at home as well as at work – and that journey will continue. There’s so much I can explore and experiment with coffee at home in my spare time to satisfy my curiosity, without needing to do it for a living as well.

Unfortunately however, many of the espresso based techniques I have spent years developing in the café environment will be completely abandoned or mothballed (because my focus at home is on manual brew methods), which is admittedly something of a shame… Although having said that, in other ways this move actually comes as a huge relief.

As for this blog?

Well, it’s been radio silence here for several years now, and there are various reasons for that as well, some of which I have described in the previous post, and others which, again, I don’t need to detail here.

I’m mostly active on Instagram these days for quick bits of coffee stuff and imagery.

I am going to leave The Bean Vagrant blog in place for the time being at least though, partly for posterity, and partly because now my situation has changed, it’s possible that at some point the blog writing paralysis of recent years might reverse, and I might revive the blog again, to talk more about brewing coffee at home, or from some other angle – who knows, maybe, maybe not…

For now I would just like to say a huge Thank You to my amazing wife, Claire (@Creative_Clara79), for supporting me through everything, to all the wonderful regular customers of The Plan, to the incredible Peter James and the James’ Gourmet Coffee team who have been my regular roaster of choice because they are THE BEST there is, and also to the many many wonderful colleagues and team members I worked with and trained over the years, and who I couldn’t have done what I’ve done without.

…That’s all folks 🙂