376: Career, Coffee Quality, and Advancing the Industry w/ Mat North, of Raw Material

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Some interviews we have on the show touch on so many deep, important, and impactful subjects that it is hard to stop the conversation. This was one of those. I wanted to talk about our guests' career and then see where it led us and indeed we ended up discussing an assortment of issues that are sure to inspire and spark curiosity in you as you listen. Today we sit down with the great mat North!

A seasoned veteran with over two decades experience, Mat’s career has taken in the full gamut of the of the industry. Stints with both national and local chains as well as time in the consumables and engineering side of the business have given him a well rounded view of the coffee world. In 2013 Mat opened Full Court Press, a small specialist multi roaster coffee shop and now Nano- roastery in the heart of Bristol. His knowledge, passion and attention to detail ensured FCP quickly became a forerunner in the city’s scene. It is FCP’s excellent customer service, coupled with the team’s ability to articulate their extensive knowledge in an approachable way that has ensured Full Court Press not only serve exceptional coffee, but have sparked an interest in specialty coffee among their customers. Having sold FCP in 2021 he’s moved into the green side of the industry as part of the European office for Raw Material, a not for profit social enterprise working in all aspects of the supply stream. He is also the author of the acclaimed book, Coffee - A Modern Field Guide, and recently served as National Coordinator for the UK chapter of the Speciality Coffee Association.

As we chat I hope you take notes and continue to pursue the subjects discussed. From Mat's career evolution and lessons learned through business ownership - to his take on how the industry has evolved and what is key for us to prioritize in the future, this conversation is loaded with value and insights from start to end.

We discuss:

  • Learning through early retail experiences
  • Discovering what coffee could be
  • Abandoning a phd in physics to pursue coffee
  • physics and engineering training helping with coffee
  • How to be inspired by unknowns and learn
  • Starting his shop Full Court Press
  • Curating a multi roaster program
  • Feedback loos in QC
  • Water in coffee
  • Writing a coffee book
  • Quantifying the art of coffee
  • Marketing vs true innovation
  • How consumers are leading the way in quality coffee
  • Evolution of specialty retail
  • The priority of price equity and leaving efficacy based models



Instagram @mat_north

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