01 Oct 2021

Positive Action From Personal Challenges

Derw Coffee Stand: GT17
Positive Action From Personal Challenges
Chris and Intan on Anglesey
Chris and Intan, the founders of Derw Coffee, have not let personal challenges and tragedy stop them from starting a business, and launching an award-winning cold brew coffee liqueur.

Chris was born and raised on Anglesey, and Intan in Bali. They were excited to have their wedding in Bali in March 2020, but three days before the event, it became clear that as more and more guests dropped out due to the pandemic, they would have to cancel their special day. Just a week later, after six years of living in Indonesia, they returned to Wales to help care for Steve, Chris’ father, who was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.

It was a chaotic and challenging time, but they knew that Steve would want them to do something positive. They decided to start Derw Coffee; Wales’ first cold brew coffee producer.

Why cold brew coffee? Firstly, they have always shared a love of great coffee. Some of their favourite memories are of queuing for (and sipping on) ‘the best coffee in London’, or roasting local Indonesian beans in a frying pan to see how it would taste. They also love quality, natural ingredients. They knew they had to do something that they care about, and their cold brew products ticked all the boxes. Cold brew has a more natural, smooth, less bitter and acidic flavour than traditional hot brew. It just takes a little more patience – 16 hours’ of brewing in Derw’s case.

They also wanted to connect their two backgrounds. Intan’s ‘Ninik’ (grandmother) makes a health shot concoction every day from fresh turmeric, ginger, and other amazing ingredients which she says keeps her energetic and witty. They created Derw’s ready to drink blends to bring these fantastic flavours and health benefits to others, in a unique and delicious way.

Their pure cold brew coffee, as well as their most recent product, a liqueur made from their cold brew and a tonka bean-infused spirit, both just received the Great Taste Award. The Independent named Derw Coffee as the “Best Local Champion”, and our liqueur was also named the “Editor’s Choice” at the Fine Food Show.

The liqueur is exceptionally smooth and aromatic, with tasting notes of almond, clove and vanilla rising from Derw’s distinctive depths. Ninik also enjoys a good tipple, so they're sure she would love the liqueur too. Chris and Intan enjoy it on its own, but also create interesting recipes with it such as cocktails like coffee negronis, or desserts like tiramisu and affogato. Restaurants and bars are also using it their own dishes and drinks.

Chris wanted to contribute to Wales in a way that would have made his father proud, with a business that promotes ethical and sustainable practises. This is why they use quality, simple, ethically sourced ingredients and work with local companies. Steve enjoyed building people up, supporting individuals and communities, and making people happy.

“He was a great lover of trees and oak was his favourite, and so we named our coffee Derw, which means ‘oak’ in Welsh. We know that he would be proud of us.”