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Norfolk coffee roaster’s special brew serves up support for people with dementia

PUBLISHED: 11:21 10 October 2017 | UPDATED: 11:55 13 October 2017

Norfolk Coffee Company owner Steve Perrett, who has created a special espresso blend in memory of his mother Sally, who died of vascular dementia. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Norfolk Coffee Company owner Steve Perrett, who has created a special espresso blend in memory of his mother Sally, who died of vascular dementia. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

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A Norfolk artisan coffee roaster is supporting people with dementia, by donating a percentage of the proceeds from sales of a special Colombian espresso blend to the Alzheimer’s Society.

Steve Perrett, who runs the Norfolk Coffee Company, at Holt, came up with the idea of helping the charity after his mother Sally died from vascular dementia nine months ago.

The disease, which, after Alzheimer’s, is the second most common form of dementia, affects around 150,000 people in the UK.

Symptoms, which can include memory loss and difficulty with language and problem-solving, are caused by problems with blood supply to the brain.

“It is a horrible thing to witness,” Mr Perrett said. “You just see such a dramatic decline and although my mother always insisted she was fine, towards the end, it got to the stage where she had difficulty swallowing and couldn’t string sentences together.”

The former landscape gardener, who set up a micro roastery in a timber building just outside Holt town centre a year ago, works with London ‘coffee hunters’ who import ethically-sourced coffee beans from all over the world.

After buying in 70kg sacks of green beans, he creates his own blends, which are roasted before being sold online and to Norfolk delicatessens and cafes.

Mr Perrett, whose Norfolk-inspired blends include Holkham Bay, from India and Guatemala, and Marsh Harrier, from Mexico, Nicaragua and Uganda, also sells around 35kg of coffee a week through the Black Apollo coffee bar, in High Street, Holt, which is run by his partner, Claire Banham.

“For me, the appeal of coffee is the fact that it is grown in some of the poorer, but also the most beautiful parts of the world,” he said. “I think it is amazing the way it changes from a green bean into something that just tastes fantastic.”

Mr Perrett is hoping to sell around 200 bags of Sally’s blend - which is a mix of two Colombian coffees - by the end of November, with £1 from each bag going to the Alzheimer’s Society.

“I wanted to do something in memory of my mum, but also to help other people going through the same thing,” he said.

The coffee, which is priced £10, is available from the Black Apollo, High Street, Holt, or from www.norfolk.coffee For more information on the Alzheimer’s Society, visit www.alzheimers.org.uk

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