VIDEO: Coffee beans roasted for charity

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Award winning actress and founder of the Born Free Foundation roasted up a treat in Horsham yesterday (April 17) to raise funds and make a tasty brew.

Star of Born Free and A Town Like Alice, Virginia McKenna OBE, swung by Coffee Real, an independent coffee roasters, to create the first batch of their exclusive Born Free blend.

JPCT 170413 Coffee Real Ltd launches new blend 'Born Free'.  Virginia McKenna OBE, founder and trustee of the Born Free Foundation, in attendance to roast the first batch. Owner Gary Best and Vitginia McKenna. Photo by Derek Matin

JPCT 170413 Coffee Real Ltd launches new blend 'Born Free'. Virginia McKenna OBE, founder and trustee of the Born Free Foundation, in attendance to roast the first batch. Owner Gary Best and Vitginia McKenna. Photo by Derek Matin

“We’re making this fantastic blend to raise money for the foundation and its different projects,” explained Gary Best, the founder of the family-run roastery.

“The blend has four different beans hailing from India, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Kenya, all representing projects that the foundation is currently running.”

Coffee Real prides itself in sourcing the finest beans and paying their farmers a fair wage for the product.

Mr Best continued, “All our coffees are selected on the basis of quality and taste.

JPCT 170413 Coffee Real Ltd launches new blend 'Born Free'.  Virginia McKenna OBE, founder and trustee of the Born Free Foundation, in attendance to roast the first batch. Photo by Derek Matin

JPCT 170413 Coffee Real Ltd launches new blend 'Born Free'. Virginia McKenna OBE, founder and trustee of the Born Free Foundation, in attendance to roast the first batch. Photo by Derek Matin

“We pay the farmers for their quality of crops and provide them a better living for them and their families.”

As he showed Mrs McKenna how the roasting machine works, a pleasant aroma emanated throughout the warehouse and the roasted beans poured from a spout, ready for the grind.

“It’s quite cool having Virginia here. My kids still watch Born Free, so it’s great that she’s a part of this.”

Mrs McKenna dug her hands into the beans and held them out for all to see.

JPCT 170413 Coffee Real Ltd launches new blend 'Born Free'.  Virginia McKenna OBE, founder and trustee of the Born Free Foundation, in attendance to roast the first batch - pictured holding the roasted beans. Photo by Derek Matin

JPCT 170413 Coffee Real Ltd launches new blend 'Born Free'. Virginia McKenna OBE, founder and trustee of the Born Free Foundation, in attendance to roast the first batch - pictured holding the roasted beans. Photo by Derek Matin

She said: “This has been the most fantastic experience.

“My son, Bill Trevers Jr, heads the foundation and he saw the Coffee Real van and got talking to Gary.

“He found out that many of the countries where they get their coffee from are where we have projects in.”

The espresso blend is available now with 15 per cent of food service sales and 10 per cent of retail sales going directly to Born Free.

Mrs McKenna imparted: “Coffee Real are very sensitive to the people that grow their coffee and pay them a proper price.

“I think it’s wonderful that awareness for Born Free is on the increase. With people endlessly reading about animal cruelty, like elephants losing their tusks, it’s now reaching a greater public.”

To buy a 250 gram bag of the Born Free blend and support the foundation, visit Real Coffee at www.coffeereal.co.uk or www.bornfree.org.uk