100% extra virgin olive oil from the family farm in Cyprus.
Because it's a family operation, we can trace the journey of the olives from tree to bottle.
Nothing is added, nothing is taken away - put simply it's 100% olive juice.
We help to pick the olives ourselves, so we know exactly where they come from.
Giant nets ready to catch the olives
When we arrived in November most of the harvest was already complete, but a few trees were saved for us. First we laid out the giant nets to catch the falling olives.
Rob harvesting the olives
That's me, Rob, getting stuck in.
Pam & Takis harvesting the olives
That's Pam getting straight to work and Uncle Takis on the ladder tackling the higher branches.
Nicos harvesting the olives
That's Pam's dad, Nicos, combing the lower branches.
Harvesting the olives
My turn on the ladder.
Takis harvesting the olives
Takis working hard in the Cyprus sunshine.
Costa harvesting the olives
Costa showing how it's done.
Chloe harvesting the olives
All the family helps out at harvest time. Here's Pam's mum, Chloe, getting busy with the olive comb.
It looks like it's raining olives here but it's the rays of the sun shining through. Wishful thinking as I write this in England's November rain.
Pam working hard and still managing to look gorgeous.
Harvesting olives with olive combs
That's Nicos at the top of the tree. You can see the olive comb clearly here. The long thin teeth ensure every olive is caught as you comb the branches.
Removing sticks & twigs
Nicos and Pam picking out the twigs and sticks that got caught in the nets, with Costa supervising!
Time to load up the truck with our harvested olives, ready for their short journey to the mill.
Loading the olives
Mind your back Takis!
Loading the truck
Looks like someone needs to go on a Safe Lifting course!
Fully loaded with fresh olives
All loaded up and ready to go.
Locking up the truck
Locked and loaded, let's not lose any precious olives now.
A short journey to the olive mill
After a traditional Cyprus meze barbecue in the sunshine of the olive grove with all the family, off we go on the short journey to the mill.
Thousands of fresh olives
The view from the truck, and everything looks in order. All these olives will become olive oil in under an hour.
The olives arrive at the olive mill
The olives are tipped into the hopper and begin their journey through the mill.
Loading the olives
The guys even let me have a go. Better not mess this up...
Straight into the hopper
...never in doubt.
Stage 1 of the journey in the mill
The olives fall through the hopper and onto the conveyor belt below.
Olives loading into the washer
Onto the conveyor belt and up into the mill for the next phase - the washer.
Olives go through the washer
Clean water is used to thoroughly wash the olives and remove the remaining twigs and leaves.
The olives are rigorously vibrated through this part of the process to remove stones, twigs and other foreign bodies which may damage the machinery.
Onto the next stage - the grinder
The olives drop into another hopper to be whisked up to the grinder which will mash the olives, skin, stones and all, into a mushy pulp.
The olive paste is gently mixed
After the olives have been ground to a paste, the result is taken to a malaxer where it is mixed gently until the oil begins to separate from the vegetable water and pulp. This takes about 40-60 minutes.
Fresh 100% extra virgin olive oil.
And this is what it's all about. The lovely golden fresh-pressed extra virgin olive oil.
With the farmer
Here I am with Bambos, who owns the olive grove and the mill. It's thanks to his exacting standards that our olive oil tastes so good. Thank you Bambos!
A toast to the new season olive oil
As is customary in these parts, a toast is drunk to the new season's olive oil. We're drinking zivania, the famous Cyprus spirit that takes your breath away and cleans your insides out. Down in one - yiamas (cheers)!
I first fell in love with Cyprus when I lived there in the 1990’s. The sunshine, the warmth of the people and the delicious food all made for an intoxicating mix for me and I knew I would return some day.
When I fell for this beautiful lady from Cyprus in Cambridge years later she took me to meet the family back home, and I was welcomed into the heart of the family with barbeques and mezes in the Cyprus sunshine. It brought back happy memories.
Then I discovered the olive farmer is part of the family and we could buy the olive oil directly from him (that's Bambos - you can see pictures of Bambos in the slideshow above). Between us we decided the world needs to know about the smooth and creamy Cyprus olive oil.
Our friends in Cyprus the Stephani family are professional halloumi cheese makers and theirs happens to be the best you'll find on the island - but try for yourself.
We hope you enjoy our products as much as we do.
Rob & Pam