Roasting coffee is as much an art as a science. As with any natural product, there are a number of variables to consider every time we load up the roaster. The balance of timing, temperature, airflow and intuition along with a knowledge of a coffee’s density, moisture levels and characteristics all go into the perfect roast.
Every batch of green beans we buy is researched and profiled. We ask our friends at other speciality roasters across the country about their experiences with any particular batch, we test at different temperatures and we do lots of taste tests or “cupping” before we set to work roasting quantities large enough for sale in the shop and to our wholesale customers.
Before, during and after the roast we take lots of notes and put them all in our log, so every time we get a new green bean, we can draw comparisons based on our own experiences and create the very best product for you.
We started roasting coffee in a cold, damp shed using a baby batch Massol machine, before upgrading to a big, noisy, smelly American golden eagle that it took lots of practice and real skill to get the best from. All those hours practising our craft started to pay off and it wasn’t long before we took the decision to custom build our first roaster.
We took a roaster platform from Turkey, electrical and gas control gear from Germany, Mechanical components from Italy and Profiling software from the US. Now we have two fantastic custom built roasters, and whilst we now have lots of capacity – we still only roast in 12kg batches using traditional machines and manual, hands on methods so we can keep close to things.
Because roasting lots of coffee is a bit anti social, we closed our Ware roastery behind the high street in 2014 and now do all of our roasting in our Hertford wholesale roastery and training centre.